Three world premieres and one U.S. premiere were apparently not enough for the small but thriving Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre of Cape Cod. The 17-year-old Massachusetts troupe has added Gip Hoppe's latest comedy, A New War, to its 2002 line-up. It will run Oct. 17-Nov. 2.
Hoppe, who is the theatre's founder and its current co- artistic director, will direct the piece, which is set in the near future, and takes place on the set of a cable news network as a new U.S. war is unfolding. The show will no doubt draw resonance from recent events is Washington, D.C., included Congress' recent resolution to let George W. Bush use military force against Iraq, thereby increasing the likelihood of a war in the Middle East.
Inspired by current events, Hoppe says he was "hypnotized by the manic manipulations of 24-hour news channels desperate to fill airtime. The play is a funny and timely voyage to the heart of darkest America. I also wrote the play as a quick and cheap way to keep WHAT open past the traditional tourist season."
The 2002 WHAT season began on May 22 with Harold Pinter's The Homecoming. The added Hoppe mounting brings the theatre close to its eventual goal of a year-round schedule. WHAT is currently raising funds for a 12-month-a-year arts facility, to be built next to the Wellfleet post office off Route 6, the main road through the Lower Cape. The troupe now operates out of the harborside former nightclub it converted back in 1985. WHAT will retain the space once the new complex is erected, thus giving it two stages.
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre is located on Mayo Beach next to the Wellfleet Town Pier, in Wellfleet, MA. For information, call (508) 349 6835. — By Robert Simonson