Originally posted 3/10/10 by jefevonstanley on MediaElites.com.
Theatre changes nothing, but at least it changes that. The BBC reports that the Rachel Corrie murder trial is finally underway in Israel. Well, okay, it’s a civil suit but still. Never heard of her?
Seven years ago, idealistic human rights activist Rachel Corrie, a Seattle native, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer on the Gaza Strip. Four years ago this month, the US premiere of the play based on Corrie’s poignant if naive political and philosophical ruminations, My Name is Rachel Corrie, was canceled by New York Theatre Workshop. The play, pieced together by actor Alan “Severus Snape” Rickman and Guardian editor Katharine Viner, had had a successful run in London in 2005.
NYTW’s PR nightmare began when conflicting reasons were given for the cancellation. Had they merely postponed it due to scheduling difficulties, or was it canceled because they’d consulted with New York City religious leaders who’d insisted the play was anti-Semitic and incendiary so they chickened out of premiering it? Hard to believe; after all, this was the organization that brought us Shopping and Fucking. Then again that play featured Philip Seymour Hoffman, so if he was bugged by the cancellation (see below) then maybe something was up after all.