The Playgoer: Kushner speaks!!!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kushner speaks!!!

Looks like he went with the Observer, in response to Heilpern's article. Letter not dated, unfortunately, but online today.

Kabul Scribe Writes One for the Record

To the Editor:

John Heilpern’s excellent column correctly reports and analyzes the mishandling of My Name Is Rachel Corrie by New York Theater Workshop, which has resulted in the cancellation of its N.Y. premiere, apparently out of fear of political objections to its content [“A Scandal for Our Time: Rachel Corrie Ignites Uproar,” At the Theater, March 13].

I have a long history with the Workshop and great admiration for its artistic director, Jim Nicola, but I am disappointed and disheartened by this decision and have
been baffled by the subsequent attempts to justify it.

I am writing to correct an impression conveyed in Mr. Heilpern’s column that my play about Afghanistan, Homebody/Kabul, was twice postponed after Sept. 11, 2001, because of the sensitive nature of the play’s subject. This was absolutely not the case. Homebody/Kabul had been fully cast and was in pre-production before the 9/11 attacks. The play went into rehearsal exactly as planned in early October,
opening in early December 2001.

Because I think theater can usefully address itself to politically sensitive subjects, even if I’d been asked, I would not have agreed to a postponement. To his credit, Jim Nicola never asked.

Tony Kushner

He could not stay silent for long. Respectful--but definitely critical. Heilpern (who was very critical) is called "correct," note. Perhaps intentionally quiet--and relatively unread--by printing in the Observer. (Why not respond to the Times article?) Still, this will get around on the Web. And Nicola will have to respond.

Be sure you also catch Christopher Shinn's letter below.

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