All-female play hitting Severns stage: “The Wolves” opens Wednesday

Finally, something that sports fans and theater fans can both enjoy. The Truman State University Theatre Department is putting on its production of “The Wolves,” an emotional, high-energy play about a girls’ indoor soccer team.

The crew and the all-female cast have been preparing for this production since May 2018, said David Charles Goyette, director and assistant theatre professor. He said Sarah DeLappe wrote the play in 2016.

Goyette said the name of the play comes from the name of the soccer team depicted in the play.

“I think it hints at the ‘packness’ of wolves and I think the degree to which wolves are hunters,” Goyette said. “They drive and they run and they go after what they want. These women do the same thing.”

Goyette described the play as a coming-of-age story, in which the characters come to learn about life and themselves through their interactions with each other.

Goyette said these moments of growth happen through the girls’ experiences as a team on and off the soccer field. The actors will also be playing soccer on stage during some of the scenes. He said as it is kind of scary as a director knowing the ball could go anywhere, especially because the cast is mostly made up of soccer novices.

“There’s a couple people in the cast who have played soccer, but there’s a whole bunch who have never played soccer,” Goyette said. “They’ve been going through training, warm ups and drills every day.”

Julia Swank is one of the cast members who has very little experience playing soccer. She said her part as Soccer Mom is great for her because she can still be a part of the production while not being expected to play soccer.

Swank said her character comes in during the end of the play, which is quite emotionally charged. Swank’s lines during this short time are all part of a monologue that she said is like no other monologue she has ever done.

“My lines are her thoughts just coming out,” Swank said. “Everything she is thinking is coming out of her mouth and it’s discombobulated.”

Swank said there is a team vibe backstage that is much like the one they are trying to depict on stage. While some cast members do not have much experience with soccer, others do not have much experience with big productions like this.

For cast member Rita Hanch, who plays #13, this is her first big production with Truman’s theater department, but it is far from her first time playing soccer as she has been playing the sport since she was about six years old.

Hanch said she is especially excited for the Saturday production because her teammates from her indoor soccer team in Kansas City, Missouri, are coming to watch.

Hanch is part of Tag Improv, so she has some experience with acting. She has also been part of theater productions in high school and one-act productions at Truman.

“One of my favorite parts is how David, our director, makes us dive deep into our parts,” Hanch said. “We don’t just say the lines — we think about why we’re saying them.”

One of the biggest challenges Hanch shared is the amount of time the process takes. She said some nights they have been working from 6-12 at night. Another big challenge for her has been learning theater terms, but she said the other cast members have been very patient.

“Since it’s an all-women cast, it’s such an incredible energy that I’ve never had before other than being on a team,” Hanch said. “It really is like having your own team.”

The shows will start at 8 p.m. Feb. 20-23, and tickets, which are $5 a piece, can be purchased from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the James G. Severns Theater box office or before each show at the Severns Theater doors.