Thursday, April 3, 2008

2008/04/03 my name is Rachel Corrie at Catalyst Theatre

Rachel Corrie has nightmares of falling. In her youth, she fears she will fall and crash. As she grows older, she falls and falls, determined to survive. In life, she falls, possibly unseen, and is crushed by a bulldozer. Rachel Corrie was a complex, driven person, who wanted to change the world. Thruough the play - she may be having a wider, although less direct, effect than the efforts during her lifetime.

Theatre Yes presents Rachel Corrie at Catalyst. Performed by Lora Brovold, directed by Heather Inglis, "my name is Rachel Corrie" is long and intense. Lora's performance was so physical that at times I was worried she would hurt herself on stage. And so complex, mental, philosophical, that I was astonished she didn't lose her way. Maybe she did - who would know? The set was simple and barren, like the desert. A smooth integration of sound, lighting and multi-media enriched the performance.

I was in Israel and travelled from Jerusalem to Cairo in 1984. This play reminded me of how hot, and desolate it can be, and how friendly the people were. And how long and slow a 'border crossing' can be for a wealthy person, by local standards, wiht a Canadian passport. I was so caught up in Rachel Corrie, that I wanted to talk to her about my experiences -- but realized this was Lora, an actress, who transported me back in time and across oceans of space.

This is a play for people who think and want to think more. No musical comedy here. No intermission - but I didn't want an intermission. There was no natural break, no logical point to send the audience out for drinks and socializing - we all know the ending, just not how it will be delivered. There are opportunities to discuss and learn at sessions before the play and on this upcoming weekend.

I have seen many performances at the Catalyst and it is always a friendly place. It looks a bit strange from the outside, like a big cave. Once you are inside, it is warm and friendly. The stage is small. The front row, where I sat, is almost 'on the stage'. As an audience member, you are 'right there'.

Theatre Yes website
Theatre Yes - my Name is Rachel Corrie' page

Rachel Corrie Catalyst Theatre page

Catalyst Theatre website

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