Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Great writing

About the show

After two hit runs at Playwrights Realm, Lincoln Center Theater presents an encore engagement of Sarah DeLappe's drama about a suburban girls soccer team.

... Read more

Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team members navigate big questions and wage tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


"An amazing debut play...Neugebauer directs and choreographs the play with mesmerizing syncopation...The text is so real that it's almost as if DeLappe transcribed real conversations between teenage girls; the performances are so authentic that it almost feels like we're eavesdropping on these ritualistic moments of young adulthood. For this engagement, Neugebauer and her excellent company have managed to clarify the material even further...One of the best plays of the decade." Full Review

The New York Times

"Some of the most exciting and affecting ensemble work on a New York stage...One of the greatest achievements is that it doesn’t allow for so-called breakout performances. It’s not that DeLappe’s characters are absorbed into a bloblike collective...But she and Neugebauer have created a remarkably level playing field for a team of disparate personalities who give fresh credence to the idea that onstage, in union there is strength." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"The conversation is wildly realistic. The play opens with a blizzard-fast round of overlapping discussions...This is dazzling writing, played to perfection by an exceptional acting company and directed with great precision by Neugebauer. And DeLappe goes on from there. She assaults the air with dialogue as fast paced as a quick-pass exercise...Quite astoundingly, the author creates a stage filled with fully-rounded characters without even giving them names; just numbers." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"A dizzying whirl of attitude, anxiety and adolescent hormonal volatility practically pings off the walls...The subtlety of the craftsmanship, the assurance of tone and the thematic incisiveness are remarkable, astonishingly so for a first work...DeLappe has a knack for making her artfulness appear almost accidental. Her dialogue has the unwritten sound of real conversation...This is one of the most striking playwriting debuts in recent memory, and absolutely not to be missed." Full Review

Front Row Center

“DeLappe weaves us a journey into which we are all pulled. Neugebauer has directed with a choreographer’s eye and and a philosopher’s heart. The actors each commit fully to one another and to the larger story they are creating...By the time we realize where we have landed, these women have a grip on our hearts that we had not foreseen...These are Wolves of hope and innocence, determination and vulnerability, bravery and passion." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"'The Wolves’ most impressive feat is its subtlety: DeLappe’s script is empty in all the right places, as the audience pieces together aspects of the characters’ lives from clues given...This is also a testament to both Neugebauer’s direction and the cast’s innate understanding of their characters...A play that takes teenage girls seriously, never leaning into easy parody, but instead elevating their struggles and successes into an unforgettable, deeply moving work of drama." Full Review

The Wrap

"Stellar performances...Neugebauer takes DeLappe’s script to deliver one of the most arresting first scenes of a play in memory...Youth-affirming to the extreme...Neugebauer orchestrates the initial rapid-fire outbursts of conversation so that we pick up only snatches of words...The beauty of DeLappe’s writing is her ability to pinpoint that very moment in life when a number of 17-year-olds learn that life is unconscionably unfair but they’ll survive." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Over the course of a taut ninety minutes, we watch them instead warming up in an endless series of calisthenics, dazzlingly directed by Lila Neugebauer...You give in to this play’s unique and relentless rhythm – consisting of endless motion and overlapping dialogue...What DeLappe leaves us with is a searing insight into what it means to grow up and face both the unpredictable and inevitable events in life...'The Wolves' doesn’t break our hearts. Rather, it fortifies them." Full Review

Time Out New York

"'The Wolves' asks us to listen more carefully, and to pay attention. As the team members differentiate themselves from the pack, the play teases out larger questions hidden amid its keen naturalism...DeLappe takes all of them seriously. Her hopeful, respectful play is an implicit reproach to those who worry or complain about kids today. Seeing 'The Wolves' for a second time, I picked up on a number of things I had missed the first time. The soccer here is smart as hell." Full Review


“An exceptional ensemble…The work of director Lila Neugebauer achieves a remarkable naturalism, even while the actors are choreographed into set routines and speaking their overlapping lines while allowing for the more important points to surface above the clamor. As DeLappe's debut piece, ‘The Wolves’ introduces a playwright with a fine ear for authentic dialogue who can cleverly structure a play non-traditionally.” Full Review

New York Daily News

"Smart, nimble and told through an intriguing out-of-the-box approach, the play is a gripping slice of fly-on-the-stadium-wall realism...There’s more crosstalk and interruptions than a 'Real Housewives' reunion. And, yeah, that’s exactly how people talk in groups...The play is skillfully directed by Lila Neugebauer and deftly acted by a tightknit ensemble of 10...Add me to the pack of admirers for this terrific play." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Thrilling...Wonderfully acted by a tight-knit ensemble, 'The Wolves' is about the things we miss when we fail to pay attention beyond the random (albeit entertaining) chit-chat and gossip of young women...Commendations all around for this original play that captures so well the secret world and voices of these high school girls. Director Lila Neugebauer has done a splendid job of building an authentic team out of her young performers." Full Review

Daily Beast

"DeLappe’s play is a brilliantly written, performed, and directed entrée into a world of how teenage girls really speak to each other, and relate to one another when what they share is a collective identity, a team identity, a sporting identity—and how those identities intersect with friendship, ambition, and rivalry...It feels as if we come to know—through DeLappe’s writing and the uniformly excellent performances—all the players if not well, then believably enough." Full Review


"A terrific ensemble cast...As the teammates warm up, words fly in an onslaught of random snippets, the discussions running from trivial to practical...More troubling concerns take the play into deeper waters. As do the considerable losses, losses that go well beyond the soccer field or pageant stage. Watching these young women deal with the harsh realities thrown at them, gives significant depth to a play that might otherwise seem superficial." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"A crack team of outstanding young actresses...Neugebauer’s touch is both delicate and decisive. She doesn’t dress plays up or weight them down with excess conceptual baggage...As a piece of writing, it’s undeniably strong, and also noticeably crafted—but there’s also something about its arc that feels too neatly calibrated to be truly astonishing...The nine young women who prowl the practice pitch in 'The Wolves' take a good play and go a long way towards making it a great one." Full Review

Woman Around Town

“I’m not sure what to call this. ‘Play’ seems inappropriate; slice of life theater? Like French films, one has a sense of history before and after our observation. The piece has no arc, which may put some of you to sleep. Several minor occurrences, one major event, and some inexplicable behavior occur along an unseen timeline...Often everyone talks at once...Actors are skilled. Everyone’s limber. Timing is precise. Dialogue is authentic. But why?” Full Review

Plays to See

for a previous production "Courageous, laugh-out-loud funny and oh-my-mascara-is-all-over my face touching…A hilarious and fast-paced show…No subject is left untouched. The audience is kept on the edges of their seats while watching words and emotions volley between the players. The girls are played phenomenally, with nary a weak link on the team…These young powerhouse actresses do justice to the strong script." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "A hilarious and emotional portrait of teenage girls discovering who they are, on and off the soccer field…Neugebauer has expertly crafted the social cues and the natural pauses lending to the feeling that we’re really in the room with this team…Everything that comes out of their mouths feels real and unrehearsed…‘The Wolves’ is one of the strongest new plays I’ve seen Off Broadway in recent memory...DeLappe’s voice is strong, refreshing, and certainly one to watch." Full Review


for a previous production "An exhilarating play…Directed with naturalistic virtuosity by Lila Neugebauer…DeLappe’s brilliance is that she reveals her players as they gossip, taunt, comfort and conspire not as archetypes, but as young women on the cusp of becoming their own self-defined characters, with the possibility to change, challenge and grow…In this heady rush of adolescent energy, ideas and emotion, the ensemble work is astonishing." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

for a previous production "A searing examination of nine young girls coming of age and figuring out the persons they’re going to become...DeLappe’s rich play about the experience of being a privileged American teenager delves into everyday interactions to question how and why these girls respond the way they do...The ladies in 'The Wolves' are fierce and nuanced, bringing to life three-dimensional characters that are messy and fun and real...It is simultaneously hilarious, insightful and heartbreaking." Full Review

The Independent (UK)

for a previous production "A beautiful mix of 'war movie' and dance theatre…The best testament of the play’s powerful storytelling and universal appeal was the mixed audience, complete with older men alternately snorting laughter and wiping away tears. But it was all about the girls, and - perhaps most telling - a group of them were giggling in the front row." Full Review

Broadway & Me

for a previous production "I'm so crazy about 'The Wolves,' the new non-gender titled play written by the gifted young playwright Sarah DeLappe...Although there's the usual bickering and casual one-upmanship that's common in any group, there's very little of the bitchiness that so many fictional works seem to believe define female relationships. Plus, the acting is all-out terrific...The dialog, the direction and the performances work together to make each a distinctive and recognizable individual." Full Review

Village Voice

for a previous production "In Sarah DeLappe's smart, delightful play, a high school team is the vehicle for exploring much bigger things…DeLappe's dialogue is hilarious and idiosyncratic, moving swiftly from gross-out humor to pain. The choreography lends the scenes a beautiful rhythm, and the cast endows their characters with both lightness and depth…'The Wolves' is thrilling: for its confidence and generosity—and for its feminism. DeLappe offers us ninety minutes in a smart, sympathetic, female world." Full Review


for a previous production "DeLappe's dialogue adeptly mines the profundity out of these trivial exchanges...Equally impressive is how DeLappe gets us well-acquainted with all nine of the girls on the team, played by a roster of excellent actresses...It's a picture of female camaraderie in its most authentic form...Most heartening of all is that DeLappe has created an ensemble of distinct female characters without leaning on romantic partners or traditional feminine tropes to define them." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

for a previous production “With the audience seated in bleachers on wooden folding chairs on either side of a wide expanse of AstroTurf, you definitely get the feel of being a fly on the wall listening in to the casual conversation of garrulous teenagers. DeLappe's great strength is in capturing with remarkable accuracy the expressions, rhythms, and inflections of teenage girls, as well as their preoccupations with the trivialities of menstruation, boys, and other essentials of immediate post-pubescence.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you appreciate a good script that tells a compelling coming-of-age story of the members of a girls soccer team. You know all of these girls.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy stories about teamwork or trying to follow multiple parallel storylines.

Also NOTE: I did not see the Lincoln Center production--my review is based ... Read more Read less

Masterful, Profound, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy plays about the human experience and realism, especially about women and girls issues. All the performances and characters excel

Don't see it if You don’t care about what it’s like to grow up being a woman.

Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy watching a well-written play about competitive high school athletes over a season of success and striving.

Don't see it if You don't like concentrating to understand people talking over each other. You look for surprise or insight. This is pure reporting.

Absorbing, Intense, Must see, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if a fav; i loved it from start to finish

Don't see it if n/a

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you’d watch a day-in-the-life of teenage girls; you’ve never seen a female coming of age plot

Don't see it if you’re over adolescence; you expect new ideas about young femininity

Also The show is well directed and there are moments of great, subtle actin... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Must see, Refreshing, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you're a teenager, or are interested in teenage issues. It's a beautiful play, and everybody should would get something out of it

Don't see it if You want something light, fun and plotless

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You wish to see a superb ensemble of young performers in a totally unique and emotionally gripping show.

Don't see it if You are expecting a typical (Rocky-like) sports story.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Original topic. Very true to how teenage girls are, without the typical cliches. Several nice performances. Well staged.

Don't see it if Some people might find the cross-talk hard to understand.

Absorbing, Clever, Refreshing, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if You want a less cliched version of teenage girls.

Don't see it if You want a large production or something typical.

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you like an ensemble piece where actresses are convincing in their parts. See it if you are a teenager who plays a team sports.

Don't see it if you expect a play that keeps your interest throughout. Don't see it if a play about a girls' teenager soccer isn't your thing.

Also I didn't think the play was that bad but having been around teenagers ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you have a fondness for teenage girls as they figure themselves out Great direction especially in the 1st part when the ensemble work is A+

Don't see it if you like props and sets to play a big role.

Also This is a very good play, in my opinion. Each female character has an ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in adolescent thinking and action. There is too much going on to care about any of it or any of them. Pity

Don't see it if you are looking for an indepth development of character or plot. well acted but poorly constructed and superficial. terrible ending

Ambitious, Clever, Intense, Profound, Refreshing

See it if you want an insight into the world of teenagers today, team sports or all the complications that both provide.

Don't see it if you blush at adult language or talk about body functions and sex or aren't interested in what teenage girls are like today.

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You remember what it's like to be a teenager, or you don't and you want to be reminded how high the stakes are.

Don't see it if You don't like fast-paced dialogue or when characters speak over one another

Absorbing, Intense, Confusing, Great staging, Great ensemble

See it if Realistic rendering of the multitude of issues facing high school female athletes transitioning to adulthood (sometimes messily)

Don't see it if High school issues in suburbia may not be everyone's cup of tea; attempts to not reveal plot makes for an awkward final scene

Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Engaging

See it if you want to see the work of an exciting new voice, with an ensemble of exciting young actors, in an original, nuanced, captivating play.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the lives of teenage girls (tho this play avoids the usual stereotypes, conventions and pitfalls you might expect).

Pointless, Disappointing, Great staging, Good effort, Good ensemble,

See it if you like groups of teenage girls at their worst, rarely at their best; cohesive ensemble; you enjoy hearing everyone talking over each other

Don't see it if you do not like stereotyped characters and contrived endings. The play meanders at a slow pace, lots of words with nothing to say. Why?

Great acting, Quirky, Fast paced

See it if If you’re a soccer fan, can find teenage girls’ angst and competitive locker room conversation entertaining, and liked tThe Breakfast Club

Don't see it if If teenagers bore you to tears and/or you’re not into competitive sports

Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid, Shallow

See it if you like EXTREMELY light fare on a regurgitation of Mean Girls. good acting and staging

Don't see it if Vapid & shallow. Unfocused & Pointless. Pretty much a headless chicken mentioning all Mean Girl topics and delving into none. Unemotional.

Also With Mean Girls the Musical coming up and MCC's School Girls just ende... Read more Read less

Great acting, Relevant

See it if you like ensemble pieces, good acting & direction.

Don't see it if you don't want a closer look at a group of middle-class American teenage girls.

Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Well acted

See it if It's well acted and the depiction of high school teens seem to be fairly realistic.

Don't see it if Show meanders around - Another mean girls story with no new perspective - Girls can be catty & everyone has issues. Nothing new here.

Also The concept has potential but I didn't find the story to be very enter... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you like sports and are interested in teenage lives. You will enjoy the complexity of the characters and watch them grow.

Don't see it if you don't care about teenagers and their problems. If you think that teenage problems are not as important as your problems.

Entertaining, Nostalgic

See it if you like characterization; each of these girls is a fully fleshed out human just in the conversations before a soccer game.

Don't see it if bouncing between talking about the Khmer Rouge, periods, soccer and more all at the same time with same significance will bother you

Clever, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if You'd like to see a girls' HS soccer team reveal their lives and hopes and tragedies while doing warmups for games. Fast and absorbing.

Don't see it if You like straight narratives and varied settings. Expect upbeat endings. Don't know or like soccer or plays about sports.

Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Unfocused

See it if you want strong acting in naturalistic (almost eavesdropping) play about the members of a high school age girls soccer team.

Don't see it if I recognize this as thoughtful theater, although must acknowledge I was often bored by seemingly endless adolescent chatter without focus.

Cast & Creatives (17)