Limelight South Valley Civic Theatre The Wolves
Limelight by South Valley Civic Theatre’s “The Wolves” opens Sept. 8 for a two-week run at the Gilroy Center for the Arts. Photo: Elizabeth Mandel
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Just before rehearsal for “The Wolves” kicked off on the evening of Aug. 24, the Gilroy Center for the Arts was filled with the sounds of excited chatter, outbursts of giggling and the occasional shout.

The cast of nine girls, the majority in their teens, had only begun rehearsing fairly recently, and many didn’t know each other before they were cast in the show.

But they quickly formed a close bond, not only on stage but off it, something that proves critical to portraying a girls’ soccer team in Limelight by South Valley Civic Theatre’s “The Wolves,” which opens for a two-week run on Sept. 8.

The play, written by Sarah DeLappe, follows the girls who play for the Wolves team, as they touch on a variety of mature subjects, such as abortion, world politics, cancer and death.

Director Carol Harris said “The Wolves” focuses on many real-life situations that can be uncomfortable, yet the young cast is handling it with poise.

“The girls are marvelous,” she said. “They’ve built a team.”

The focus on the team is prevalent throughout “The Wolves,” where the girls do not have names, only numbers.

Riley Brown, a Christopher High School senior who is portraying “#7,” said the lack of names establishes a blank slate, allowing audiences to gain a sense of who the character is through her actions and words.

Gavilan College student Allie Purtell, whose character “#14” is described as #7’s “insecure sidekick,” agreed, adding that the audience will find many things to relate to from the differing personalities of all the characters.

“These characters are very much based on real things people do,” she said.

Brown described “The Wolves” as “extreme realism,” where difficult topics are discussed but in a comedic sense.

“These are tough subjects that can hit home for a decent amount of people,” she said.

“It’s unlike any other theatrical performance I’ve seen,” Purtell said. “It’s very real and very raw. It’s so different from a typical show with defined characters. This way, people will be able to see themselves in the characters and relate to the issues.”

Emma Beck of Gilroy, who portrays “#46,” said that while she has already known some of the cast, there are others she didn’t, taking it upon herself to get to know her fellow performers.

“It’s really great to come together with all these girls of varying ages,” she said. “I think we’ve all connected with our characters in one way shape or form. I’m really proud of the girls and how the show has turned out.”

One of the challenges of the performance, Beck added, is learning some soccer moves while acting at the same time, as most of the cast has not played the sport before.

To help, Brown’s father Ryan, a soccer coach, has been teaching the girls some moves of the sport. Still, Beck, noting that she has “no foot-eye coordination,” said she is “terrified of kicking the ball into the audience,” who sit close to the action on three sides of the thrust stage.

Beck said she encourages audiences to see the show multiple times, as there will likely be things they missed the first time around, since many scenes have multiple conversations and actions happening at the same time.

“It’s something where everyone can come to the show and say, ‘I relate to someone or some thing,’” she said. “There’s something for everyone, and I think it’s a fantastic thing.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Harris.

“In this show, people can relieve their experiences,” she said. “Some people may be shocked by the language they use, but that’s how kids are these days. I think people will see beyond that to see the value of unity and friendships.”

“The Wolves” opens Sept. 8 and runs through Sept. 17 at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, 7341 Monterey St. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm.

For information and tickets, visit

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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