by Ann Greer
“The Wolves” is an intense, action packed hour and a half play, without intermission. Nine members of the cast, all portraying teenage girl soccer players, rigorously exercise and animatedly talk on a stage of artificial turf.
The cast of The Wolves
Meanwhile, Anne Bowles, who plays the Soccer Mom, sits backstage at a small table stocked with water and chewing gum, and waits for her only entrance, at the end of the play. Her speech, an intense three-and-a half minutes, is crucial. Preparation for performing the speech began with discussions with director Marti Lyons.
“We met one on one. [Playwright Sarah DeLappe] has clues in the script about the mom. Our interpretation is that she’s a very involved mom, in all respects a good mom, and I think the play supports that,” Bowles says.
Sara Turner, Chrissy Rose, Gabby Beans, and Merissa Czyz
Interestingly, in preview performances Lyons and Bowles made changes to the interpretation of the character, deciding to emphasize her manic energy. Bowles admits that she is aided by suffering from stage fright.
“It’s always a little terrifying. I sit and listen to the play with my eyes closed…as my nervousness increases, I have to work to harness it and take that energy on stage. It’s also fun because I know the ride the audience is going to be on,” Bowles says.
“I have to enter with a ‘shot out of a cannon’ feel,” she adds. “It’s weirdly tiring; I don’t realize how much energy I’m using, listening backstage.”
“The Wolves” is now playing at Studio Theatre, through March 11, 2018. Tickets: studiotheatre.org or 202-332-3300.
Photos by Teresa Wood.
Ann Greer has covered culture in the DC region for The Washington Post, Capitol File magazine, and WAMU-FM, among others. She was the first online theater critic in the DC region, for AOL Digital City Washington.