I have long thought that, apart from a scoreboard, athletes and actors are engaged in the same fundamental pursuit: the use of live performance to engage the attention of the public. When actors portray athletes – as they do in The Wolves – the overlap increases. At the core of that similarity is physical training, so I asked the performers in The Wolves what they do to stay in shape for eight shows a week.
Brenna Coates, who plays #7, likes to keep her regimen basic: “I try to go to the gym in the morning. Feeling strong and confident in my body is paramount.” Lizzy Jutila, who is #00, also hits the gym, where she lifts weights at least twice a week. She also takes a mixed-martial-arts class once every other week and cycles occasionally. Additionally, she said, “I go to Hot Yoga at Modo studio almost every other day, usually before a show. It reinforces my focus and allows my muscles not to be as stiff.” Tedra Millan, who is #46, said she also does a lot of yoga, though, she added, “Right now my extensive warm-up routine and the show itself is pretty much all I need.”
Paola Sanchez Abreu, who is #25, agreed on the importance of the warm-up and the exercises done during the show. She said her body has gotten so used to them that they’re “not so hard anymore.” Abreu added, “I do at least 20-30 minutes of basic cardio and strength training (lifting, REX, bodyweight stuff) four times a week, and then I also attend a Feldekrais or Bartenieff Fundamentals movement class once or twice a week for pain relief and integration.”
Susannah Perkins, who is #11, mentioned the training the cast received when The Wolves was done in July, 2016, as part of New York Stage and Film’s summer program at Vassar College. “We were given an amazing, rigorous warm-up by the physical therapy department that I do every day before the show. It also helps to do some light passing with each other and get re-connected with the ball. I also try to run for at least half an hour every day before we go on – nothing too intense, but enough to feel like I’m not going to make a complete ass out of myself on the turf.”
Strengthening exercises, the gym, and a proper warm-up also figure in to the regimen of Jenna Dioguardi, who plays #13. She stressed the importance of her post-performance routine. “I ice whatever part of my body hurts the most for about a half-hour every night when I get home, and I use a foam roller to give my muscles a nice rub-down. Finally, I see a massage therapist and an acupuncturist who are both absolute magicians.”
Given the popularity that The Wolves is already having in schools and theaters around the country, I suggest the LCT actors band with author Sarah DeLappe and perform some magic of their own: put together a cardio-workout video. As for a title, “Women Who Run With The Wolves” is already taken. But “Women Who Run LIKE The Wolves” is available.
Brendan Lemon is the editor of lemonwade.com.