Written by Sarah DeLappe, and co-produced by Crow’s Theatre and Toronto’s fiercely independent theatre ensemble The Howland Company, The Wolves is an energetic and powerful play that honours the complexity of teenage girls by exploring how they interact and support one another on the soccer field. HOW UTTERLY REFRESHING. 

Founded five years ago when members Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Ruth Goodwin and Hallie Seline were recent graduates, The Howland Company was created to provide opportunity. “It’s hard to get noticed as an up-and-coming actor. You have to produce your own work,” says Lancaster, director of The Wolves. “It grew to become not only about opportunities but [also about] telling stories where we got to play people our own age, our own experience, and our own generation.” 

The Wolves, which they first discovered on the New Play Exchange, a site dedicated to strong plays written by women, ticked all the boxes: “It’s been so exciting having a cast with ten women and non-binary actors, most of whom are the same age,” says Lancaster. “We never get to do that. You are so often the solo ingenue in a room with a bunch of older people, a bunch of dudes.” 

Beyond getting to work with a talented young group, Lancaster, Goodwin and Seline found the Wolves storyline to be original and energizing. “We get Mean Girls and things like Clueless, but we rarely get to see a band of young warrior women going through a trial together and coming out the other side,” says Lancaster. 

As a soccer player in her youth, Seline loves acting out this role. “I identify with it so much. Being on a soccer team, a dance team, or any kind of group of young women, you get to see the power play that happens amongst the group. The girls are constantly shifting and deciding who they are, depending on who they are surrounded by.”

As I watched the cast kick around a ball in rehearsal and banter while stretching, be it high school gossip or their thoughts about major global issues, I was instantly brought back to that chapter of my life, so much so that I could feel the wet grass on my ankles and see the mist on the morning field.

“These women go through highs and lows, they’re complicated and flawed, and they have huge hearts. It’s a very specific high school girl who is playing elite soccer on Saturday mornings. They’re hoping to get scholarships for university, which implies a certain level of academic achievement that they need to hit,” says Goodwin, who, like Seline, is finding it to be an exhilarating experience to both produce the show and play one of the girls. “They’re doing all this while going through the changes of being sixteen and seventeen years old.” It’s not a type of character often shown on screen or on stage, but it is done so with brilliance in The Wolves

The Wolves is playing at Crow’s Theatre until October 27, and it is recommended for age eleven and up. Don’t miss out on this brilliant show that will have you revisiting your own youth from an entirely new vantage point.