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  Wolf Play at The Gift Theatre

Wolf Play

The Gift Theatre
4802 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago

In a world where people struggle to have children, one American couple decides to 'un-adopt' their young Korean son because they have a newborn at home. After an internet chat room search for the right family, the father 're-homes' the boy with a lesbian couple, where one half is desperate for a child and the other half is fighting for her career. As the boy - who thinks he's a wolf, but is really a puppet - adjusts to his new life, he forms bonds with the unlikeliest of culprits while the rest of the adults squabble about what is 'best for the child.'

Thru - Aug 18, 2019

Price: $40-$50

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-283-7071

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

Nearby Restaurants

  Wolf Play Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...The titular leading character, played by Dan Lin, also is represented by a very impressive puppet, as designed by Stephanie Diaz, although it's not used to its full potential. And among the leading actors, Isa Arciniegas comes closest to really exploring the emotional stakes present in this rich piece of theater. What's most needed here are more human truths, honestly expressed. It's all right there in Jung's writing."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Lin gives a smart, funny, ultimately wrenching performance, instilling Stephanie Diaz's adorable, intricate puppet with a mix of childish naivete and feral cunning. It's a performance that will make you ache for the world's unwanted children and for those born to adults who barely know how to care for themselves, let alone their young dependents. At one point, Wolf explains that when an injured wolf is separated from the pack, the only thing his family can do is howl until the animal can follow their voices home. Wolf Play shows that human behavior isn't all that different."
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Catey Sullivan

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...I simply cannot say enough good things about this show. I'd see it again, despite the ending. And about that: I wasn't at all prepared for it to conclude as it did, but maybe the fact that I could get so viscerally and emotionally involved in a play as to hate its ending with such vehemence says something ultimately very positive about Jung's writing overall, the characters she created and the way this company has brought them to life."
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Karen Topham

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Wolf Play is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of parenting with only good intentions as a guide. Though the characters in Hansol Jung's play mean well, the stories they have learned and believe, and that inform how they care for the eight-year-old boy in their midst, reflect their own desires more than the needs of the boy. The audience does not know Jeenu's full history, but it is clear that he has already been the victim of good intentions too many times in his short life by the time the play begins."

Kerstin Broockmann

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Under McLeod's precise, imaginative and warm direction, the entire cast and design team inhabit a truly magical, emotionally resonant framework within the confines of The Gift's intimate space. You can sometimes feel the production bursting at the seams at it careens from scene to scene, making use of every nook and cranny, and every theatrical magic trick in its tool belt to keep us engaged. It all works and the intimacy helps o keep our attention, even if a few extra feet of space could help everyone breathe a little easier."
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Ben Kaye

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...The use of the puppet, the color scheme of the set, the fantasy of being a wolf in disguise they all combine to give the show the feel of a fairy tale. The show is effective and quietly heartbreaking as we watch the ways real people do not fit into those neatly drawn characters and real life not play out into neatly drawn conclusions. Given life by a very talented cast, the story is moving, at times overwhelming, and it should definitely be on your short list for what to see this summer."
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Kevin Curran

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...Jess McLeod's direction is pitch perfect as she helps the cast seamlessly blend the stories of a child, a wolf, a boxer and a family. Jennifer Glasse is lively and moving as a woman who desperately wants to be a mom. If you remember Isa Arciniegas as a fox in First Love Is the Revolution, you will perhaps understand how she is able to understand the Wolf. Arnel Sancianco's set and Amanda Herrmann's properties make this simple scenic design work magically. Lighting design is by Mike Durst, sound by Eric Backus and costumes by Stephanie Cluggish."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...For this writer, the strong performances by the cast are in themselves reason for strongly recommending this work. Isa Arciniegas as Ash and Jennifer Glasse as Robin, the lesbian couple, were intense and intimate as most married couples in both love and dispute. Notable is Ms. Arciniegas's boxing sequences which likely reflected intense training and many bruises. Al'Jaleel McGhee as Ryan, Robin's brother, is the emotionally driven, self-designated man of the family whom you might already know from somewhere in your own family. Tim Martin portrays the father who put his child up for adoption on the internet. That Mr. Martin was able to play such a despicable character without going over the top solidified the toxicity of WOLF PLAY."
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Ann Boland

Rescripted - Recommended

"...Wolf Play touches many points in the debate around adoption, race, and class through inventive and emotional storytelling. Its approach to these topics is unique in how small and personal it feels, and the lengths it goes to defy the expectations of its audiences."
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Elon Sloan

  Wolf Play Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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