As the first mainstage production piece of the year, “The Wolves,” directed by Rick Jones, made its debut Oct. 1-Oct. 5 in the Turner Auditorium at SFA. I attended the Oct. 4 show, and I would definitely say it is a show of a different kind.
The story is based on a girls’ soccer team sharing the name of the play, The Wolves. The play goes through their progression from girlhood to womanhood in some pretty unique ways. Throughout the weeks, the girls talk about ‘normal’ teenage girl things that an audience would expect, such as boys and love. However, it becomes very clear that they are transitioning into womanhood based on their other topics of conversations, such as certain trans-national issues and ethics. Each player deals with real life issues and is faced with the question of how to handle it: like a girl or al woman? For example, #00, the team’s goalie played by Nacogdoches-native Caitilin Edwards, had a difficult case of social anxiety disorder.
The script was a very interesting read. But, to see it performed on stage, brought the whole story completely together. The playwright, Sarah DeLappe, wrote the production, so that the reader doesn’t know any of the player’s names, just their jersey numbers. Personally, I was concerned as to how this would translate on stage. However, the cast did a great job of giving each character their own distinct personality, making it genuinely easy to tell them apart. Near the beginning of the show, there was some confusion on who was who, but that problem quickly corrected itself as the play progressed.
In the middle of the play, everything was heightened. The drama within the show began to peak through, and the cast really enveloped their characters at about this time in the show. A prime example of this would be #2, played by Baytown-native senior Jordyn Averitte. Her character was a soft-spoken, devout Christian girl who I expected to get lost in all the other players’ loud and proud personalities. Instead, this character was a breath of fresh air from the other teammates, almost an alternate teenage personality in the drama.
As the production came to a close, the real action hit. The team experienced deep tragedy, not individually this time but as a whole. The characterizations here were really spectacular. In reality, no one reacts to tragedy the same. In productions, sometimes the actors mirror each others’ reactions, especially if their characters are very similar. In the case of “The Wolves,” however, each girl brought a different side of coping to the table. #11, played by Lufkin-native sophomore Britney Day, goes through the trauma just wanting to be quiet and stop talking about what happened. However, #8, played by Mesquite-native freshman Maddy Moore, talks of how she couldn’t stop crying. Even without the dialogue, the differences in how each girl handled the stress of the situation was very clear and impressive.
In conclusion, I think SFA’s cast and crew did a good job recreating this production. Every show does have its’ issues, like talking too fast and making sure actors are always facing the audience in staging. Overall, however, this show was well-acted and very funny. From #7’s, New-Braunsfel-native junior Kelsey Lesseig’s, in-your-face hilarity to #46’s, Waxahachie-native junior Emmeline Sullivan’s, more subtle and almost on accident humor, the audience was laughing at all the right times. This production encompassed a lot of what teenage girls face and the difficult transition into womanhood. I totally recommend it.