A PATCHWORK OF THE PERSONAL AND POLITICAL
My Name is Rachel Corrie is a solo show comprised of a patchwork of actual e-mails and diary entries by a young female activist in Gaza who was tragically run over by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003. Edited together by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner, it is not a particularly well-written play, yet the current production at Theatricum Botanicum makes the most of this collage-like script, grounded in Samara Frame’s superb performance as Rachel.
Unfortunately, this production suffers from an awkward employment of technology. While a slide show sometimes brings a welcome visual supplement to Frame’s performance, it also has the occasional effect of turning the show into a didactic lecture. A video segment is disappointingly amateur, with rough cinematography and ambient noise. Overamplified sound recordings of Rachel’s parents feel at odds with the naturalism of the rest of the production. The play is strongest when simply focused on Frame’s performance, which is strong enough to hold an audience’s attention without the gadgetry.
As an aesthetic entity, then, it may be a stretch to call My Name is Rachel Corrie a “good” play, but in Theatricum Botanicum’s often gripping production, this work instigates an urgent and necessary dialogue.
My Name is Rachel Corrie
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
1419 N Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Topanga
ends on September 22, 2011
for tickets, call 310.455.3723 or visit Theatricum