The Wolves at Actors Theatre – Review

The Wolves kicks off the new year of shows at Actors Theatre.


The Wolves take a team photo before their game. Photo by Jonathan Roberts, courtesy of Actors Theatre

Words by Sylvia Cassidy and Lily Wobbe

“The Wolves” at Actors Theatre surprises audiences with a touching story about a girls’ indoor soccer team, following nine players as they progress through their winter season.

It’s running Jan. 8 through Feb.1 in the Bigham Theater, with tickets costing $40. Any information can be found on Actors Theatre’s website

Going into the show, it may seem like another average attempt by adults to portray today’s high school comradery, but this may be one of the few times where they get it right. 

The skillfully crafted dialogue feels real and natural. The mix of politics and charisma closely resembles real conversations we have with our friends. 

The show ditches average teenage stereotypes for an accurate portrayal of high school culture. The actresses, despite being in their mid-20s, were completely in touch with how high school girls actually behave. The audience didn’t have to work hard to suspend their disbelief and the plot was easy to digest. 

The scenic design complements the play nicely and doesn’t distract from the plot – it’s simply a white stripe across green turf. 

Characters prepare for games there: stretching, catching up with their teammates, and reviewing skills. However, viewers who aren’t soccer experts shouldn’t fret; the show focused on what each character carried on and off the field — whether it be talent or personality. 

Each actress had a bright individualism that didn’t outshine her other castmates, allowing the entire company to accurately portray the reality and structure of high school sports. The team had overly competitive athletes, goofballs, nerds, elites, and, of course, the token “crackhead” friend. 

This mix creates a really funny vignette that makes both teens and adults crack up. Because it is so true to life, you could take your parents to it and both have a good time, while relating to the deeply moving plot.

The fast-paced show is a bit overwhelming in the very beginning, making it hard to catch every detail. Once you get used to it, though, you’ll be on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next line.

The show premiered off-Broadway in 2016. Playwright Sarah DeLappe was even named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for the play, and it was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Nonetheless, Actors does a brilliant job of making their rendition feel original.

Even though the show isn’t specifically set in Louisville, we were able to easily picture the team at places around town, like the Mockingbird Valley sports complex. It was truly a beautiful, poignant production that every teen and adult should see. 

The Wolves get hyped up before their game, showing they have each others back. Photo by Jonathan Roberts, courtesy of Actors Theatre