Let me preface what I'm about to say by saying that I didn't attend either of the two recent nexStage play readings of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie"—doesn't sound like I exactly missed much, either: A lot of radiantly and apologetically-shallow, pro-Palestinian talk desperately and pathetically masquerading as a "human rights" cause celebre. What I do know about the various "outbursts" that followed one, or both, performances last month I've received second-hand, from people who were there.
But two things seem to be very clear now:
1) The Express reporter who wrote about the controversy in your July 16 issue went to laughable extremes to not include even one question or comment verbatim that various audience members voiced after the show ended on either night.
2) Why did no one in attendance on either play-reading night ask: Why was Rachel Corrie (very oddly and almost suicidally) compelled to travel half-way around the world to a place as unrelentingly-violent as the Gaza Strip to address what she perceived to be—rightly or wrongly—various "egregious human-rights violations and atrocities," when there are so many happening still right here in her own United States Of America?
Do oppressed Native Americans, for instance, not have the same college-resume appeal these days that, say, Palestinians, do?
Having had numerous encounters and confrontations (often angry ones, too) back in 1990 with students of all ages at Olympia's Evergreen State University—where Rachel Corrie was a student prior to her death—I can unequivocally attest to the fact that that sorta/kinda/not-really "college" easily has more thinly-veiled anarchists, socialists, Marxists, communists and/or anti-Semites per capita (save for perhaps unrelentingly-noxious U.C. Berkeley) than any campus I've ever visited anywhere in the U.S.—and I've been to a lot of them!
Maybe, just maybe, Rachel Corrie blundered into the Gaza Strip with the "best of intentions."
But I strongly, strongly doubt it.
And I openly applaud those numerous, brave nexStage audience members who recently expressed their own well-founded doubts and skepticisms on that very same score—none of which to me, anyway, come across as being (either to Rachel or her parents) even the least bit "shameful," "destructive," "vitriolic," "coarse," "disrespectful" and/or "inexcusable" ... only very understandable and probably, also, long, long overdue.