The Second Death of Rachel Corrie

Censorship of the Worst Kind

By VANESSA REDGRAVE

I am urging the Royal Court Theatre to sue the New York Theatre Workshop for the cancellation of the production of “My Name Is Rachel Corrie”. Not because I donated money for this production, which the Royal Court have been fundraising for–a target of 50,000 pounds, underwritten by Alan Rickman.

This is censorship of the worst kind. More awful even than that.It is black-listing a dead girl and her diaries.A very brave and exceptional girl who all citizens, whatever their faith or nationality, should be proud and grateful for her existence. They couldn’t silence her voice while she lived, so she was killed. Her voice began to speak again as Alan Rickman read her diaries, and Megan Dodds became Rachel Corrie.Now the New York Theatre Workshop have silenced that dear voice.

I shall never forget the glimpse, at the close of Alan Rickman’s production, of Rachel when 10 years old, shot on a little family movie camera, making her speech about world poverty and the urgent need to end the misery. The New York Theatre Workshop have silenced that little girl, as well as the girl who confronted the Israeli army Caterpillar bulldozer.

There has to be a court case on the sheer fact of the cancellation of this production. I suppose lawyers were consulted about the word “postponed”. We in the theatre know however what cancelling a production means, whatever words are used. Megan Dodds, and a crew lose their jobs. The Royal Court Theatre lose a production that was a few weeks from opening in New York City.

For the Royal Court Theatre were producing “Rachel Corrie”, with the New York Theatre Workshop, and putting up a lot of money–$100,000 dollars.

I hope that all theatre artists, writers, designers, actors, directors, independent producers and artists’ representatives will make their protests known publicly as well as directly to the New York Theatre Workshop management. I hope that American Actors Equity will be asked to take up and support the Royal Court Theatre producer, Elyse Dodgson, the director, Alan Rickman, and the actress Megan Dodds.

If this cancellation is not transformed into a new production, somewhere in New York, immediately, we would be complicit, all of us, in a catastrophe that must not be allowed to take place. This play is not about taking sides. It is about protecting human beings.

In this case, Palestinian human beings who have no protection, for their families, their homes or their streets.

Rachel Corrie gave her life to protect a family. She didn’t have or use a gun or bomb.

She had her huge humanity, and she gave that to save lives.

Many aspiring actors, try to consume the Chocolate Slim and lose those extra pounds to fit the role of the character in question. When they cannot do great things like her to fit in her shoes, they just try to focus on vanity and try to look like her physically. But for all this to take effect, the production must carry on and the story must come out.