By: Jade King
Picture by Andrew Emmons
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Niagara University’s theatre department started off their 2018-2019 season strong with Sarah DeLappe’s, “The Wolves.” The play follows the lives of a high school girls’ indoor winter soccer league, the Wolves, and the obstacles discovered by teens experiencing the world around them.
Many difficult themes were covered such as mental health, peer pressure, body changes, sexual orientation, self-esteem and going through the loss of a loved one. Even while conveying these themes, DeLappe made sure to leave room for humor.
“The key theme reflected in ‘The Wolves’ would be coming-of-age,” says Heather Gervasi, a junior Theater Performance major who plays #46 Bench and the black sheep of the group. “It is not solely about the skill set needed or one specific player, but about team work as these girls navigate their way through their adolescence.”
The set was completely stationary and smartly constructed. The entirety was a soccer field, including stadium lights, a fence and a net. The playbill describes the setting as “An indoor soccer field somewhere in suburban America. The field is astroturf. Winter. Saturdays.” The only lens of these girl’s’ lives that the audience sees is when they come to play their favorite sport on Saturdays and piece together the rest of their lives through the conversations.
One of the coolest aspects of the play is when the audience came in and were being seated, the actresses were also getting warmed-up and interacting with each other. This really melded the audience and performers together as if we were in the stands witnessing everything. This also successfully smashed the norm of what is to be expected by plays with strict audience/performer distinctions. The girls then demonstrated some fancy footwork as much of the dialogue occurred when they were practicing.
“Learning a new skill set that isn’t typically seen on the stage in general,” says Caroline Kolasny, a junior Theater Performace major who plays #2 Defense the accident-prone, caring member of the group. “Working with new people and having a precise rehearsal process was what made this show special!”