“The Wolves” At Cap Stage Has Bite

By Chris Narloch, photos by Charr Crail.

If you’re looking for an interesting play to see this weekend (or anytime before the end of September) check out Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves” at Sacramento’s Capital Stage.

The brisk, 90-minute, intermission-free drama is about young women who play soccer, and it stars nine talented actresses who had me convinced that a real-life female sports team had wandered in off the street to warm up and practice before their game.

All of the young women’s performances – and playwright DeLappe’s sensational dialogue -- are so realistic and entertaining that I didn’t really mind the play’s lack of a plot.

“The Wolves” doesn’t really go anywhere, but that nontraditional dramatic structure – it’s more like a series of snapshots or vignettes – is probably what led New York critics to rave. The play was even anointed as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

The dialogue feels so authentic in “The Wolves,” and its direction by Nancy Carlin is so sharp, that I was thoroughly absorbed by the world of the play (which is staged on a large patch of artificial turf) despite its thin story.

The nine female jocks stretch, run, practice and rib each other as they warm up, all the while talking about the stuff that all young women talk about: school, boys, feminine hygiene, and birth control.

A new player arrives early on, and a soccer mom (and tragedy) make their entrance late in the play, but the rest of this smart production is really just a vivid slice of life about the lives of young women – something we rarely see on stage.

“The Wolves” plays at Cap Stage’s theater on J Street through Sept. 30. Visit www.capstage.org.

 

Photos by Charr Crail. (top to bottom)

(Clockwise from noon) Jessica Brooks, Payton Gobeille, Chloe King, Devin Valdez, Jasmine Anne Osborne, Jessica Dahlgren, Ella Dershowitz, Leah Daugherty, Tiffanie Mack.

(From L to R) Jessica Dahlgren, Ella Dershowitz, Chloe King, Tiffanie Mack, Jasmine Anne Osborne, Leah Daugherty, Payton Gobeille, Jessica Brooks.

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