Barnard College, April 7, 2006. From l. to r: Barnard's Shawn-Marie Garrett (moderator), Christopher Shinn, Kellt Stuart, Alisa Solomon, Prof. Marvin Carlson, Gregory Mosher, John Heilpern.
Under "better late the never"...
The Yale Drama journal, Theatre, has finally published the transcript of the April, 2006 Barnard College panel discussion of the New York Theatre Workshop "Rachel Corrie" controversy. (Yes, when we were right in the thick of it.) For a more raw account see my original post. These are basically the opening statements, edited and presumably revised by all the participants--except, unfortunately, Gregory Mosher who had a lot of sharp things to say and riled up the crowd, but opted not to let his remarks be reprinted here. A shame.
In any case, not to rehash, but if interested, try accessing the online version via Duke Journals.
And while we're rehashing I will go ahead and make available here my own essay on the "Corrie" mess that I wrote for the recently published New York Theatre Review, which very much complements the Barnard statements. Since there's no online link to the NYTR contents, I'll just cut & paste it into a hidden blog post, here, for your reading leisure. (Still, do buy the book, please!)
From the Barnard panel, let me just quote for now a few lines that stand out as especially timeless and not just rooted to that particular argument. They're from Paula Vogel, as relayed at the panel by her friend, Professor Marvin Carlson:
“It is simply not true that American writers are not writing political plays; we simply know that they will not be produced in New York at not-for-profits with visibility and budgets. We hear in the Times how only the British writers (such as [David] Hare, [Martin] McDonagh, etc.) write politically. They write politically, yes, but they write inside a system that still subsidizes theater and new work and so their work is visible. And we import our political work, which lets the producers and board members feel virtuous. And now, with the Corrie incident, I fear we have to import political outrage, too, from Britain.”As true now as it was then.