Red Ryder Productions warm-up for The Wolves

Molly Earnshaw (Victoria Park), Alison van Reeken (St James) and Elise Wilson (North Perth). Picture: David Baylis d494890
Molly Earnshaw (Victoria Park), Alison van Reeken (St James) and Elise Wilson (North Perth). Picture: David Baylis d494890

REHEARSALS for The Wolves by Perth-based independent theatre company Red Ryder Productions have involved more than the usual script learning and scene blocking, given it is about a teenage girls soccer team.

Theatre company co-founder Alison van Reeken, who also has a small role as The Soccer Mum, said the cast had been doing a 45-minute physical warm-up at each rehearsal to build stamina for the soccer drills in the show.

“The challenge is a bit different to a usual play,” she said.

Written by New York playwright Sarah De Lappe, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play is set in Middle America at an under 17 girls soccer team.

“Each scene is set in their warm-up before a game so there is a lot of soccer happening around them, but it’s more about their conversations and the kinds of things young women talk about,” van Reeken, of St James, said.

“Here they’re not seen as someone’s girlfriend, daughter or sister; they’re just them in their own space, completely comfortable.

“They’re athletic young women too which is something we’re seeing more of with the growth of AFLW, the Matildas and women’s cricket. “It’s a space women can be in that’s powerful, physical and strong.

“They have silly conversations, because of course they’re teenagers, but they’re also talking about contemporary world events and there’s a little bit of tragedy towards the end that they have to deal with. It’s a broad spectrum.”

Van Reeken said she was impressed by the innovation of De Lappe’s script where the voices of the nine young women were overlapped in conversations, as would happen in real life.

“When I read it, I was so exhilarated by it and questioned why I’d never seen something like this before, then I got angry because I’d never seen it before,” she said.

“I hope audiences are exhilarated by watching it too. It’s about widening people’s ideas of what a young woman can be, which is sort of parallel to post-Me Too.

“They can get angry about things and don’t have to be polite all the time or passive aggressive because they’re not allowed to be confrontational.

“And it is a really funny script with lots of humour. It’s 90 minutes with no interval, so it just rollicks along in its combination of sport and theatre; you get the best of both worlds.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Wolves

Where: The Blue Room Theatre

When: August 20 to September 7

Tickets: www.blueroom.org.au

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