Magazine article The New Yorker

Scrimmage

Magazine article The New Yorker

Scrimmage

Article excerpt

Scrimmage

Sarah DeLappe

Three summers ago, the playwright Sarah DeLappe attended an exhibition at the New Museum called "Here and Elsewhere," which included graphic images from the Middle East. The art unnerved her, but so did seeing the First World museumgoers checking their phones and sorting out their evening plans. "It just felt like we who were taking in the art were so very far away from the content of it," she said recently. On the train back to Brooklyn, she started writing dialogue on her phone--overlapping chatter about the Khmer Rouge and tampons. By the time she got home, she had set the scene at a suburban soccer practice, because "what could be further away than a bunch of girls warming up on an indoor soccer field?"

The resulting play is "The Wolves," which opened Off Broadway last fall (while DeLappe was still in grad school), and has now moved to Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, where it's been praised for capturing the herky-jerky rhythms of girl-speak. ("Yeah, I heard she lives in the hills in this, like, yogurt thing with her mom.") DeLappe, who is twenty-seven and quietly hawk-eyed, had stopped by the Field House at Chelsea Piers, which was cacophonous with the sound of after-school sports classes. She watched the two netted soccer fields from a mezzanine lounge populated by moms on laptops and bored-looking kids hunched over homework. "I feel for the siblings," she said, looking around. "Orphaned by the soccer practice."

Down on the field, grade-schoolers were running around in a swarm. "They're at the state of playing soccer where they do a lot of grape maneuvers," DeLappe observed, "which is just staying in a grape cluster and running after the ball." She grew up in Reno, Nevada, where she played in a recreation league from the age of eight to fourteen, on a team called Fusion. "There was a girl who always wore a lot of makeup to games, which was sort of controversial," she recalled. "I remember there being talk among the parents, which now, looking back, seems incredibly unfair. But she would do this sort of front-handspring roundoff and then do a throw-in with the ball--this incredible showoff move." The team's uniforms were purple, sometimes accented with butterfly clips in their hair. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.