The Wolves is a clever choice for the 2019/2020 University Players season. It breathes a fresh voice into the University of Windsor program and ads a modern and relevant vibe to a somewhat classic line-up.
Featuring an all-female cast, The Wolves chronicles six Saturday mornings in the lives of a soccer team somewhere in suburban America as they prepare for their games. The girls discuss everything from genocide to menstrual cycles to drugs to boys to literature to each other, and a group of girls whom at first seem indistinguishable as each is referred to by only her number and all are clad in the same jersey only bearing her number quickly become identifiable and different. In the course of six short weeks, the Wolves deal with love, loss, and identity.
There was a lot of fitness and stretching going on throughout the 100-minute play, with the girls going through their practice routines without the assistance of an unseen head coach, who became the brunt of many jokes throughout. The girls were often seen in circles working out and there were very little wardrobe changes, so the action moves at a pretty fast pace. With the exception of their numbers to help identify the players, it was hard to feel any real connection to any specific characters in this play – although that doesn’t take away from the dialog and interactions between the characters – that’s where the real meat and potatoes of this show lies anyway.
I’ve never had the honour of coaching a girls’ soccer team, but after watching this show, I have a very strong indication of what it would be like. Sarah DeLappe’s stunning debut drama that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017, presents the world through the prism of girls’ soccer – right up close and personal.
At times the show felt a bit more juvenile than expected, but considering its about a high school aged team, it may actually be more realistic than most would expect.
The ladies are always strong actors at University Players and this cast was no different. Much like last year’s production of Les Belles Soeurs, these young women get a chance to shine in an all-female environment. In The Wolves, the only competition is the fictional games the team was preparing for, so we were able to see some of the actresses “stretch” and test their limits, without the pressures of men or even a head coach.
The show isn’t very linear, so at times it wasn’t easy to get a perspective on where the audience’s point of view might be, but from the burst of emotions and estrogen floating around the stage, it mostly felt like one big group huddle and we were privy to it.
The Wolves continues at Essex Hall Theatre at the University of Windsor tonight through to Sunday (Nov. 10) shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Tickets range from $8 for U of W students to $20 for adults. For more, visit https://tix5.centerstageticketing.com/sites/windsor6/event-details.php?e=534