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"My Name Is Rachel Corrie" is too hot for New York theaters.

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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:22 AM
Original message
"My Name Is Rachel Corrie" is too hot for New York theaters.
http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7021159 More links to the story at the site.

The article is well worth the read. The obfuscation by the government, the refusal of the House of Representatives to conduct an investigation....too telling. Now who runs America, anyway?

"The play is "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," and this will be only its fourth professional production in the United States. Its inaugural New York staging last year was "indefinitely postponed" after producers cited "a changing political climate." The play then became known as "too hot for New York."
....

Rachel Corrie was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to stop the demolition of a Palestinian pharmacist's home in
...

But the Anti-Defamation League has said the play distorts the facts. Rachel's supporters say opposition to the play occurs because Corrie was an American who aligned herself with Palestinian human rights - and, they say, in America that's the wrong team.
....

Craig and Cindy Corrie were thrown into an unimaginable vortex on March 16, 2003, just days before the start of the Iraq war. Not only did they learn of Rachel's death from neighbors who had read it on a TV news crawl, but their efforts to retrieve her body, demand an investigation and seek accountability would encounter resistance from every branch of the U.S. government.
.......

The Corries asked the U.S. House of Representatives for an investigation that was "thorough, credible and transparent." All but 78 of the 435 House members said no. The Corries blame that on a fear of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

"Our congressman had warned us we'd be lucky to get even 30, because any piece of legislation that even implies criticism of Israel was unlikely to go anywhere," Cindy said."

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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. What we need around here
is a pro-American lobby.

I observe that one can, for example, support defense of Israel without necessarily supporting everything they do. Like crushing people with bulldozers, etc.
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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. And crushing people with AMERICAN made bulldozers.
Edited on Fri Sep-28-07 10:39 AM by MissMarple
And we probably paid for them, as well. A pro American lobby...it's about time.
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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. A "Pro-American Lobby" would be the American electorate...
so far as I can tell, they are ignoring us. Maybe if we had as much $$$ as Corporations, Lobbies, and AIPAC we could get their attention. But, all we have is our vote and our taxes.

Sad, isn't it?

TC


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jmp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. What we need around here is a pro-American lobby.
lol! Good luck with that. This is the only country on Earth that isn't the center of its own foreign policy. :)


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slampoet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. it's funny how people say they can support the Israel Defense Fund and be innocent, yet when.....
...other people give to Sinn Fein they get accused of supporting the IRA and terrorism.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. 5-4-3-2-1-------->
off to the i/p forum....there is no israeli lobby why do you think there is?
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jmp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. The US Navy is spending ...
$600,000 so that a handful of of buildings don't look like a swastika ... from space. From SPACE.

Nope, nothing to see here. ;)


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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. It's a stupid thing to do but what does it have to do with.....
anything?
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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I thought about that, but this is more about freedom of speech and Congressional oversight.
I think the Congressional reluctance is quite concerning no matter who is doing the arm twisting. And I think the parents are correct, Rachel was viewed as being on the wrong side of a political divide, when basically, she was standing up for universal human rights. Where she was killed is incidental to the broader issues.
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
9. Strange title and claim, since it played in New York. Here's the NY Times' review:
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Not at all...
Edited on Fri Sep-28-07 11:33 AM by hlthe2b
You appear not to be aware of the facts. While it has been staged in NYC now, it was cancelled originally due to pressure asserted--even after a successful run in London.


The play was scheduled to be performed at the New York Theater Workshop when its artistic director, James Nicola, cancelled the show in February, asserting that emotions over the plays theme were running too high. He claimed that the decision was taken in response to a polling of local Jewish religious and community leaders, which had found them to be defensive and edgy. -snip--


The cancellation caused a storm of protest, including from playwrights Harold Pinter, winner of last years Nobel Prize for Literature, and Tony Kushner, whose Homebody/Kabul had been performed at the New York Theatre Workshop. Actor Vanessa Redgrave called the cancellation blacklisting a dead girl and her diaries.

Katharine Viner, in a comment in the Guardian, noted the disturbing antidemocratic implications of the censorship: 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 traveling to Gaza and discovering the shocking conditions under which the Palestinians liveif 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?

In London, the play was moved to the Playhouse Theatre for a nine-week engagement that ended in May. A number of American theaters offered to show it, including the Seattle Repertory Theatre. In March the play was performed in Brooklyns Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, once a stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.

Pam Pariseau and Dena Hammerstein of James Hammerstein Productions have now brought the play to New York City, together with Minetta Lane Theater, taking a principled stand for artistic freedom in the decision to bring it to the stage in Americas theater capital. The producers, friends of Alan Rickman, have avoided criticizing Nicola and the New York Theater Workshop, saying that they were motivated by the artistic merit of the play.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/rach-j12.shtm...

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/08/162...

For starters.... see also:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060403/weiss



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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. And then it ran. NT
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. only after intense pressure... you seem to miss the point...
:shrug:
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It was very much a tempest in a teapot:
http://nymag.com/arts/theater/reviews/23139 /


Ive never considered Jim Nicolaartistic director of NYTW, producer of Caryl Churchill and Tony Kushner playsfainthearted or unwise. Still, it seems extremely nave to read a script that calls the situation in Gaza truly evil and not expect supporters of Israel to object. When Nicola belatedly discovered those sensitivities among his constituents this past spring, he postponed the show to better contextualize it with talk-backs and things, then compounded his trouble through inexplicably clumsy handling of the announcement. No sooner did a brief news item turn up in the Times than the full, happy cataclysm of denunciations began. Bloggers leaped into the fray, boldface names followed, most dumping scorn on Nicola. We believe that this is an important play, declared Harold Pinter and twenty other writers in a letter to the Times.

The whole debate seemed slightly tinny at the time, as if there wasnt quite as much at stake as all those partisans seemed intent upon discovering. Seeing the play confirms the impression: Corries death was important, and the subject is excruciatingly important, but the play is not important. Its a well-meaning wisp. As Corrie describes her girlhood in Washington State, she shows a sharp eye and a flair for language. (He pronounces his words like rubber bands stretched and snapping, she says of a boy she likes.) Once in Gaza, shes astute to worry about a generation of children who will grow up knowing only this violence, and she flashes a blistering eloquence in a climactic speech (forcefully delivered by Megan Dodds) in which she vents her disbelief and horror at the carnage.


But the play develops no cumulative power. For all the gravity of the material, her observations feel curiously weightless, offering no sense of why these bad things are happening all around her. In fact, the play is so thin that anybody who might have told Nicola not to proceed because of its politics seems misguided. For the love of John Stuart Mill, are these journal entries really damning enough to merit suppression? The e-mails of a young outsider who says Im really new to talking about Israel-Palestine dont seem terribly hard to refute, if youre so inclined.


Corries diaries are more valuable in describing a budding idealists growth than in bearing witness to the worlds knottiest conflict. Even here, though, unlovely notes intrude. More than once, Corrie takes an oddly detached view of Palestinian violence, doubting that it could have any impact on the Israelisa surprisingly clinical tone for such a sensitive advocate of social justice, as if its the body count incurred in a bus bombing that matters. I didnt pick the example at random. While Corrie was in Gaza, a suicide bomber destroyed a bus in Haifa, killing fifteen peoplemainly childrenincluding an American girl even younger than Corrie, one involved in a program to reconcile Arab and Jewish students. Theres something poignant in the ways these two sad stories parallel each other and diverge. I can even imagine a drama using their deaths to tell us something new about the conflict, or help us better understand its whole horrible complexity. This play doesnt.
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Cronopio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. You're *still* missing the point. nt
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. And what would be the point?
Come right out and say it instead of dancing around it.
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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Thanks. It does seem to have created, however, quite the controversy, ...
From the Denver post front page article:

"The play is "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," and this will be only its fourth professional production in the United States. Its inaugural New York staging last year was "indefinitely postponed" after producers cited "a changing political climate." The play then became known as "too hot for New York."

From the NY Times review:

"In its initial London run, the play which starred the American actress Megan Dodds, who repeats her performance here was warmly received without setting off polemical fireworks. Those didnt erupt until the New York Theater Workshop, a nonprofit institution known for championing politically daring work, announced in late February that it would indefinitely delay the plays American premiere.

Given Ms. Corries lightning-rod status as a pro-Palestinian activist she has been held up as both a heroic martyr (by Yasir Arafat, among others) and a terminally nave pawn the New York Theater Workshop drew accusations of moral cowardice. Theater artists including Vanessa Redgrave, Harold Pinter and the American playwrights Tony Kushner and Christopher Shinn joined the fray. Rachel Corrie became a name best not mentioned at Manhattan dinner parties if you wanted your guests to hold on to their good manners."


She was indeed an activist, but in my view, a human rights activist. But the "Too hot for New York" is not off the mark, given the Israeli/Palestinian connection that seemed to define the play while other controversial plays....erm... play on.

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NYVet Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
15. Rachel Corrie...
She stood between the Israelis and the demolition of a building that was the home of a Palestinian Homicide bomber.

You know, the guys who walk into a pizza parlor and blow themselves up in the hopes of killing some teen aged kids who have committed no crime other than being born.
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Cronopio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Maybe, and if so, they could have arrested her, not crushed her with a bulldozer.
Are you getting on the side of murderers?

Let's hope not.
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NYVet Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Of course not
I am always against anyone who would blow up pizza parlors.
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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Do you have a source for that allegation? This one refutes your claim.
It's all about the wall....and ultimately it is about human rights.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/200187973...

"While no one disputes the existence of a small number of tunnels that funnel weapons to militants, Israeli security justifications for destroying Rafah in order to find these tunnels cannot be taken at face value. Nor can unsupportable claims that Corrie was defending tunnels and suicide bombers.

First, the Israeli army has never claimed that any tunnels were found under Dr. Samir Nasrallah's home, which Corrie was defending, nor any others in that area along the Egyptian border.

Second, weapons that get through tunnels are primarily used in attacks against soldiers and settlers within the Gaza Strip, not against civilians within Israel. One of the main arguments Israeli officials use to justify building the barrier in the West Bank is the fact that no Palestinian suicide bombers have come from Gaza in the past three years due to the heavily monitored 30-mile electrified fence that keeps its 1.3 million impoverished Palestinians isolated from the world, and Israel.

Third, Israel possesses ample equipment to discover and unearth these tunnels without resorting to widespread destruction and violence.

The governor of Rafah, Majid Ghal, rejects Israel's claims about tunnels as diversionary. "What they are doing is to carve out a buffer zone between Rafah and the border. The Israelis have always said they do not want Palestine to control its borders or to have borders with other countries. They are trying to drive people out."

The wall that killed Rachel, and has destroyed the lives of thousands of Palestinians in Rafah, is being built for one reason: to protect the security of the 7,000 Israeli settlers who illegally occupy 30 percent of Gaza's scarce land. The wall and home demolitions in Rafah, as elsewhere, are merely an ongoing land grab masquerading as a security policy."



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fedupfisherman Donating Member (318 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
19. 'pro-Israel lobby'
Nice attack on supporters of the most liberal country in the Middle East
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