CASEY LAND, Special to The Denisonian — The Wolves is a play originally written in 2016 by Sarah Delappe, and soon it will be performed here on campus. Directed by Sarah Wilson ’20 and Sophia Menconi ’20, Denison’s iteration of The Wolves will premiere on November 14th and run until the 22nd.
This intimate play, which won the first Relentless Award and was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, follows nine high school girls on an indoor soccer team. It showcases their relationships as they are simultaneously each other’s teammates and competitors; they are, of course, all trying to get recruited by college scouts.
Through its focus on the team, the play shows the complexity of adolescent friendship, as well as the strength and fierceness of these blossoming adults. The play is sure to emphasize the girls’ interests and lives outside of soccer; conversations between the girls range from gossiping about their coach, political correctness, social media, abortion, and how they want to make a difference in the world.
On why this play is an important story to tell, co-director Sarah Wilson writes, “very rarely do we see theatre (or really any visual storytelling) that focalizes only young women and their relationships with one another. Every girl in The Wolves is extraordinarily fierce, athletic, vulnerable, and engaged in the world around her in different ways. Delappe gives them so much more humanity than young women are usually allowed in stories.”
Co-director Sophia Menconi added, “the play is specifically important because through it I am able to see a world and language that I am so familiar with placed on stage without condescension and without the framing of some larger punchline: it is exactly a group of teenage girls expressing themselves in a way that feels so real; it hits on the anxieties of teenage-ness, as well as the devotion and fierceness of a team.”
On how this play was brought to Denison, Wilson writes “we thought it was important to celebrate Denison’s new commitment to the arts with a commitment to the celebration of complex women, especially the young women of the theatre department who are too frequently relegated to romantic characters. We made a Power-Point presentation over winter break about why the department should do the show, and the head of the department agreed and found a place for it in their season.” From the words of the co-directors, The Wolves promises to deliver a story of a type that’s rarely given the spotlight. A show as intimate and raw as this, that sheds light on young adult women’s struggles in such an endearing way, is necessary viewing for all young adults, no matter if they are female or not. It is a show you do not want to miss, and will be performed in the Hylbert Family Studio Theater (November 14-22).