Ends Jan 07

The Wolves

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Refreshing, Great writing
16 reviews
239 reviews

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.

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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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Cast & Creatives (17)

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Reviews (255)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

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


“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

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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


"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

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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking, Touching

See it if you like straightforward narrative in innovative yet realistic manner, enjoy women's sports & seeing young women at varying maturity

Don't see it if Overlapping dialogue bothers you, have no interest in women's sports, you are not permitted within 500 feet of young women

Great acting, Must see, Refreshing, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you love dense, rapid (often overlapping) dialogue and beautiful, physical stagings.

Don't see it if plays set in high school don't interest you.

Also I loved this show. I laughed and cried and feel like I got a whole lot... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Must see, Great staging

See it if you love to witness amazing theater. The cast is superb. The direction amazing. This is a must see!

Don't see it if you don't like good theater.

Disappointing, Great staging, Good ensemble, Contrived ending

See it if You are excited about great staging, a talented all-female ensemble, and young adult stories.

Don't see it if You want to see a strong play that is moving without being contrived.

Also Full disclosure--I write children's and young adult books and was look... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Timely, Great staging

See it if You want to see an all female ensemble do an excellent job at portraying the world of teens in sports.

Don't see it if You want a nuanced story that doesn't use keeping us in the dark as a plot device.

Disappointing, Great choreography, Great ensemble acting

See it if You are interested in the issues and interactions of teenage girls.

Don't see it if You have a daughter in a youth soccer league.

Ambitious, Clever, Resonant

See it if you care about issues of teens (esp. girls). Nails their voice--witty and cringeworthy. Beautiful rendering of pack mentality of sports.

Don't see it if you seek plot...story imposed on girls team and *spoiler alert* ending feels forced.

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you have been a soccer family and will especially appreciate the insights and fully developed characters of the team players

Don't see it if you are not open to unconventional theater.

Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Must see

See it if you want a great, engrossing ensemble play

Don't see it if you dont care about the problems of teenagers

Ambitious, Great acting, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy coming of age pieces that focus on teenage women on a soccer team.

Don't see it if a drama with cohesive conclusions is what you seek, this play asks a lot of questions with few answers

Disappointing, Cliched, Slow

See it if you want a play with crisp dialogue but little real action and a good deal of clichéd manipulation by the author.

Don't see it if you are looking for a real drama, conflict, an important message or sustained action that is completely credible.

Confusing, Excruciating, Cliched, Slow

See it if you want a play that took a snapshot of what some teenage girls are going through.

Don't see it if you get easily confused by overlapping conversations and don't enjoy a dialogue heavy play.

Clever, Banal

See it if a 'small' play that deals with teen women who are going through all the ups and downs of becoming adults.

Don't see it if you mind overlapping conversations, want to see a 'real' storyline.

Also this was a hard one for me. It really resonated with my 23 year old da... Read more Read less

Relevant, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if contemporary writing with contemporary voice is your thing

Don't see it if you hate uptalk, the over use of "like"s and a stereotypical teenage talk

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Must see, Great writing

See it if you feel empowered by theatre by women for women - the storytelling of the lives of teenage girls feels so real

Don't see it if you can't handle overlapping dialogue or theatre in the round - or something that ends on a light note

Great acting, Must see, Refreshing

See it if Great ensemble piece where you feel like you’re eavesdropping on teenage girls with their smart takes on life and individual personalities

Don't see it if You can’t handle overlapping dialogue though it’s realistic. Nice to see the teamwork of the actors and the athletes they portray.

Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Entertaining, Terrific ensemble

See it if you like plays about young women on the verge of adulthood, struggling with feelings about the future- family, men, the world, friendships

Don't see it if you expect an elaborate set; think the play is about the forest; have no interest in teenage angst; can't follow 2 conversations at once

Also Wolves is a drama about a suburban girls soccer team. Through conversa... Read more Read less

Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if Funny,clever and a lot of truth. Tells you a lot about teenage girls. It's a bit too long.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in watching young women learn life lessons,you won't like this

Clever, Overrated, Too long

See it if You enjoy a good idea nicely written and staged though too long by a third

Don't see it if the depth of writing matters to you. There is just so much time you can spend in the ladies locker room

Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Screechy, Dull

See it if You are interested in hearing screeching girls. You currently have a teenage girl so are in the throes of their drama.

Don't see it if You have already been through the teenage years with your kids. You have already been through all of this stuff.

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Team of blistering adolescence, sharing a common goal: female adulthood. Great ensemble.

Don't see it if Rapid fire dialogue takes some adjustment. Cannot get a ticket.

Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Underrepresented

See it if Were ever a teen girl, or wonder how they think. Almost ethnographic examination of push and pull of teens/teams. Support F cast & creatives

Don't see it if Slightly too formulaic plot stuffed with happenings and backstory. But so impeccably crafted, it's forgivable.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You want to experience a unique play dealing with the life issues of teenage girls as they train and play high school soccer.Cast is great!

Don't see it if You are disinterested in a play that uses soccer to explore the important life circumstances of high school girls

Intense, Well acted, Very realistic

See it if you like a realistic portrayal of what often goes on during youth soccer warm-ups. Have personally seen this show "on the field".

Don't see it if only like comedy or musicals

Intense, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you are up for an unusual evening of theatre, with lots of overlapping dialogue and some ambiguity at first.

Don't see it if you prefer more traditional structure or find it hard to relate to teenage girls and their issues.