A potential Off Broadway production of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," an acclaimed solo show about an American demonstrator killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to stop the destruction of a Palestinian home, has been postponed because of concerns about the show's political content.More from Jesse McKinley The New York Times.
The production, a hit at the Royal Court Theater in London last year, had been tentatively scheduled to start performances at the New York Theater Workshop in the East Village on March 22. But yesterday, James C. Nicola, the artistic director of the workshop, said he had decided to postpone the show after polling local Jewish religious and community leaders as to their feelings about the work.
Update: In The Guardian, Katherine Viner, one of the people who adapted Rachel Corrie's writing for the stage, attacks the Theater Workshop's decision.
It makes you wonder. If a young, middle-class, scrupulously fair-minded, and dead, American woman, whose superb writing about her job as a mental health worker, ex-boyfriends, troublesome parents, struggle to find out who she wanted to be, and how she found that by travelling to Gaza and discovering the shocking conditions under which the Palestinians live - if a voice like this cannot be heard on a New York stage, what hope is there for anyone else? The non-American, the non-white, the non-dead, the oppressed?Further update: New York Theatre Workshop's Artistic Director, James Nicola, denies the allagations, on the company's website.
When we found that there was a very strong possibility that a number of factions, on all sides of a political conflict, would use the play as a platform to promote their own agendas, we asked a rather routine question, or so we thought, to our London colleagues about altering the time frame. Our intent in asking for the postponement was to allow us enough time to contextualize the work so Rachel Corrie’s powerful voice could best be heard above the din of others shouting for their own purposes.Thanks to Mark Shenton for the link.
Update: the rebuttal of the rebuttal (if you're interested).