If you’ve walked into Wish Theater at any point in the last few days, you’ve been greeted by a square strip of green turf, a mesh curtain and an array of water bottles. Fluorescent lights and bright orange cones create an indoor soccer field, the set for “The Wolves,” the theater department’s most recent production.
“The Wolves” follows nine female high school soccer players during their pre-game stretches and warm-ups, during which they discuss the sometimes petty and often terrifyingly relatable aspects of being a teenage girl.
Each short scene is a vignette following the anxieties of each girl as they discuss topics like their weekend plans, college scouts and intimate relationships. Through the lens of a soccer team, the show explores many themes that ring true for young women across the country.
“A huge part of the play is trying to dive into the mind of a 16- or 17-year-old girl,” said cast member Serena Jonas ’22.
The beginning of the play clues the audience into the casual and, at times, comical perspectives of the teenagers on taboo topics such as global politics, religion and femininity through a weaving circle of interlocking conversations.
“It is great that we get to expose those topics through the play, because we have to have conversations about those things that make people uncomfortable … we can’t just sweep it under the rug,” said cast member Gizem Dogan ’24.
For a play confronting such challenging topics, creating a safe atmosphere was essential for the actors. Director Lindsay Livingston’s work to do just that has been an essential element of putting the show together.
“From the beginning, we created a space in our rehearsal room which was a very female space … it never felt unsafe in the rehearsal room,” said cast member Ava Grandfield ’24.
The story revolves around the relationships between characters, most of whom are described as having known each other since elementary school. However, many of the actors hadn’t met until their first rehearsals.
“[The chemistry] just kind of happened … [Working on the show] was such a time commitment that we just instantly bonded,” said cast member Emily Herndon ’23.
The playwright, Sarah Delappe, intended to flip the typical archetypal female characters on their heads.
“It’s a really real fly-on-the-wall look at teenage girls and what they go through, what makes them passionate, what makes them mad, what makes them happy,” Jonas said. “There’s not really a lot of plays that give teenage girls that space. If they do, it’s usually as the love interest, or it’s about their boy drama.”
Other featured cast members include Alice Hawkins ’22, Samara Braverman ’24, Catherine Crouch ’23, Julia Jennings ’23, Ellie Pike ’22 and Halina Bennet ’23.
The show premiered Tuesday night as an open dress rehearsal and will run until Saturday, October 23.
Halina Bennet and Julia Jennings are members of the Orient staff.