Gordon Edelstein, artistic director of Long Wharf, will direct, replacing Hoppe, who has piloted previous versions. The show originated at the small Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Cape Cod, which Hoppe founded and where he is associate artistic director. Hoppe wrote the play quickly over a few weeks in 2002. Inspired by post-9/11 current events, he said 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 piece, which is set in the near future, takes place on the set of a cable news network as a new U.S. war is unfolding. The show no doubt drew fuel from the events in Washington, DC, where—at the time Hoppe was writing—the likelihood of American military force against Iraq seemed more inevitable by the day.
A late fall 2002 success at WHAT, A New War played an equally successful six-week run in March 2003 at Boston's Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway. The production received a 2003 Elliot Norton Award. The Long Wharf Theatre is located at 222 Sargent Drive in New Haven. For more information, call (800) 782-8497.