Elements Of Drama In The Wolves By Sarah Delappe
The Wolves by Sarah Delappe is a contemporary slice of life play telling the story of a teenage girl soccer team dealing with life as it comes at them. It uses Aristotle’s six elements of drama to entice its audience and create a dramatic piece that has its viewers engaged during the entire production. Three of the six elements used in The Wolves include music, spectacle and theme.
The use of music is apparent as soon as you walked into the house. The house music used was all by strong female artists that many girls in that age range would have in their personal playlists. These artists include Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Faith Marie, and Julia Brennan. These artists are incredibly popular currently and cater towards teenage girls within the age range as the characters on stage. This does an amazing job at representing this element. As soon as you walk into the house you know about the show, even if you went in not knowing anything. During the actual production there was little to no sound cues other than the scene transitions and a phone ding in the very last scene. While most of the scene transitions were “Week __” the only week that wasn’t like that was week 5, where instead it was “Time Out.” This was the scene when the goalkeeper #00 had her breakdown, and right before we find out that #14 was killed in an accident. This helped carry the story and shifted the mood towards the climax to where the audience knew something serious had just happened. While the use of very little sound cues made it more centered on the characters and their growth throughout the play, if I was the one that was in charge of the sound I would have added some music during the time that they were warming up by running with high knees and bun kicks. That was the only time I was taken out of the story by the lack of dialogue and I believe, in my own opinion, that adding music would have kept the story moving.
The use of spectacle includes the set, props, costumes, lighting, and everything else you see on stage. While the set was minimal, with only turf on the stage and a bench on stage right for some scenes, it was enough to where the audience knew where it was taken place. The minimal set allowed for all the attention to be on the actors and not all over the stage. This also made it to where the acting really had to shine as they had nothing to hide behind. Props were also minimal with only a bag of soccer balls, some crutches, a coffee cup, a bench, backpacks, phones, and the infamous bag of orange slices. The orange slices were a very important part of the entire story with the ending picture including #14’s mother giving the team a bag after her daughter had passed, bringing the team together once again. One of the most impressive feats that was pulled off was #25 coming in for the week 6 game with a shaved head. With all the activity that was happening on stage, the fact that during 90% of the show she has a wig on and that the audience wasn’t aware gave the surprise much more impact. Each technical moment shows off the spectacle element in a way that creates a beautiful show that sells this story to its audience. I actually believe I wouldn’t change any of it as it was all very well done and fit with the story.
The last of the three would be the theme of the play. Since theme is subjective and is whatever you take from the story, this will all be under my opinion. The explicit theme would be
Identity. This is not your standard run of the mill play about young women. They are not defined by their relationship with a boy, or their sex life. This is about the team. As they are not even named in the play, rather called by their team number, they each strive to make themselves unique while still doing what’s best for the team. They are all struggling to find their ways to fit in and stand out. This theme especially comes into play when discussing #46 and her character arc. As the new girl on a team that’s played together for years, the odds are already stacked against her. There’s many things that make her stand out but really only after she shows them that she’s super talented in soccer do they start to let her in. The implicit theme comes from status, and where each girls roles correlate with them. Their roles mean a lot to them as it becomes a part of them, take #7 as she played striker for years, but whenever #46 takes over her job, she believes that shes not good enough and continues to go until she’s injured herself from not stopping. Their status relates directly back to who they are as characters. With the captain, #25, being the leader, or the striker, #7, being the one with a problem with authority. This play uses the theme element to tell a story that many can relate to, and that creates a dramatic unforgettable story.
The Wolves is a story that has captured many audiences’ hearts. It is one of the most produced plays on college campuses this year and with good reason. It uses Aristotle’s 6 elements to create a captivating story that many an audience is sure to love, including theme, music and spectacle.
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