Rachel Corrie was a young and idealistic college senior from Olympia, Washington who was volunteering with an International Organization in Rafah, a Palestinian border town in the Gaza Strip. There, in 2003, she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting the destruction of Palestinian homes. She was twenty-three years old.
Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner have built a production from Corrie's e-mails, her journals and stories told to them by her parents. Written in 2005, at first this is a difficult show to watch, because there is only one actor: Charlotte Hemmings. It feels like an extended monologue, and the beginning is peppered with rather clichéd and precious musings -- the vaguely idealistic ramblings of a young woman in her bedroom.
But then everything changes. Hemmings puts on a scarf and the action shifts to Palestine, at which point the emails, the action and the flow of the story become spellbinding. We cannot overstate how involving this one-act-one-actor production becomes.
An interesting sidelight is that after Rachel's death, her sister took it upon herself to transcribe every journal entry and every-mail that Rachel had made, from the time she was eight years old. This selfless undertaking seems to mirror the Corrie family. And it makes for great theater.
RATINGS ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG
This was in the last e-mail she sent to her mother.
Please do not listen to anyone who tries to cloak Rachel Corrie's experience with ideology. This is a human story. Don't miss it.
"My Name is Rachel Corrie"
The Magic Theater
Fort Mason, Building D, San Francisco
Through May 14