The Playgoer: Churchill Gaza Play will Premiere in Chicago

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Churchill Gaza Play will Premiere in Chicago

...and not at Goodman or Steppenwolf.

Yes, rest easy Public & NYTW. The burden of the US premiere* for the most controversial ten-minute play ever, Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children, will be taken on by the brave folks at Rooms Productions, a little outfit not only "Off-Loop" but way out west on the southwest side.

As for the challenges of staging the brief elliptical monologue-collection, I must say they've come up with a nifty solution, "present[ing] it as a performance installation at their gallery in Pilsen." Where it will play basically in a continuous loop.

As for the thorny issue of that pro-Palestinian charity Churchill mandates any ticket proceeds go to, yet another satisfactory solution I think.

In lieu of an admission fee, at the request of Ms. Churchill, ROOMS will setup a donation area where patrons can contribute funds that will go specifically to Medical Aid for Palestinians a British charity that operates in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon.
As I suggested in my original post on the trouble surrounding this piece, a conventional theatre setting (and conventional performance schedules) may not be the best way to go. Leave it to the "outliers," not the major institutions to put themselves out there and make it happen.

And, in keeping with Churchill's impulse here towards raw, immediate response to current events, it goes up next week.

(Via Playbill.)

UPDATE 3/5: I've been informed that this is NOT the US premiere since someone else just performed it last night! The Cambridge Palestine Forum in Cambridge, MA. My apologies.

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