The highlight of the Massachusetts' Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater 2002 summer season will not take place in Wellfleet, a town which sits on the upper arm of Cape Cod. It will happen in Boston.
Gip Hoppe's Heart of Jade will be staged in the Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts. The show is co-presented by WHAT and Centastage.
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.
The plot culminates with the 1987 Stock Market crash which effectively brought the decade's boom culture to an end, at least temporarily.
For research, Hoppe supposedly read trash novels by the likes of Judith Krantz, Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins and Jacqueline Susann. "It nearly destroyed my love of reading," he said in a press statement. The cast includes Marianna Bassham, Jan Davidson, Stacy Fischer, John Kuntz, Nathaniel McIntyre and Rick Park.
Hoppe will direct Jade. 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.
—By Robert Simonson