We have has a special place in its heart for Alan Rickman at Theatre Yes. He was many things - among them he was the force behind the creation of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie which structured the writings of the 24 year old activist killed by bulldozer in Gaza trying to prevent the destruction of a civilian home into a play that was performed around the wold. My Name is Rachel Corrie was produced by Theatre Yes in 2008 and is one of our favourite all time productions. Alan gave voice to Rachel's beautiful writing and paid tribute to her passionate work and hunger for justice, while shinning light on the suffering of a people much of the world would like to think deserve the human rights abuses they endure. It was the first time I worked with brave and amazingly talented Lora Brovold and then stage manager now MD Carrie Fisher. Alan had the grace and generosity to send us a short note of congratulations on our production. It meant a great deal to all of us that he took the time to write to artists in a small theatre company half a world a way which he had never heard of to support us. It was generous, classy and demonstrated a sort of humanity that I'd like to think the best art comes from. We were touched and inspired by his note and at his passing cried a bit about how he made a difference to us here in Edmonton Alberta.
Alan was terrific and beloved actor who played many memorable roles - he was also a thoughtful and passionate creator who saw the potential of theatre to examine complex situations and open our hearts a bit to suffering far away from our own comfortable lives. By taking a lead role in getting Rachel's story to the stage he enabled the intersection of the lives of artists and audiences around the world and made it just a bit more compassionate. I hope one day to have such an impact. Gods speed Alan.