Acting Real: Testimony of Rachel Corrie on Stage
Keywords:My Name is Rachel Corrie, verbatim theatre, testimony, documentary theatre, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
AbstractIn response to the chaotic atmosphere of the twentieth century, defined by an enormous scepticism about politics and media, theatre emerged out as a source of truth through plays compiled from spoken testimonies of real people, interviews, documents and recordings of real events and many other authentic materials. Named variably as theatre of the real, documentary theatre or verbatim theatre, those plays challenged their audiences into an inescapable confrontation with real events and serious issues around the world. Edited by the British actor and theatre director Alan Rickman and the Guardian journalist Katharine Viner, one of the key examples of verbatim theatre, My Name is Rachel Corrie, was premiered in April 2005 at Royal Court in London. Based on Israel-Palestine conflict, the play is constructed on the e-mails and diaries of an American peace-activist Rachel Corrie who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. After providing a history of documentary theatre, this paper discusses the controversial productions of My Name is Rachel Corrie as an example of testimony.
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