Entertainment

Controversial Rachel Corrie play to open in New York

A play about a young American killed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting the destruction of a Palestinian home will finally open in New York.

A play about a young American killed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting the destruction of a Palestinian home will finally open in New York.

My Name is Rachel Corrie, which has had two sellout runs in London, is set to debutat the off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theatre on Oct. 15.

A production planned for the New York Theatre Workshopthis past April was postponed indefinitely after Jewish groups objected to the play.

Pam Pariseau and Dena Hammerstein, who produced the one-woman play at London's Royal Court Theatre will also take it to New York, they announced on Thursday.

Director Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner, features editor of the Guardian newspaper in London, wrote My Name is Rachel Corrie based on her diaries, letters and e-mails.

Corrie, a 23-year-old human rights activist who travelled to the Middle East with the International Solidarity Movement, died in the southern Gaza town of Rafah in March 2003.

She stood, unarmed, in front of an Israeli bulldozer that was destroying a Palestinian home. An Israeli investigation ruled the death accidental.

Corrie has become a divisive figure in the United States, with supporters hailing her bravery and commitment and opponents condemning her as foolish and naive.

"We wanted to present a balanced portrait," Rickman said in a statement.

"The activist part of her life is absolutely matched by the imaginative part of her life. I've no doubt at all that had she lived, there would have been novels and plays pouring out of her."

Rickman is a stage and screen actor who has directed plays such as The Winter Guest andrecently played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series.

Not painted as 'a golden saint'

The play touches on Corrie's childhood and her life as a student, as well as her activism.

"We were never going to paint Rachel as a golden saint or sentimentalize her, but we also needed to face the fact that she'd been demonized," Rickman said.

The play, starring Megan Dodds, was a hit in London. It had a second sellout run after the last-minute cancellation of the firstNew York production.

The new show, beginning previews Oct. 5, will run for 48 performances.

Corrie's aunt, Cheryl Broderson, said the family was "absolutely ecstatic" the play would be seen in New York, according to Reuters.

The family is urging the U.S. government to demand an independent investigation intoCorrie's death.

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