Friday, October 26, 2007

My name is Rachel Corrie: Katharine Viner's Interview

-->Many people may give their lives everyday for freedom and other values, but nobody gets to know it. In this case, Rachel's youth, and the fact that she was American made her offer of her life more prominent than others’?
K.V: I’ m not sure that so many people give their lives everyday for freedom! Rachel’s story is well known because she was American, yes, but also because she was a great writer, and also because it is rare for an activist to be killed protesting against occupation anywhere. That said, it should not detract from the huge numbers of oppressed people killed every day – at the contrary, Rachel’s death and her writing made people more aware of them.
-->How easy did you find editing 184 pages of Corrie’s journals and making up a play? What was the most important to include in the play?
K.V: It was very difficult as the material was so strong and we had many debates. I wanted to make sure we kept two aspects: first, Rachel’s journey as a political woman; and second, the window onto life under occupation that she provided.
-->To what extend did Alan Rickman was involved with your work? Did you both had a say on the scenes, Corrie’s character, the material to be left out etc?
K.V : We worked as collaborates. We discussed everything about the edit.
-->What is the uppermost reason the play is written? To let people know of the event? To make the investigation on her death more quick and thorough?
K.V : It was written to allow Rachel Corrie to tell her story after her death.
-->Which part do you personally take on the accident? Did the bulldozer see Corrie and did everything on purpose, or it was an accident indeed?
K.V: Very many international eyewitness reports say the bulldozer driver could see Rachel in her florescent vest. The driver claimed that he did not. This seems to me unlikely.
-->What part does the play take, though? Could it be blamed for being partial and in favor of a certain point of view?
K.V : The play is in favor of Rachel’s point of view, and Rachel was against the occupation of Palestinian land and the suffering it caused. But so what? Who said that art should be impartial?
-->“A martyr to the Palestinians; for Israelis at best naive, interfering in a situation she didn't understand. And to some Americans she was a traitor”. Do you share the point of view of the Palestinians? Do we get to see the complexity of the situation seeing this play, after all? Doesn’t it give us a more of a manichaeistic view of the world?
K.V : The play does not claim to tell the history of the Middle East from 1948 to the present day. It is Rachel’s words, nothing more or less.
-->You went for a documentaristic piece of theatre. Why did you stay away for fiction on the whole?
K.V : Rachel lived and died, she was real, of course we could not turn her into “fiction”!
-->How did you find the Greek staging? Does it have any similarities with the English one? Do you easily give permission for it to be staged in other countries?
K.V : We are delighted that so many countries asked to stage My name is Rachel Corrie and the Greek production is wonderful. I found it more emotional and inventive than the English staging.
-->Do you think the way the actress that plays Corrie looks is important for the integrity of the play?
K.V : No, but Despina, like Megan, looked younger and brighter before she went to Gaza than after, which I think makes sense.
-->Are you satisfied with the outcome of getting involved with a political play? Would you do it again? Do you believe it’s about time for theatre to overcome Chekhov, Strindberg and the like and focus on real problems of today, letting aside anxieties and fears of an indifferent bourgeoisie?
K.V : Political theatre is thriving in the U.K, usually using a documentary/ verbatim format, and it seems to me a very exciting, satisfying and effective format.
-->What does political theatre has to give to its audience? How useful it is in our days? Does this exact play have the impact you expected?
K.V : I hope the play does have an impact: to show that there are some young people who, in Rachel’s words, define themselves in other ways than what they chose to buy at the mall’ – and many of these progressive young people are Americans; and to remind people of the horrors of occupation. Rachel’s mum, Cindy, said that before Rachel went to Gaza, “Palestinians were invisible to me” Rachel changed that for her mother and perhaps can do so for others too.

Η ελληνική εκδοχή του θεατρικού έργου που η Katharine Viner επιμελήθηκε μαζί με τον Alan Rickman, επιλέγοντας αποσπάσματα από ημερολόγια και άλλα γραπτά της Rachel Corrie, ανεβαίνει από την ομάδα Σπασμένη Καρέκλα στο Θέατρο Φούρνος, με τον τίτλο Το Όνομά μου είναι Rachel Corrie. Φωτο: η πρωταγωνίστρια Δέσποινα Σαραφίδου και η Katharine Viner με την διευθύντρια του θεάτρου Ντοντό Σαντοριναίου.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

καλέ κυρία σκάρλετ...όλα καλά και υπέροχα, αλλά το θαυμαστικό στο τέλος δεν το αφαιρέσατε!!!

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