Rider takes to the turf and goes for the goal in “The Wolves”

By Megan Raab

The School of Fine and Performing Arts will present their second show of the semester, “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe, from Feb. 25 to Mar. 1 in the Yvonne Theater. The play, directed by Ryanne Domingues follows a female soccer team through their season.

The unique show has the cast playing a soccer team. Some of the actresses played soccer as kids, but many of these girls are learning their roles and the sport at the same time. For one actress, Lucy Connell, a senior musical theater major, did have some previous soccer experience, but not since she was nine years old. 

“Needless to say, I am so grateful that we have had the opportunity to work our soccer skills through rehearsals and actual practices,” Connell said.

Senior acting major Taryn Elizabeth Grey had absolutely no soccer experience whatsoever before the rehearsal process began. On training, she says, “Before winter break, the cast met up with Ryanne’s stepfather who happens to be a former collegiate soccer coach to teach us passes and small drills. Over winter break, I bought a soccer ball and practiced a lot in my spare time.”

The characters in this show function like a team. So much so, infact, that they are named only by their Jersey numbers, tying their entire identity to the team. Connell’s character, No. 25, is the team captain. She describes the character as being “Like most high schoolers — she is struggling to find her place in the social order of the team, but also how to push herself further towards her goals. She’s tough, but definitely still trying to get a grasp on it all.” 

For Grey, No. 7, though she had to do a lot of work to master the soccer skills, she related to her character right from the start. During the rehearsal process, Grey discovered her and her characters similarities.

 “I realized how complex she is, and how similar she is to me. She puts on a tough face to hide her emotional vulnerability,” Grey said.

Because of the way it is written, the show does require a lot of the actors. “Each girl has worked to develop a complete, individual character to build this play,” said Connell. The journey the characters go through is also very realistic and the circumstances are very human. 

Connell says the realistic writing was actually one of the biggest challenges.

“A lot of the conversations start and stop and overlap, and there are multiple conversations happening on stage at the same time. It really gives the show a deeper understanding of these girls’ relationships, but it was definitely a challenge to master,” she said.

For Grey, the hardest thing was synching her newfound soccer skills with the character work she has to do.

“The show’s pretty much an emotional rollercoaster with soccer balls,” she said. “The focus has to be on. The show is written very modern in its language, and it’s so easy to paraphrase or get sloppy with the diction when you have a ‘like’’ every five words or say ‘oh my gosh’ all the time. Plus we’re trying to do soccer drills without kicking the ball offstage.”

The show takes place in the Yvonne Theatre on Feb. 27 through March 1, with both evening and matinee performances.

Published in the 2/26/2020 issue of The Rider News.

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