This Play About A Girls Soccer Team Kicks Up The Issues Facing Young Women

The powerful play was a finalist for the Pulitzer.

“The Wolves” cast members Emma Roos (#7), Carolyn Faye Kramer (#8), Isabel Langen (#2), Portland Thomas (#11), Sango Tajima (#25), Neiry Rojo (#46), and Nicole Apostol Bruno (#13) prepare for a game. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Nine young women dressed in soccer uniforms juggle and pass a soccer ball and talk to each other not on a field but on a stage in front of an audience. This is the scene for the play “The Wolves,” written by award-winning playwright Sarah DeLappe as a powerful means to explore the challenges of being a teenage girl.


The curtains closed on the play’s final showing at the Bay Area’s Marin Theatre Company in April 2018, but “The Wolves” took the audience on a journey in an unconventional way, depicting a high school girls soccer team navigating the challenges of life through the scope of sports. With overlapping dialogue, the characters — identified only by their jersey numbers — engaged in various conversations ranging from gossip to romantic relationships to their coach’s hangover.

Morgan Green, the director of the Pulitzer-Prize-finalist play, says about her first reading of the script, “I was struck by how authentic the dialogue was: full of youthful energy and confusion while still portraying nine intelligent and distinct young women.”

For Carolyn Faye Kramer, who played #8, the conversations the girls have in the play did not feel watered down. “Sarah DeLappe created complex characters who are dynamic,” she says. “But I think what stands out the most is that conversations felt real and really showcased how girls talk.”

Cast members Nicole Apostol Bruno (#13), Portland Thomas (#11), Carolyn Faye Kramer (#8), Isabel Langen (#2), Sango Tajima (#25), Betsy Norton (#00), Emma Roos (#7), and Jannely Calmell (#14) warm up in pairs. Photo by Kevin Berne.

The importance of creating complicated characters was stressed with the cast members and director. The play’s setting in a soccer facility helped to shift the focus to the girls being seen as people. “The context of a girls soccer team helps desexualize the characters and enables us to see them not as teenage stereotypes but as complex individuals dealing with issues of morality, ambition, and betrayal,” Green says.

DeLappe, who played soccer growing up, wanted to write a play about girls where the focus wasn’t on their bodies. “We’re on a planet of teenage girls, and they’re the only people there, and they’re not there as daughters or girlfriends or sex objects or manic pixie dream girls. They can just talk with each other and be rough with each other,” DeLappe told The New York Times.

Part of the authenticity of the characters was seen through their interactions when dealing with the range of emotions experienced by teenagers. “These girls don't hold back. When they are mean to each other, they are brutal. And when they apologize or congratulate each other, they deeply mean it,” Green says.

“When I first read the script, I fell in love with it,” says Lyle Belger, understudy for #15. “It was so similar to how my friends and I interact. I thought I was reading about a real teenager’s life.”

Belger says she grew up playing soccer and feels the play showcased how sports can have a meaningful impact on girls’ lives. “My soccer team had a built-in unspoken community. We looked out for each other and had a strong bond between everyone,” she explains.

While alluding to a tragic event that took place near the end of the play, Belger says the team in “The Wolves” came together “not so much as a team but more so as a family.”

Cast members Isabel Langen (#2), Carolyn Faye Kramer (#8), Emma Roos (#7), Sango Tajima (#25), and Betsy Norton (#00) at soccer practice/rehearsal. Photo by Jeff Berlin.

In preparation for the play, the ensemble worked with a soccer coach, Shane Kennedy, running through soccer drills and learning the dynamics of what it means to work together as a team. Kennedy, who is an artist and coaches girls soccer, was excited to merge the sport with the arts. “I think there a there are a lot of similarities between the arts and athletics in terms of fearlessness and having to be creative,” he says.

The parallels between playing soccer and working as an actor are quite similar, says Kramer. “For instance, there’s a scene in the play where a college coach is looking to recruit some of the players,” she says. “And in acting, you’re often wondering if there’s a casting director or a producer in the audience who you’re looking to impress.”

With the overlapping analogies between art, sports, and life, the play does an exceptional job of showing how sports can not only play an integral part in building self-confidence but also self-awareness. It also reminds the audience just how challenging it is to be a teenager and the pressures young girls face in society.

Green says that while she hopes girls see themselves in the play, she wants them to walk away from it “knowing that their stories matter.” She adds, “I hope parents are reminded of how difficult it is to know what kind of person to be. And how when we are sixteen years old, it temporarily feels as though none of our experiences have been had by anyone else ever before or since.”

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

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The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Viral


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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