The Horizon Theatre’s “The Wolves” is receiving attention for its unconventional style and real-life dialogue between its teen characters. An all-girls soccer team is surprised by a new team member as they practice on the field for their upcoming championship, and the teens deal with some challenges along the way.
Jewish star Rebeca Robles, 25, discusses everything from the sometimes-raunchy dialogue of the ensemble cast to the fact that she’s in almost constant movement on the ‘soccer field’ throughout the show and plays a character almost 10 years younger than herself.
AJT: What’s your background? How long have you been acting?
Robles: I acted in college and graduated from a small school called Asbury University [Christian liberal arts school in Kentucky] with a double major in English and theater. I grew up in South Carolina, but there was better training up North, so that’s where I went. I went back and forth between Atlanta and New York City for a few years, but I’ve been here in Atlanta now for about 2 1/2 years. I don’t know that I’ll stay forever, but Atlanta feels like home now.
AJT: What’s your Jewish background? Have you attended synagogue here in Atlanta?
Robles: I do not attend synagogue currently, although everyone on my father’s side of the family are Jewish and practice where they live in Panama.
I grew up observing the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. My family migrated to Central America from Spain as early as during the Inquisition. Our original family name is Athias, but was changed to Robles somewhere along the way.
AJT: “The Wolves” is about a girls’ indoor soccer team and has some unconventional elements. What about the script appealed to you?
Robles: Well, it’s an all-female play of nine women; one is a surprise character at the end. We’re also mostly all in our mid-20s and play teenagers, which is pretty funny. In the 90-minute show, we’re playing soccer almost constantly. There’s no intermission. We’re kicking; we’re doing stretches. It’s a flurry of movement and dialogue. The dialogue is also very true to how teenage girls talk. There are so many conversations happening at once, and many of those conversations can get a little raunchy. It’s crazy for the actors in the show.
AJT: Tell me about your character
Robles: None of the characters have names – only numbers. It goes back to the playwright Sarah DeLappe’s interest in war movies, I think. In many ways, she uses the group of teen girls like a group of warriors. I play number seven, the striker in the group. The team relies on me to score a lot of the goals, so my character is the star player in a lot of ways. She’s also more mature and more experienced when it comes to boys and sex. It feels like she’s more adult. She’s too cool for school. She also curses quite a bit.
AJT: Have there been any surprises along the way?
Robles: It’s been great. I haven’t done this long of a run with a show before, and we’ve all grown so much from our opening until now. There’s a lot being hidden in the dialogue and so much underneath it all. Also, most of us aren’t trained soccer players. I learned a whole new sport, and we all worked our butts off. Rehearsing typically included 2 ½ hours of soccer practice before we even got to the show. It’s a very different kind of play in that it’s so real. It even takes the audience a minute to adjust to the way these girls talk and everything happening all at once. It’s really different and exciting, and I hope people continue to come out to see it.
“The Wolves” ends its month-long run Sunday at the Horizon Theatre Company, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with matinees at 3 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $30 during the week, $35 for weekends, and $20 for teens and full-time students younger than 25 with a valid student ID. Tickets and information are available at www.horizontheatre.com, or 404-584-7450.