Getting Some Kicks At TheaterWorks' 'The Wolves'

Emily Murphy 

Emily Murphy 

“Strong is beautiful,” says Emily Murphy, who plays the team captain of a girls’ soccer team in the play The Wolves, which is being presented at Hartford’s TheaterWorks Oct. 5-Nov. 12.

In the Sarah DeLappe work, which was an off-Broadway hit earlier this year — not to mention a Pulitzer Prize finalist — the slice-of-life experiences of a suburban American high school girls’ indoor soccer team are revealed scene-by-scene during their daily warmups.

As I wrote in my review for Variety: “DeLappe’s brilliance is that she reveals her players as they gossip, taunt, comfort and conspire, not as archetypes — the smart one, the slutty one, the loner, the loudmouth, the nerd, the new kid — but as young women on the cusp of becoming their own self-defined characters, with the possibility to change, challenge and grow.”

The Hartford show, directed by Eric Ort, calls for the ensemble cast to do some fancy footwork, too, as it portrays these young women as commanding physical characters.

“I think it’s important to see these women using their bodies in constructive and team-building ways,” Murphy says. “So often on stage you see women’s bodies in competition with each other for a potential romantic partner. But here, it’s a completely different way. It’s an indication of the shift in body image for women now. It shows that there are different ways to have a strong, healthy body.”

And her sporting skills?

“I just recently ordered a soccer ball on Amazon,” laughs Murphy, who says she hasn’t played the sport since elementary school, though she adds she’s very athletic and health conscious. (I talked to her just after her yoga class.) Of all the sports growing up — rugby, downhill skiing, cross country running — soccer was the one sport that just didn’t click for her. “