High school drama club brings ‘The Wolves’ to stage

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  • The Whitefish High School Drama Club practices a scene from “The Wolves” last week at the school. The club presents the play Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 in the Black Box Theater at the high school. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 1

    Playing a soccer player, Joanna Hannigan points to one of her teammates in a stretching session during a dress rehearsal last week for “The Wolves” at Whitefish High School. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 2

    Lauren Matchett handles a soccer ball during a dress rehearsal last week for “The Wolves” at Whitefish High School. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

  • The Whitefish High School Drama Club practices a scene from “The Wolves” last week at the school. The club presents the play Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 in the Black Box Theater at the high school. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 1

    Playing a soccer player, Joanna Hannigan points to one of her teammates in a stretching session during a dress rehearsal last week for “The Wolves” at Whitefish High School. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 2

    Lauren Matchett handles a soccer ball during a dress rehearsal last week for “The Wolves” at Whitefish High School. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

A group of teenagers pass the soccer ball back and forth with their feet while their conversations overlap.

They trade gossip, speak of friends and talk about more serious topics like world politics. Their raw adolescent fears and dreams comes through in every scene as the Whitefish High School Drama Club presents “The Wolves” in its fall production.

The ensemble cast includes Eden Scrafford, Joanna Hannigan, Lauren Matchett, Sophie Tabor, Jordan Hayes, Lucy Schindler, Ella Shaw, Elena Lazorishak, Jillian Madison and Kathryn Rossi.

“The Wolves” by Sarah de Lappe takes a look inside the lives of teenage girls as a team of elite players go through their warm-up routines. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama in 2017.

The nine players on the team are identified only by their numbers. Scarlett Schindler, WHS Drama Coach, provided each actor with a few lines describing their player, but beyond that it was left to each to determine the intricacies of their character.

Joanna Hannigan says each of the cast members had to determine the story behind their character, while taking into consideration the full picture of the play that doesn’t come together until the final scenes.

“They don’t have names,” she said. “Their friends and other characters are mentioned by name, but not the players. It was hard to know from the dialogue exactly what they were feeling and we had to look at how to interpret that.”

The play includes overlapping dialogue that includes pairs of the girls having their own conversation while still adding thoughts to the main topic. As the teens stretch and converse, it’s seemingly a true representation for how a team might act during their warm-up sessions every week. Besides learning a few soccer moves, the cast says, finding the rhythm of the play has been the most challenging.

Lauren Matchett says while the dialogue and flow makes the play true to life, it’s also meant more work for the actors.

“So often in traditional theater you say a line and then someone else does,” she said. “But this includes overlapping dialogue that makes the conversations natural.”

The topics talked about by the soccer players are true to life of the conversations that teenage girls have, many of the cast explained. Subjects include menstrual cycles, but also laughing at the opposing team’s yellow jerseys.

“All the conversations are so realistic,” Lucy Schindler said. “They are a bitchy group of girls, but they also care about each other.”

Sophie Tabor takes on the part of the new girl on the team who doesn’t yet know what’s happening, but is trying to fit in. She says the play is different than any she’s been a part of before.

“Most plays have an overarching story, but in this play you don’t really figure out what’s happening until it’s over,” she said. “The last scene ties it together.”

The subject matter of the play is considered “mature.”

The Drama Club will hold two performances of “The Wolves” on Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theater at Whitefish High School. Tickets, sold at the door, are $5 for students and $8 for adults.

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