UVA Drama to Open 2018-2019 Seaason with Sarah DeLappe’s 2016 Pulitzer-Prize Finalist Play THE WOLVES


Amanda McRaven, UVA Alumna and Noted Director, To Direct This Multi-Layered Look At The Lives of Nine Members of a Girls High School Soccer Team That Offers a Rare And Very Human Window On The Struggles, Joys, Triumphs, And Tragedies of Female Adolescence Today


The UVA Department of Drama will launch its 2018-2019 season with Sarah DeLappe’s award-winning play The Wolves, which will open on October 18 at the Ruth Caplin Theatre.

This remarkable 2016 debut effort from playwright DeLappe earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for its unflinching look at female adolescence through the stories of nine members of a girls’ high school soccer team, told as they gather for pre-practice stretches.  Under the glare of indoor soccer lights, the teammates share stories, silly banter, fears, quirks, pain, and more, creating a highly compelling window into what it means to be a young woman coming of age in our world today. Ben Brantley of the New York Times raved, “The scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence emanates from every scene of this uncannily assured first play by Sarah DeLappe.”

The Wolves, directed by UVA alumna Amanda McRaven, plays at the Ruth Caplin Theatre from October 18-20 and October 24-27 at 8pm and October 20 at 2pm.

Ticket prices for The Wolves are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, UVA faculty and staff and alumni association members, and $8 for students. Tickets are available online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, by calling 434-924-3376, or in-person from noon until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the UVA Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama building.

Amanda McRaven is a Los Angeles-based graduate of the University of Virginia’s Drama Department, a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society who is known for her acclaimed productions around the country. She has directed works in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Virginia. McRaven has also assisted some of the leading directors in theatre today, including Dominique Serrand on Red Noses at The Actors Gang; Daniel Sullivan on Hamlet at South Coast Repertory Theatre; and Bill Rauch on Clean House at Lincoln Center Theater. She regularly directs and creates in the Los Angeles area, including making physical ensemble theater with her company, Fugitive Kind. She also helmed The Voice Project, a writing and performance ensemble for female inmates in Troy, Virginia.

McRaven said that she is especially moved and honored to return to Grounds to direct this particular play at this particular time. “It is really powerful for me,” she said. “I would be honored to direct this play anywhere at any time, but the chance to come back to a place that was so influential for me is really powerful. This has been a very personal journey for me as well, particularly to have been a ‘baby feminist’ when I was here in the 1990’s, and now to come back as a full-fledged feminist director who has made her career with this kind of work. It feels, in a sense, like a culmination.”

McRaven has been particularly impressed by the way DeLappe has created these nine very distinct characters, who, each in her own way, carry the story while being referred to only by their jersey number throughout the play. “It is really remarkable,” McRaven said, “and she does it really intentionally. You start out hearing this wash of voices and each story emerges as its own little rivulet coming off of this main stream. It really lets the audience get on board with these women from the very beginning as they get to know them and see their development, their respective streams are woven together to create what becomes a stunning narrative.” This approach makes the play an ensemble piece in every sense of the word, McRaven said. “I have not been able to do a single night of rehearsal without all nine cast members there. Every voice is so crucial. Everyone carries their weight. It also helped to build a team atmosphere among the cast much faster than on other scripts.”

The timing of this production against the backdrop of the events grabbing headlines in America today has made the rehearsal process even more moving, McRaven said. “It has been so amazing to be in the presence of these nine women who are just so fierce and so smart. I walked in while they were stretching the other day and they were having an incredible conversation about their impressions of the Kavanaugh hearing. It’s really powerful for all of us to honor the voices of young people at this time of transition in their lives. And it is also important to see these fascinating and uniquely three-dimensional characters dealing with major events for the first time in their lives, and figuring out how to do it bravely, how to take care of themselves and each other through the process, and how to keep going.”

The Wolves play promotional photo

The cast of THE WOLVES (l-r): Heidi Waldenmaier, Jamie Kang, Katharine Leggett, Rosemary Boatner-Doane, Emma Simmons, Savannah Hard, Clayre Attisani, Tori Kotsen, and Yvonne Nguyen. Photo by Martyn Kyle of Pernmoot Photography.