‘The Wolves’ set to be powerful Fringe Fest capstone

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Written by Sarah DeLappe and directed by Alaina Manchester, “The Wolves” candidly explores the lives of nine teenage soccer players as they negotiate relationships, confront challenges, celebrate victories and share losses, both on and off the field.
At rehearsal last week, the cast was buzzing with excitement.
“While the characters fall into some stereotypes, each one carries some truth about being a teenage girl,” said Lauren Miller, a junior theater design & technologies and interdiscplinary studies major.
Each character is denoted only by her number, not her name.
Mckenna Martinosky, a junior physician assistant major, deeply relates to her character, No. 14.
“Oh, I was such a No. 14,” Martinosky said with a laugh. “Like her, I was surrounded by some people in high school who didn’t always build me up, and I kind of succumbed to that.”
Katie Howey, also a junior physician assistant major, remarked that her character is just plain mean.
“No. 7 is definitely vicious, but she’s gone through a lot of trauma,” Howey said. “The play really highlights the coping skills of each character.”
When asked about the overarching themes of the play, a chorus of voices filled the room.
“Girl power.” “Empathy.” “Healing.” “Friendship.”
A beat of silence fell, and a lone voice offered up a final response.
“The importance of listening to stories,” said Lydia Nemeth, a freshman environmental engineering major. “Many of the characters in the play have been silenced. How would things be different if we listened, really listened, to one another?”
Nemeth has been involved behind the scenes in several productions, but like half the cast, this will be her debut performance on the Schuster stage. She is also assisting with costume design.
Rylee Hanlin, a sophomore theater performance major, emphasized that amidst sadness and anguish, there is also plenty of humor. Her sentiment was quickly echoed by the rest of the group.
Other talented cast members include Chae Fitzgerald, Regan von Richter and Rebecca Ropelewski.
Petra Shearer, a junior theater performance and English major, is a veteran of the Schuster stage, but ‘The Wolves’ holds a unique place in her heart.
“This is a really special cast because we’re close friends outside of this,” said Shearer, gesturing around the rehearsal room. “That chemistry really shows when we’re onstage together.”
While the play ultimately serves to uplift and empower, explicit language and some uncomfortable topics make this production better suited for mature audiences.
“The Wolves” takes the stage at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Though tickets are free, it is highly recommended to reserve your seats online at schustertheatre.com.
The box office will accept reservations until 4:30 p.m. on the day of weekday performances, and 4:30 p.m. Friday before the weekend performance.
The box office opens one hour prior to each performance, and tickets not claimed by 15 minutes before the show will be released to the general public.
All donations collected will go toward supporting the Schuster Theatre trip to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in the world’s largest arts festival this summer.

ALEX STAUFF
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