Tel-Aviv Teatronto Festival will include production of 'My Name is Rachel,' based on life and death of the human rights activist run over by IDF bulldozer.
"The words she used in her diaries, emails and messages to describe what she saw, paint a reality that is still alive," says Israeli director Ari Remez -
Ten years have passed since the day that the young American human rights activist was run over by a military bulldoze at the Philadelphia Route on the border with Gaza. Time has gone by, and the Middle East reality has moved on, but the legacy of Rachel Corrie is still alive.
This week sees the opening of the Teatronoto Festival for monodramas. One of the highlights is the production of "My Name is Rachel," a play that follows the events that led Corrie, a 24-year-old- American woman from Washington, to her death under the bulldozer, on the border with Gaza.
The play, which was written by the British actor Alan Rickman together with the Guardian newspaper's deputy editor Katharine Viner, brings up questions that were left open even after an Israeli court called her death "an accident which caused itself."
The play, first presented at the Edinburgh Festival, was taken up by the Royal Court Theatre in London, and has been shown in dozens of countries. The Israeli premiere took place five years ago with a production of the Al Midan Theater, but this will be the first time that it will be presented in Hebrew.
"This appeared to us to be an excellent opportunity to examine the event through the lens of time," said Ari Remez, the director of the play in which the actress Sivan Krechner plays Corrie.
"Israel is not in Gaza anymore, and the security reasoning behind using the bulldozers has been forgotten, but the words she used in her diaries, emails and messages to describe what she saw, paint a reality that is still alive," he adds.
Remez said that he never had a particular interest in taking political materials and presenting them through theater, which is already in and of itself seen as a political act.
But the story of Corrie, he said, touched him in a way that other political events had not. "It may sound silly but, here is a young woman who is standing with a megaphone in front of a bulldozer and walking forward without stopping. It is an accurate illustration of the burning need I have to scream, 'Stop for a moment and think about what the hell is going on here.'"
The play is based on texts left behind by Corrie: Voice mails, travel journals, e-mails. "The world knows Rachel Corrie," said Remez, but the situation in Israel is different.
"Maybe it is because we are trapped in this media-presented reality where we create for ourselves what we want to believe. She is becoming farther off for us. This is enough of a reason that we should do this play," he said.
Photos: Sivan Krechner as Rachel Corrie and the real Corrie. The video shows few parts of the play in Israel, in which she is talking about her going to Gaza and about what the Palestinans in Gaza are dealing with when confronting the IDF...
In: Other News, Other Middle East, Creative
Tags: British play, Rachel Corrie, Hebrew version, Tel-Aviv, Teatronto festival
Location: Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel (load item map)
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