SMU Meadows and Dallas Theater Center Collaborate on Production of The Wolves

The Tony-winning Dallas Theater Center (DTC) and the SMU Meadows Division of Theatre presented the hit play The Wolves at the DTC’s Studio Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. The play, which ran March 6 through April 14, continued the close collaboration between the Division of Theatre and DTC, with a cast composed chiefly of Meadows theatre students and alumni.

Written by Sarah DeLappe, the play focuses on a competitive high school girls’ soccer team known as The Wolves. The play was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017, and The New York Times praised its depiction of the “scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence.”

The Wolves, along with last year’s co-production of Frankenstein, represented a new development in the Meadows School’s longstanding relationship with Dallas Theater Center.

“While we share over two decades of affiliation, these two co-productions have brought our organizations into new, fully collaborative relationships,” said Gretchen Smith, chair of Meadows’ Division of Theatre. “Our faculty, staff and students worked side-by-side with DTC’s personnel during this process and performance event. Six of the acting ensemble were current students in our M.F.A. and B.F.A. programs: Sydney Lo, Molly Searcy, Lauren Steele, Amber Rossi, Kylie Tru Ritter and Zoe Kerr. Another ensemble member was alumna Ana Hagedorn (M.F.A. ’18), who is a member of DTC’s Brierley Resident Acting Company. Yet another cast member, Allison Pistorius, has taught acting at SMU. And Sarah Harris, a current M.F.A. student in design, created the costumes for The Wolves.”

Last year’s presentation of Frankenstein, the award-winning smash hit by British playwright Nick Dear, was the first full-collaboration production between DTC and SMU. It featured Meadows faculty, students and alumni in roles both on and off stage.

Prior to that, in spring 2017, Meadows collaborated with DTC to launch Public Works Dallas, a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and community members, culminating in an annual production featuring more than 200 Dallas citizens performing a Shakespearean play. The inaugural production was The Tempest, followed by A Winter’s Tale in September 2018.

Every other year, an M.F.A. graduate from Meadows is accepted for a two-year appointment as a member of DTC’s Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company. Ana Hagedorn is the latest young alum holding the appointment, through spring 2020. The acting company also includes Meadows alumni Adam “Ace” Anderson, Tiana Kaye Blair and Sally Vahle and theatre professor Michael Connolly.

In addition, over the years Meadows students, staff and faculty have performed other acting roles, served as assistant directors, worked as dialect or movement coaches and designed scenery, lighting and costumes at DTC.

“SMU consistently models the value of collaboration for our entire North Texas arts community,” said Kevin Moriarty, artistic director of DTC.

“By bringing the intellectual resources of a great university beyond the walls of its institution and into the city in which it is located, and by providing its students with real-world professional opportunities while still in school, SMU is not only providing a world-class education for its students, but also making Dallas a better place for all of its citizens. This is teamwork at its best.”