UM sophomore Marlena Elliot played the part of 46 in the production. Photo courtesy of University Relations
The Chi Box theater took on an unusually athletic atmosphere on the nights of Oct. 5 through 9. The University’s College of Fine Arts presented Sarah DeLappe’s award winning production, “The Wolves.” In its Alabama premiere, directed by Marcus Lane, “The Wolves” starred an all-female cast comprised of Montevallo theater students.
The play tells a story of teenage struggle and interpersonal strife in the context of an all girls’ indoor soccer team. The nine main characters are at no point identified by names outside of the numbers printed on the back of their jerseys, giving an unusual sense of anonymity to a group of characters with such powerful personalities.
Much of the play’s defining action is not shown onstage. Instead, the present characters’ interactions give clues to their lives outside the small square of Astroturf that makes up the stage. The most present story is that of number 46, a talented new teammate from overseas. Marlena Elliot’s performance as 46 was spot on in its portrayal of a well-meaning, but often misguided new addition to the team of longtime friends.
Despite its electrifying intensity, the script still manages an incredible complexity in its writing. Each character, without even being named beyond a number, presented a distinct and vibrant personality, each of which was portrayed fantastically by the cast. Conversation between characters was fluid and natural, allowing for the sudden shifts from casual chatting to sudden, intense conflict.
A prime example of the versatility of the characters as well as the actors portraying them was Kodi McDearmont’s performance as 00. Though the part had relatively few lines, McDearmont’s subtle emotion and reaction endeared the audience to the character long before her dramatic solo scene toward the end.
A hallmark of the production was the overlap in conversation. Characters established connections between one another through interwoven, overlapping conversations. Though the transitions from these parts to the issue at hand for the scene were sometimes difficult to follow, they served to create character distinction quickly and distinctively, and the cast worked well within the space to supplement this.
Overall, “The Wolves” was another home run for the theater department. The casting was done well and the cast filled their roles excellently. Audiences left the Chi Box with new perspectives, lasting experiences and memories of the haunting thematic chant: “we are the wolves.”