Marjorie Lyons Playhouse presents "The Wolves" November 9-19
SHREVEPORT, LA — Playwright Sarah DeLappe garnered rave reviews for the New York debut of her first play, The Wolves, in 2016. Now, Centenary’s Marjorie Lyons Playhouse is bringing this honest, moving, funny portrait of a girls’ high school soccer team navigating adolescence to the Shreveport stage. The Wolves, directed by Centenary student Taylor Ackerman and starring a cast of Centenary students, premieres at MLP on Thursday, November 9 and runs through Sunday, November 19.
The Wolves follows nine members of a high school indoor soccer team as they warm up before several big matches throughout the season, but the main attraction is their honest, funny, and poignant adolescent banter rather than their athletic pursuits. DeLappe’s script, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, skillfully renders real-time group conversation in the distinctive patois of adolescent girls, spanning topics as varied as refugee camps, bird watching, and the Khmer Rouge.
“This script offers two distinct challenges which overlap and sometimes clash, from the first line to the last: the physical and the emotional component,” says director Ackerman, a senior at Centenary. “Complex soccer drills are as integral a part of the production as the fast paced, over overlapping dialogue. To ensure that both aspects are as sharp and polished as possible is proving to be an incredible directorial challenge.”
DeLappe has said that her inspiration for The Wolves came from a childhood watching superhero movies, Westerns, war films, and sci-fi movies with storylines that dramatically depicted how the disparate members of the almost all-male casts “became one organism” in order to survive. When she started writing the play, she knew that she wanted it to be her own version of a World War II movie, but set on a soccer field instead of a battlefield.
“I wanted women to have access to the same material, with no limitations,” DeLappe has written. “I wanted to see a portrait of teenage girls as human beings – as complicated, nuanced, very idiosyncratic people who weren’t just girlfriends or sex objects or manic pixie dream girls but who were athletes and daughters and students and scholars and people who were trying actively to figure out who they were in this changing world around them.”
“Sarah DeLappe speaks with an amazing contemporary voice,” says freshman Kennedy Wilcher, who plays “#13” in Centenary’s The Wolves. “Our characters feel so real and urgent. If I don’t kill myself dribbling the soccer ball this will be the perfect follow-up to our production of Twelfth Night.”
The Wolves premiered off-Broadway at The Playwrights Realm in the fall of 2016. It won the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Yale Prize. DeLappe is a current Page One Writer at The Playwright’s Realm and a resident writer at LCT3 at Lincoln Center. She is an alumna of Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group, the New Georges Audrey Residency, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and the Sitka Fellows Program.
Centenary’s production of The Wolves opens Thursday, November 9 with a 7:30 p.m. show and additional evening performances November 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18. The run also includes 2:00 p.m. matinee performances on November 12 and 19.
General admission tickets are $15, senior and military tickets are $10, and elementary through high school student tickets are free. Centenary students also get in free with a student ID. All tickets are available by calling the MLP Box Office at 318.869.5242 or visiting centenary.edu/mlptickets.