Canada

Toronto's CanStage may get Rachel Corrie play

Toronto's Canadian Stage Company is negotiating for the rights to the controversial play My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Toronto's Canadian Stage Company is negotiating for the rights to the controversial play My Name is Rachel Corrie.

The play, about a young American student killed while trying to stop the Israeli destruction of a Palestinian home, has had two sold-out runs in London and one in New York.

The work set off a debate about U.S. tolerance for diverse opinions after an initial run,scheduled for New York in April, was delayed because of protests by Jewish groups.

They said the play was anti-Semitic because of its criticism of Israeli policies in Gaza.

The real Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old human rights activist, travelled to the Middle East with the International Solidarity Movement.

She died in the southern Gaza town of Rafah in March 2003 after she stood, unarmed, in front of an Israeli bulldozer that was destroying a Palestinian home. An Israeli investigation ruled the death accidental.

Supportershailed Corrie for her bravery and commitment and opponents condemned her as foolish and naive.

If CanStage is successful in getting the rights to the play, it will be stagedin the 2007-8 season.

The full lineup for that season won't be released until February 2007.

The script by Guardian editor Katherine Viner and actor-director Alan Rickman is based on Corrie's diaries, letters and e-mails and outlines her development as an activist.

In London, Megan Dodds won critical acclaim in therole of Corrie;the play was directed by Rickman, who Harry Potter film fansknow as Severus Snape.

CanStage said it is too early in negotiations to have casting details for any Toronto show.

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