Physically charged “The Wolves” spotlights complex dynamics of teen girls’ athletics (Sept. 26–28)

By: Lindsey White,  Department of Performing & Media Arts
September 11, 2019


September 26, 7:30 p.m.
September 27, 7:30 p.m.
September 28, 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Flex Theatre, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Directed by Beth F. Milles

Rehearsing and training for “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe (September 26–28, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts) has been an exercise in stamina and endurance for Cornell University senior Sabrina Liu. “Being in ‘The Wolves’ has pushed me out of my comfort zone not only in terms of the way that I normally act and perform, but also in terms of what my body can do physically,” said Liu.

Under the direction of Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) associate professor Beth F. Milles, Liu and the other eight Cornell undergraduate women portraying the high-school girls’ soccer team (Adara Alston ’99 rounds out the cast as Soccer Mom) have trained extensively both on stage and on the field. The Cornell Women’s Soccer team has served as a source of inspiration and support: the coaches and athletes have led the actors through practices, drills, and games in preparation for their physically demanding performances.

“The Wolves” is a high-energy, high-impact play that follows the teen soccer players through a series of practices and game warm-ups as they navigate their public and private lives, jockeying to find their positions on the team, in their social circles, and as young people on the cusp of adulthood.

“There is something about this show that demands something so specific and precise out of both each individual actor and the entire ensemble as a whole,” said Liu. “The cast has been able to bond and cohere in ways that I’ve never experienced, and I think that Sarah DeLappe’s structure and writing really bring that forth naturally, almost out of necessity."

“The Wolves” explores issues of inclusion and exclusion, teamwork, acceptance, and selectivity. Facing various challenges throughout the play, the teammates reveal the toughness of their characters and upend preconceived notions about girlhood and femininity.

Performances of “The Wolves” are September 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on September 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the Schwartz Center’s Flex Theatre. Immediately following the matinee will be a talk-back, Q&A with the cast, and raffle drawing for Cornell University Athletics and PMA prizes. Tickets for all performances are $18 for adults and $12 for students, seniors, and the Cornell community at or the Schwartz Center box office, 1:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Monday–Saturday. The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts is located at 430 College Avenue in Ithaca.

Actor Nwakoso Edozien '20 working with coach Dwight Hornibrook