More than a game: ‘The Wolves’ opens Nov. 17 at Wayne State University’s Hilberry Gateway

Rehearsal for "The Wolves," presented through Dec. 10 by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance.

Sitting on the sidelines isn’t a negative when attending Wayne State University’s upcoming performances of playwright Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves.” 

In this coming-of-age story, “The Wolves” centers on nine high school soccer players — supported by one soccer mom — as they prepare for weekly battles against their opposition. As the team warms up, they discuss family, politics and what life holds for them beyond the infinite bubble of soccer balls and turf.  

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to premiere the show as part of the Hilberry Gateway’s inaugural season. Opening Friday, Nov. 17, in the Hilberry Gateway’s STUDIO and running through Dec. 10, audiences will be transported into the group huddle through undergraduate student Alex Pordon’s set design alongside graduate student Justin Gibson’s immersive soundscapes. 

While “The Wolves” revolves its story around an undefeated high school girls’ soccer team, the playwright notes “this play is not really about soccer.” DeLappe, who was pursuing a master’s at Brooklyn College when inspiration struck to write “The Wolves,” told her alma mater she wrote the play in one short burst — three weeks — after attending an exhibition at the New Museum. She said she was fascinated by the distance between the privilege of the museumgoers and the harsh cruelty the exhibit was focusing on. 

Taking this production beyond the script, the performances will collaborate throughout the run of “The Wolves” with I Support the Girls-Detroit to host a bra and period product donation drive in the Hilberry Gateway’s lobby. 

“The Wolves” is guest directed by Sherrine Azab, co-founder of A Host of People’s and part-time faculty member, and features 10 undergraduate theatre students tasked with not only memorizing their lines but also learning (for many of them) a brand-new sport. 

For Azab, it’s “a play about the process of becoming ourselves” and one reason she was drawn to the show. “How do we figure out what we believe,” she said, “what our opinions are, and how we contend with the battles of life, big and small?” 

“This play focuses on a group of young women who are at a place in their lives where that process is huge, new and urgent as they stand on the cusp of adulthood,” Azab continued. “But the action of continuing to process who we are in the face of change in this world and in our own lives — that is universal, and it never ends.” 

See all dates and times and purchase tickets online or by calling the Hilberry Gateway box office at (313) 577-2972. 

Media contact 

Iyla Stebbins,, (717) 856-0968 

About the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts 

The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts is home to today’s aspiring artists, performers, technicians, scholars, dancers, debaters, entrepreneurs, and communication professionals who all represent the college’s legacy of excellence in our respective fields. The college serves students majoring in 17 undergraduate programs, 10 graduate programs and three graduate certificates through its departments: the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art, Art History and Design, the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, and the Departments of Communication and Music. From debate to dance, jazz to journalism, and fashion design to center stage, our students create captivating performances, inspire artistic and academic excellence, and conduct innovative research on behalf of our Detroit community. 

About Wayne State University 
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 24,000 students. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about Wayne State University, visit

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