Salt Lake Acting Company’s latest production offers an empowering look at the realities of sports for young women.
“The Wolves” follows a girls’ soccer team as they go through warm-ups, highlighting the internal and external pressures of being a female athlete. The play not only highlights the experiences of young women, but does it while utilizing a fully female cast and a largely female crew.
Playwright Sarah DeLappe says she hopes “The Wolves” invites audiences to wonder “who each of these girls are as they slowly reveal themselves over the course of the play.”
The play gives a perspective of young women, one that is not often seen, which provides a mirror that young girls could look into and find comfort.
“‘The Wolves’ feels like a warren of these caves running just under the surface, forcing up the earth as they cross into and around one another,” says Alexandra Harbold, the director of the play. “One of the many reasons I love Sarah’s play is that it subverts the idea of a single protagonist, a single hero’s story.”
The actresses in this play not only practiced for long hours trying to perfect their acting, but also worked for hours on the soccer field to grow their skills to create an enthralling experience for the viewer.
Joe Murray worked on the production as a soccer consultant to ensure that both the skills and context surrounding the sport was correct. He helped the actresses learn to act as real soccer players.
“The Wolves do not need to be at [Cristiano] Ronaldo’s level for this play, but the point is that even the greatest talents need to work on their skills,” Murray says. “As with acting, repetition and practice are critical.”
The actresses held a wide range of skill levels when they started the production, from women who had played competitive soccer at a high level to others who had never been near a soccer field. Nonetheless, every cast member learned what they needed to make this a successful and worthwhile production.
The dialogue of “The Wolves” is strikingly realistic, and anyone who has lived through the treachery that can be your teenage years will find comfort and humor in the characters’ experiences. They deal with the realities of being a teenage girl, and simply being human, as well.
The play offers an insight into the mind of a young woman, and the struggles that are dealt with daily, as well as the bigger issues that often come to light.
“The Wolves” runs through Nov. 11. Contact the Salt Lake Acting Company for more information.
Photos by dav.d daniels