We've seen plenty of depictions of men's locker room antics but young female athletes take center stage this week in "The Wolves," playing at Bakersfield College.
Staged in BC's outdoor theater, the play by Sarah DeLappe, which was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist, focuses on a girls soccer team who are seen over time during warm-ups for various matches.
BC adjunct faculty member Cory Geurtsen, who directed the show with theater professor Brian Sivesind, said this takes those locker room moments and reflects on the world beyond.
"This is a group of young women going through their pre-soccer game ritual," she wrote in an email. "The writer addresses heavy topics like genocide, race, reproductive rights, life and death — but never in a preachy or overt way."
Sivesind said his co-director coached the young women on their acting while he took the sports coach angle, blocking scenes and aiding with soccer skills.
"Soccer is a great metaphor for the struggle they face because it's a game of constant adversity and intensity," he wrote in an email. "But the soccer is actually secondary to the relationships of the characters. The major themes are overcoming obstacles, large and small, and dealing with loss."
Geurtsen said she was happy to help the performers build their characters: "It is an all female cast with touchy subjects, so it was good to be there to be able to help create a safe space."
Sivesind said he is extremely proud of their cast, which includes some new performers.
"A couple of them have never been in a play (though they've taken acting classes) and yet they blend in seamlessly with the more seasoned actors," he wrote. "They deal with the issues in the play with grace and nuance. And they've worked so hard to prepare. It's an extremely challenging play and they have exceeded all expectations."
This show offers a chance to witness emerging talent, Geurtsen said.
"Many of these actors are headed to the L.A. area in the fall for university. This play is an opportunity to catch a rising star!"
"The Wolves" runs through Saturday at BC.