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ConVal drama to present ‘The Wolves’

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Lili Juarez takes a picture of her teammates Gabby Oja, Katherine Craig , Natalie Preble, Avery Swasey, Aria Frehner, and Reagan Riffle during Monday’s rehearsal of ConVal drama’s rehearsal of ‘The Wolves’ by Sarah DeLappe. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • ConVal Drama will put on three performances of 'The Wolves' by Sarah DeLappe starting Friday, Feb. 14. February. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/12/2020 9:08:42 PM

If you didn’t know the girls on the Lucy Hurlin Theatre stage were doing a run through for the upcoming winter play, “The Wolves” you might just think they were having the type of conversations that many teenage girls their age have.

The conversations are a bit vulgar to say the least, but one that aren’t out of the realm of possibility for young women navigating the world of relationships, family issues and the ups and downs of being part of a sports team with an eye on playing soccer in college. 

The stage will be transformed into an Astroturf soccer field for three performances of “The Wolves,” which opens Friday night at ConVal High School.

Decked out in uniforms and going through the pre-game routine of stretching, passing the ball back and forth and breaks before each week’s game of the indoor season, the players – only identified by the numbers on their jerseys – fill the stage with one eventful conversation after another.

“The little conversations that the characters have is true to life,” said senior Alexis Cleary, who plays #13.

The first scene begins with a discussion about a murderous Cambodian dictator and the range of topics goes all over the place from there.

There’s whispers about one player’s possible abortion, talk of feminine hygiene products and the blatantly obvious hangovers of their new coach.

“There’s a lot that’s being explored,” director Jason Lambert said. “There’s a real journey that everyone goes on.”

There’s the goalie who always throws up before each game, the player who must wear a helmet because of concussion concerns, another who is dealing with a torn ACL and the new girl on the team who just moved to town and lives in a yogurt. (Spoiler alert: it’s actually a yurt because you can’t live in a yogurt.)

They talk about the former coach’s mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer prompting the question if one girl wants his mother to die so he can come back. Some of the discussion is light hearted and funny, while others are serious and paint a picture of what adolescents have to deal with as they grow into adults.

“It goes into deep things and sometimes quickly,” Lambert said.

Lambert first came across the play, written by Sarah DeLappe, a few years ago. He thought it would present a unique opportunity for everyone in the cast to play someone their own age. Lambert said it poses a challenge for the audience to follow along with the smaller conversations and take in all the information that’s happening at once.

“It’s like riding home on a bus from a field trip or a game,” Lambert said.

DeLappe spent time at the MacDowell Colony as a fellow and went to ConVal to discuss “The Wolves” with the students in the show. The idea came about after DeLappe overheard a conversation between some young girls and how they talked with each other. Lambert said she wanted to explore the narrative further.

“It’s much different than anything else we’ve done,” Cleary said.

For senior Aria Frehner, who plays the goalie, her character doesn’t say a whole lot but was drawn to the role.

“It’s easier to put my own personality into it,” Frehner said. “It felt right when I was reading the lines.”

In all there are nine members of the team and each one is double casted because of the strong turnout at the auditions in December. So even if audience members go twice, they are all but guaranteed to get a unique experience due to the subtle differences in how each role is played.

Due to the use of certain language and topics discussed, Lambert said the play is for mature audiences.

With the cast made up of all females, Lambert wanted to have a strong female directorial approach. That’s where seniors Ella McCullough and Petra McLay come in. McCullough has directed at the middle school level, but this is her first time taking on a high school project. McLay has worked on the props and costume side of a production, but was drawn to the script and wanted to try her hand at directing.

“My favorite part is how truthful it is,” McLay said. “And how they relate so well to teenage girls.”

What McCullough has enjoyed is how the students have really put themselves into the roles.

“There’s so many mannerisms that make it so natural,” McCullough said. “And the more I read the more I needed to see this on stage.”

There will be three performance of “The Wolves” on Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at www.onthestage.com/show/conval-high-school/-9147/tickets.

“The play is just so raw and real and emotional,” McCullough said. “It just paints the story of what it is like to be a teenager.”


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