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Extra resources for Dramaturgy of the Real on the World Stage
Corrie was so young and yet had been an activist for so long when she died. Rothstein is correct when he points out, “Corrie’s is an unusual voice, engrossing in its imaginative power, hinting at adolescent transformation and radicalization” (2006:1). The play is equivocal about its real subject as at its end it presents a video about Rachel Corrie, not the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The last scene of the play is a video recording of Rachel Corrie at her Fifth Grade “Press Conference” on World Hunger: My dream is to stop hunger by the year 2000.
Even when the text is indefinite in its conclusions, audience response may not be. The occasion of documentary theatre can be seen as a political affiliation in and of itself. The outrage at New York Theatre Workshop’s decision to postpone a production of My Name is Rachel Corrie, the story of the 23-year-old pro-Palestinian American activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home, is a case in point. James Nicola, the artistic director of New York Theatre Workshop, made the decision to postpone the play after canvassing unidentified Jewish friends and advisors.
In other words, every production is an adaptation. Finally, what is real and what is true are not necessarily the same. A text can be fictional yet true. A text can be nonfictional yet untrue. Documentary theatre is an imperfect answer that needs our obsessive analytical attention especially since, in ways unlike any other form of theatre, it claims to have bodies of evidence. Notes 1. Moisés Kaufman’s The Laramie Project (2000) is interesting as it employs different kinds of acting. The style of acting varies depending upon the actor involved.