The Playgoer: Caryl Churchill on Gaza

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Caryl Churchill on Gaza

The Royal Court will put up a brand new 10-minute one-act about Gaza by Caryl Churchill, and will make the text available to the public through perhaps the first ever mass downloading of a new play by a major writer:

The Royal Court Theater will stage the world premiere of Caryl Churchill's "Seven Jewish Children -- A Play for Gaza," a 10-minute work written in response to the current humanitarian crisis that examines the history of the state of Israel....

The script is being made available for free download beginning Feb. 10 from the websites of the Royal Court, publishers Nick Hern Books and Churchill's agents Casarotto Ramsay. No charge will be made for performance rights on condition that a collection is made for Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Meanwhile, My Name is Rachel Corrie comes to New York again in a small revival at yet another timely/untimely moment. Funny story: it's going up at the little Kraine Theatre, 85 E. 4th St. What's next door at 79 E. 4th St? New York Theatre Workshop, who nixed the play 3 years ago over fears that Hamas' election made it in bad taste. So much for waiting out those bumps in the mideast peace process.

Gee, do you think all performances of all these pro-Palestinian plays should be suspended while we all cool down from this Gaza thing?


Anonymous said...

"Gee, do you think all performances of all these pro-Palestinian plays should be suspended while we all cool down from this Gaza thing?"

Absolutely not.

Playgoer said...

Sorry, I guess my intended sarcastic tone there didn't come through.

I was alluding to the original NYTW cover story audiences shouldn't have to confront such controversial material when it's, you know, in the news.

Theater of Ideas said...

Though I would argue that this again belies the underlying assumption of the Rachel Corrie hubub, that pro-Palestinian theater is in any way difficult to produce in New York or London. I would agree that there are places in America that the pro-Palestinian politics is a problem, but New York is not one. London definitely has constant pro-Palestinian pieces, without much representation of anything sympathetic with Israel.

Anonymous said...


Lord, as I crumple in defeat
Upon the waning battlefield,
Amongst such wastrel souls to meet
Demise without a fruitful yield--

Yet here and there, so I observe
Moments of triumph, few and fleeting
As there are some who hold their nerve
Despite the odds which us are beating.

So it was in Jerusalem
Haruki Murakami came,
To meet civilians, and to them
Art´s fictions true so to proclaim.

Thus Caryl Churchill too released
In honest words without a fee
Her breath of truth, and so appeased
The angels of humanity.

Before my little light expires,
Yet in defeat, I witness this:
There are some acts my soul admires
As I slide closer toward abyss.