NYC: activists bring Rachel Corrie’s censored words to stage

On March 16, 2003, Washington state-born activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while acting as a “human shield” against the demolition of a Palestinian home in Rafah, on the Gaza Strip. Last year, Katherine Viner, an editor at The Guardian, and actor Alan Rickman (known for roles in Sense and Sensibility and Love Actually) adapted 184 pages of Corrie’s journals and e-mails, beginning at the age of 10, into a stage play. My Name is Rachel Corrie, directed by Rickman and starring Meghan Dodds, ran to wide acclaim in London. It was scheduled to arrive on March 22 at the New York Theater Workshop, known for embracing such controversial material as Tony Kushner’s Angels in America; Homebody, Kabul and the original pre-Broadway Rent. In late February, just weeks before the play was to begin, the theater’s artistic director, James Nicola, announced in a statement that the play would be “postponed indefinitely,” citing a “very edgy situation” following the illness of Ariel Sharon and the election of Hamas.

Tonight, March 22, Rachel’s Words, a selection of Corrie’s journal entries and e-mails will be performed by a panel of writers, artists and activists, co-hosted by Amy Goodman and James Zogby, at New York’s Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive. Also participating via video or read statements will be Maya Angelou, Patti Smith, Eve Ensler, Vanessa Redgrave, Mariam Said, Alice Walker, Howard Zinn and others. Doors open at 8 PM. Admission is a sliding-scale $20. A part of the proceeds will go the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

See our last post on Palestine/Israel.

  1. This is the sort of self-cens
    This is the sort of self-censorship we have seen in the cultural life of New York for decades. It is particularly troubling when it comes out of an institution with some progressive credentials, rather than from overtly commercial theatre entities. It has so much to do with the general atmosphere in which political opinions about the mid-East & Islam are formed. One can only hope that such supression of ‘speech’ will move others to come forward & offer a platform.