Los Angeles Theater Review: MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE (The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum)

by Sarah Taylor Ellis on September 3, 2011

in Theater-Los Angeles

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A PATCHWORK OF THE PERSONAL AND POLITICAL

Samara Frame in My Name is Rachel Corrie by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner and directed by Susan Angelo at the Theatricum Botanicum – Los Angeles Theater Review by Sarah Taylor EllisMy 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.

Samara Frame in My Name is Rachel Corrie by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner and directed by Susan Angelo at the Theatricum Botanicum – Los Angeles Theater Review by Sarah Taylor Ellisphotos by Ian Flanders

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

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Amad September 15, 2011 at 1:46 am

This Israel-bashing show is anti-Semitism pure and simple — or rather the new, chic version of anti-Semitism. Your so-called “diversity” is in typical leftist thinking. Speak up…as long as you agree with me.

How many times did you show the actual video of the Israelis begging Rachel Corrie to please move, and then her RUNNING toward the bulldozer and falling while the machine was unable to stop? How many times did you show terrorists hiding in mosques and nursery schools firing rockets at innocent Israeli citizens? How many times did you tell how Israel handed over the Gaza strip (so called “land for peace”) and was immediately and continually attacked from there?

How many times did you report the Palestinian doctrine “death to all Jews!” or “Israel has no right to exist”? How many times did you report that Israel and the so-called Palestine were granted independence on the same day, and all the Arabs/Muslims did was attack Israel the very first second it happened? How many times did you report how Palestinian and Muslim children are helped and saved EVERY DAY in Israeli hospitals?

How many times did you report how our taxpayer money has gone to the Palestinians for infrastructure and food only to be used for weaponry against Israel? How many times did you point out that there is 100% censorship in the Muslim countries, and especially the Palestinian areas where Israel, like the U.S. is a free and open society? In your “diversity” of opinion, why do you not point out the second-class citizenship of females in the Muslim/Arab/Palestinian society?

How many times did you show how they teach children to be HOMICIDE bombers in wonderful Palestine? How many times did you report the fact that the Arab world made these people perpetual “refugees” to be used as political pawns? How many times did you point out that prior to 1967 when Israel was attacked, that Jordan ran the West Bank and didn’t want the so-called Palestinians. How many times did you point out that during that same time, Egypt ran the Gaza strip and didn’t want the Palestinians.

Where were all your protests then?

How many times during your accusations of Israelis “apartheid” did you show black, Ethiopian Israelis AND Arab Israelis? Your typical one-sided, leftist hatred of Israel, Jewish people (though unfortunately, there are countless, hard-left Jews)–and that all sides are equal–is repugnant. A Palestinian terrorist is as innocent, if not more so in your mind, than a five-year-old, Israeli preschooler.

So stay in your little insular, leftist world filled with the hate you so loudly denounce. “Oh put away all arms and let’s live in PEACE!” Great, why don’t you start with the terrorists who feel that causing death and destruction is doing Allah’s work?

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Sarah September 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Amad, thank you for your passionate comment. I actually visited Israel this past summer with a group of Jewish Americans and agree with you; the situation is much more complex than “My Name is Rachel Corrie” paints it to be. Rachel Corrie gives only one person’s perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I appreciate you following up with a different perspective on the violence.

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Kevin September 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

A small window of a young American girl who felt a need to do something about a perceived wrong: that is the conviction that eventually caused her to forfeit her life. Who is willing to leave the comfort and safety of home to risk your life for a stranger in a foreign land? She was brave, stupid, and naive, but caring of another human being without regard for her own life. I am saddened for the pain of both Jews and Arabs.

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