Sunday, February 24, 2008


"My Name Is Rachel Corrie" to be read in Honolulu

by Larry Geller

The 2008 Hawaii Symposium on Palestine will present two readings of the
play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie, Saturday, March 1, 7:00 p.m., at Harris United
Methodist Church, Miyama Hall, 29 South Vineyard Blvd., and Friday, March 14, 7:00 p.m., at Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave. Both are free and open to the public.

Rachel Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003 while standing between an Israeli army bulldozer and the home of a a Palestinian doctor, his wife, and three children. The 23-year-old protestor was trying to protect the home from demolition.

I first read about the tragedy in a Christian Science Monitor article that appeared on March 18, 2003, two days after she died. I noticed that she had a connection to Hawaii through filmmaker James Delano, quoted in the article:

James Delano, a documentary filmmaker from Honolulu who had participated in missions with Corrie, said she wasn't prone to take unnecessary risks. "I wouldn't describe her as a zealot," he says. "Rachel was passionate about her work. She was an intelligent, caring human being. I'm sure she was doing what she saw as a reasonable action."

CS Monitor March 18 2003

The ISM  [International Solidarity Movement] works in small teams with each member assigned a specific task. One person always photographs an event, and the pictures of Rachel's encounter with the bulldozer show a slim, tall young woman holding a megaphone as she stands in front of the massive machine. She is wearing a neon-orange vest with Day-Glo striping and is clearly visible.

Witnesses say Corrie was standing in front of a house set for demolition and shouting as the bulldozer approached her.

"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," Greg Schnabel, a fellow protester from Chicago, told the Associated Press.

"She waved for the bulldozer to stop. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled 'stop, stop,' and the bulldozer didn't stop at all. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her."

There is a memorial website to Corrie here.

A week after the CS Monitor article, a protest was held in New York City NYC Protest March 27 2003which included a mockup of the bulldozer that killed her (click for larger). 

New York was involved in further controversy around Rachel Corrie when the New York Theatre Workshop scheduled and then postponed its presentation of the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie which had won Best Play, Best Actress and Best Director in the 2006 London Theatregoers' Choice Awards.

In the New York Times article on February 28, James C. Nicola, the artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) which was hosting the play, said he decided to postpone the show after polling local Jewish religious and community leaders as to their feelings about the work.

In the Guardian, the play's director Alan Rickman denounced the decision as "censorship", stating "Rachel Corrie lived in nobody's pocket but her own. Whether one is sympathetic with her or not, her voice is like a clarion in the fog and should be heard." [from an article in the Electronic Intifada, 3/2/2006]

The play eventually opened at the Minetta Lane Theater in Greenwich Village. We were in New York during its run, but with tickets going for $65 each (if you could get them!), we reluctantly elected to skip.

An article about the New York production is here, including a short synopsis.

The readings in Honolulu are free, so there is no excuse for missing it this time.

My Name Is Rachel Corrie
by Alan Rickman

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Thank you for providing this information!! It is high time we in Hawai'i had access to the reading of the words of such a passionate and important woman as Rachel Corrie!

Thank you, Larry, for posting the reading about Rachel Corrie. I hope that people will come to hear her words. THe sad thing is that Rachel's parents have received no support from the American Government in their request for an explanation from the Israeli Government as to why she was apparantly deliberately murdered.

Mahalo, Larry. Thanks also for including background and pictures. This is the 5th Anniversary of Rachel's deathShe would have been only 28. What a loss to the world!

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