Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, one of the most vital companies in the Cape Cod area, has announced its 2002 summer season. Included in the line-up are three world premieres, including a new play by Gip Hoppe.
The highlight of the roster, Hoppe's Heart of Jade, will not be staged at the theatre's Wellfleet home at all, but in the Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts. Jade, running June 14-29, is Hoppe's satire of 1980s culture and ambition. Jade Snow is a Cape Cod girl determined to become a movie star. Amber is her jealous sister, who sets out to scuttle her sibling's dreams. Hoppe will direct. The play will likely have a future beyond Boston.
Hoppe is the co-artistic director of the theatre (with Jeff Zinn). Hoppe's work has reached a wider audience of late, garnering attention for the small company. His comic spoof of Jacqueline Kennedy, Jackie: An American Life, played Broadway, under his direction, during the 1997-98 season. Another play of his, Savior of the Universe, had a run Off-Broadway soon afterwards.
The other premieres are Driving ion the Sidewalk by Jesse Kellerman, "a riveting, revved-up take on America's love of driving, and how life in the fast lane sums up all the good and bad parts of society"; and Professional Skepticism by James Rasheed, a timely comedy which looks at a law bending, high profile accounting firm. Both Rasheed and Kellerman are local playwrights. Rasheed is a graduate of Brandeis University, while Kellerman just finished his first year in the playwriting program at the same institution.
The 2002 WHAT season began on May 22 with Harold Pinter's The Homecoming. It runs through June 22. The rest of the season runs as follows:
- Professional Skepticism by James Rasheed, with Marianna Bassham, Chris Faith and Robert Pemberton, directed by Jason Slavick (July 3-27)
- Fully Committed by Becky Mode, with Joe Smith, directed by Suzanne Bryan (June 28-Aug. 27)
- The New England premiere of David Rabe's The Dog Problem, with Damian Baldet, Michael Dorval, Tom Kee, Barry Magnani, Marc Weiss, directed by Jeff Zinn (Aug. 2 Sept. 1)
- Driving on the Sidewalk by Jesse Kellerman, with Robert Kropf, Ray McDavitt, McNeeley Myers, Allison Weller, directed by Jeff Zinn (Sept. 6-21)
- The U.S premiere of One Night in the Life of Denise Ivanovich by Kevin Rice, with Denise Cormier, Kippy Goldfarb, Stephen Russell, Charles Weinstein, director TBA (Sept. 26-Oct. 13).
WHAT was founded in 1985 and has built a reputation for offering a combination of edgy dramas and loopy comedies to the surrounding collection of small seaside villages. Past productions include Mac Wellman's Seven Blowjobs, Russell Lees' Nixon's Nixon, Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation, Tracy Letts' Killer Joe and Martin McDonagh's Beauty Queen of Leenane starring Julie Harris.
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