Sarah DeLappe and 'The Wolves'

By David Irving, literary intern

About the Playwright

Sarah DeLappe and her twin sister, Eva, were born in Reno, Nevada. The young playwright was surrounded by creativity growing up; her mother is a poet and photographer, and her father is a digital media artist. Both DeLappe sisters made their way to the East Coast; Eva attended Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York while Sarah attended Yale University in Connecticut to pursue acting.

While at Yale, DeLappe became frustrated by the fact that she was always cast in the same role: the ingénue. During her junior year, she was inspired to try something different, so she took a playwriting class with Paula Vogel, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and chair of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama. Vogel’s class allowed DeLappe to write the characters that had been lacking for her on stage; she soon abandoned acting and turned her focus to playwriting, writing a play for her senior thesis. After graduation, she attended Brooklyn College, where she received her MFA in playwriting in 2017.

Creation of The Wolves

The Wolves is not the first play DeLappe has written, but it is the first to be produced professionally. She began writing the play in 2014, after seeing an exhibit at the New Museum in New York City called Here and Elsewhere. The exhibit featured photographs, paintings, and installations from the Middle East and North Africa depicting scenes of suicide bombs and civil war. As she noticed other patrons stuck on their electronic devices, she was moved by the dichotomy of sympathy vs. empathy: the way Americans reacted with pity to the way of life in the Middle East and North Africa, yet how they also made no effort to enact change. As she recalled to Jonathan Shia for The Last Magazine, “There was something about being surrounded by all of these well-heeled, metropolitan people who would look at this art and then turn to each other and glibly talk about American exceptionalism and then what they were getting for brunch.” On the subway ride home, she was inspired to write, and began the first scene of The Wolves on her phone.

The Wolves - Productions and Honors

Productions:
Playwright’s Realm, NY, Summer and Winter 2016 (both sold out)
TheaterWorks, Hartford, Connecticut, Fall 2017
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, NY, Winter 2017-2018

2017 Awards:
Marin Theatre Company’s Sky Cooper New American Play Prize
American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award
Obie Ensemble Award

2017 Finalist Nods:
Pulitzer Prize
Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Yale Prize

2017 Nominations:
Lucille Lortel Award, Best Director and Best Play
Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, Best American Play
Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Director of a Play