Previewing “My Name is Rachel Corrie”

By Suzanne Gladney and Alan Lubert

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a play you should see. There’s a lot to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gaza is an area filled with strong emotions. This play is one piece to add to the understanding and to give us more to think about. The play is surrounded by its own controversy. Some say it is anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propaganda. Some have staged protests. Other strong voices have threatened to resign from theatre boards or pull back theatre funding. For others, Rachel was a young idealist with a passion to help people in a dangerous area of the world.

The play is a one-woman performance based on the journal and writings of Rachel Corrie. Rachel, 23, was a volunteer in Israel, in the Gaza Strip. She had been in Israel for less than two months; a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group both criticized and praised for its activist but peaceful methods. Rachel was involved in an ISM protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes. On March 17, 2003, she was struck and killed by an Israeli bulldozer.

Good background reading: The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan. The strong voices against the play urge people to visit: Rachel’s parents have established the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

We saw this play and met Rachel’s parents at the first US production two years ago. With the recent events in Israel and Gaza, the Kansas City production is timely and likely to be controversial.

The play shows at the Unicorn Theatre (3820 Main Street) for four weekends starting March 19 (Thursday-Sunday) and ends April 12. Tickets are $21.00. Unicorn box office: (816) 531-7529.


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