Play offers hope for peace

By |2007-10-11T09:00:00-04:00October 11th, 2007|Entertainment|

‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’
8 p.m. Oct. 18-20, Oct. 25-27
2 p.m. Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.
Peace Education Center, Lansing

LANSING – The Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing will anchor its 2007 fall schedule with a dynamic one-person play, “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” with eight shows in October at the Woldumar Nature Center’s RE Olds Anderson Rotary Barn in Lansing. The production is in conjunction with Sunsets with Shakespeare, a local theater company.
The play is based on the writings and e-mails of American activist Rachel Corrie, who at age 23 was bulldozed to death by the Israeli military in Palestine on March 16, 2003. The play follows Rachel’s life as a young American growing up in Olympia, Wash., through her political awakening during her activism in Palestine. The theater production brings to life the words and first-hand observations of a witness to violence and oppression.
“Rachel Corrie’s story – as reflected in her life’s struggle for peace and justice – shows how far we have yet to travel to bring peace to Palestine and Israel,” said Jackie Williams, the event organizer for the Peace Education Center. “Yet Rachel’s words and bravery in the face of oppression offers hope that peace and justice will ultimately prevail, if only we demanded it from our political leaders.”
Controversy has followed the performance in a number of locations it has played, including London, New York, Seattle, and others. “We brought this production to Lansing because more needs to be done to bring peace to the Middle East,” said Tom Rico, the co-chair of the Peace Education Center, in a statement. “The Peace Education Center is clear in its position: No amount of bombs, guns, rockets, bulldozers, or walls – from either Palestinians or Israelis – will bring peace to the region. Violence and oppression, whether state-sponsored or not, must be removed from the situation. Only honest, direct negotiations will lead to peace. This play brings these issues to the forefront.”
The Peace Education Center is planning a panel discussion and community dialogue after the Sunday performance on Oct. 21.
Todd A. Heywood of Sunsets with Shakespeare Theater Company will direct the play. The role of Rachel Corrie will be performed by Lindsay Palinsky. According to Heywood, “Sunsets has always attempted to provide relevant pieces to stir conversation about life in modern America. There is no question that this play is a beautiful, stirring piece about one American woman’s journey into tragedy. We are honored to work with the Peace Education Center on this project and hope the production will forge a strong consistent dialogue about the conflict. Conversation, not guns and bombs, will solve many of the issues in the world today. But first we must take the first step to understanding each other.”
There will be eight performances. Evening performances beginning at 8 p.m. will run Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27. Matinee performances at 2 p.m. will be shown on back-to-back Sundays, Oct. 21 and Oct. 28. A panel discussion will be held after the Oct. 21 performance.

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