Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Name is Rachel Corrie: Marquette Performance

Last night I attended a one woman play at Marquette. The Play, My Name is Rachel Corrie was the senior capstone of Marquette actress Jennifer Shine.

Rachel Corrie was a peace activist killed by an Israeli Bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. At the time Ms. Corrie was attempting to stand between the Bulldozer and a Palestinian home that was being torn down to pave the way for Israeli settlers.

Ms. Shine gave a remarkable performance as Rachel. As one audience member remarked "you made me think you were Rachel." No higher praise can be given an actor than that and Ms. Shine truly did accomplish this feat. Her performance was passionate and moving, she brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience last night.

I found the play important for several reasons. First, the play communicates Rachel Corries' passion for a better world. But more than that, the dialog - consisting entirely of the actual words of Ms. Corrie from journals and emails - shows us a young woman who is inherently positive and believes in her fellow humans, but whose faith and hope is severely challenged by the tragedy of the Palestinian people.

Second, by communicating the plight of the Palestinians through the eyes of an outsider, we learn a great deal about the suffering they endure.

Truly memorable are Rachel's words about the people of Gaza. She describes the agony of numerous check points, the economic disaster, the bulldozing of homes and green houses, bullets whizzing by constantly, homes full of tank blasts, children pyschological damaged by their worn torn lives.

The horror of occupation is brought vividly to life in this play through the words of a woman of courage and passion.

Jennifer Shine told the audience in a Q and A session afterward that she plans to continue doing theatre for the purpose of social justice.

Let us hope so. She's a gifted actress. The arts can communicate much to us and often transform us as well.

In this case an inspiring young woman who lost her life fighting for a better world spoke to us and challenged us. Let us hope we all learned something.

At the play Peace Action Wisconsin set up a table to convey accurate information on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Check out their web page, as they are very informative.


  1. I went to this as well and pretty much agree with everything you said. I'm so glad this play was performed on MU's campus. We could use more discussion on this issue and ACTION, too (especially as a university--a JESUIT one on top of that) on behalf of those suffering.

  2. Yes! I thougt the Q&A afterward was extremely nice. I made the very last performance, tuesday at 8pm. Just made it and very glad I did.

    We had a good crowd and a good discussion, I heard monday night had an even larger turn out!


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