“The Wolves”: first black box theatre play

This soccer play portrays the daily struggles of teenage girls

Darcie Kim, Features Editor

“The Wolves” celebrates the opening of the new Hayes-McCausland Theatre, and will be the first production performed by New Trier students in the new black box space.

“The Wolves” follows the season of a high school girl’s indoor club soccer team, and it is unique in that each scene is the team’s warm-up before a weekly game. As a result, the audience is left with the task of discerning the implications of what happens beyond the stadium.

“Each scene is a different week in the team’s season. Each week reveals shifts in loyalty, status, and cohesiveness,” said director Nina Lynn.

The play gives an accurate representation of how teenage girls are perceived and how they express their identities in society. Nearly all of the dialogue is between the teammates; often the subject of the conversation is so applicable to life at New Trier that during rehearsal, cast members did not know if the performers were having a side conversation or rehearsing their lines at times.

The language and themes of the play are not for everyone, but it’s one of the most honest representation of all that is wonderful and alarming about teenage girls that I’ve seen,” said Lynn.

Senior Elise Hall said the characters in ‘The Wolves’ are each intricate. An audience member would have to see the play several times before really coming to grips with every nuance that each of them presents. “I think any teenage girl watching would be able to relate to at least one of the teammates,” she said.

It is worth noting that because the play’s author wrote with the intention of keeping an honest representation of high school dynamics, the language is hard to ignore. It has been characterized as “fast paced” and “gritty”, and is definitely more explicit than previous plays performed at New Trier.

“‘The Wolves’ helps to illustrate the positive effect and strong impact of positive female role models in theater. It is not just an incredibly well written show, it is also a show that is truthful with a fantastic range of characters,” said senior Kathryn Braeseke.

The themes running throughout the play reflect the conflicting nature of growing up as a teenage girl. While friendship, unity, and teamwork all play an influential role in shaping the play, brutally honest conversations between the girls and underlying societal issues provide the audience with an incredibly accurate and well rounded representation.

“I think that how in-depth and detailed each character is shows that everyone is their own person and can be whoever they want to be,” said senior Mack Hall.

Another exciting aspect of the play is that it is the first production that will be performed in the new black box theater.

A black box theater is a simple and somewhat unadorned indoor performance space that has black walls and a level floor.

Its simplicity allows for versatility, especially since the space offers the ability to transform a scene through flexible staging and alternate lighting configurations. This unique theater also serves the greater purpose of “connecting the audience to the performers in a purposeful and uninterrupted way,” according to Stagingconcepts.

Cast members of “The Wolves” expressed their anticipation for performing in this space.

“The new theater makes this play come together much better than if it were in a usual theater. Being in the Hayes-McCausland theater allowed us to put seating on both sides of the stage, which is a first for many of the people working on the play,” said Hall.

Elise Hall described this experience as “unbelievable,” and said that she could not “believe how lucky [the cast is] to be able to perform such a cool show in such a professional theater.”

The show premieres on Dec. 14 and will run until Dec. 16. The entire cast is optimistic about the performance, and believe that the experience of rehearsing for weeks together will come together for a cohesive and successful show.

“I am so lucky to work with this amazing group of girls, my co rehearsal assistant, stage manager, and the crew to bring this show to life. Like this soccer team, we all have to work together in order to be successful,” said Braeseke.

“The Wolves” contains mature subject matter and language. It is not recommended for students under 14 or sensitive viewers.