The Playgoer: Kushner on Corrie

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kushner on Corrie

From Playbill (promoting Caroline, or Change at London's National):

Asked about the New York Theatre Workshop’s cancellation of the controversial play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, which is about to recieve its New York premiere at Off-Bropadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre on Oct. 15, Kushner said, “I think it was appalling what happened. They behaved terribly in making the decision in the first place and even worse, once they made the mistake by not saying 'We made a mistake.'"

Kushner added, “This [NYTW is] a great theatre, and Jimmy Nicola who runs it is a great producer and enormously brave. We did Homebody/Kabul a month after 9/11 and he didn’t hesitate for a second about to it. [The Rachel Corrie play] is uncharacteristic of him, and I think what he and they should have done is say, 'We got panicked and freaked out and we’re really sorry and we will do the play if they let us have it back and if they won’t, we apologize.' "

The easy answer at this point would be "let bygones be bygones" and "let's move on." But good for Kushner for continuing to comment honestly and with balance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kushner has it exactly right in the first paragraph. The initial cancellation of the play was terrible, but it was the kind of terrible decision that many theatre companies might have made.

It was only when the company compounded its initial error by dissembling, berating its critics and refusing to concede error, that NYTW gave itself a black eye.

And: It's worth remembering that Nicola et. al. still maintain that they did nothing wrong (at least last I heard).

It's worth remembering, too, that many theatre people who spoke up loudly about "Corpus Christ" were conspicuously silent about NYTW's behavior here, and that young writers like Jason Grote, Christopher Shinn and The Playgoer stepped up to fill the vacuum.

Both facts say a lot about the current state of the New York theatre community. I, for one, hope neither of them is soon forgotten.