Play: Nine Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo

Sat, June 5, 2004 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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A solo play told through the lives of nine radical Iraqi women

"God created sexual desire in ten parts; then he gave nine parts to women an one to men." Heather Raffo brings to life Iraqi women: artists, doctors, wives, exiles. Hear a society long silenced finally speak. "But I am good at being naked - it's what I do, in secret."

Amir ElSaffar will open the show with Iraqi maqam on Santoor

Admission: $10


Nine Parts of Desire began at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. It later moved to the Bush Theatre in London where critics hailed it one of the five best plays in London. The central character is based on an Iraqi painter known for her daring use of the female nude, and for rumored affairs with men tied to Hussein's regime. The play was inspired by Raffo's trip to the Saddam Art Center in Baghdad in 1993 where she saw only billboard size portraits of Saddam Hussein. Then in a back room, she saw a painting of a nude woman clinging to a barren tree. There was a light in front of her, like a sun, but her head was hanging, bowed. Raffo took a photo of the painting, came back to America and has been digesting this painting and what it must mean to be an Iraqi woman now.

"With elegance, composure and a raging sensuality, Raffo skirts around the danger zone laying bare the secret identities of an often closed order." - The Herald / UK

"Raffo is a fine actress. The play raises a difficult question, what should the west have done about Iraq?" - Michael Billington, The Guardian / UK

About the play

Last updated: 2007-11-27 09:59:14

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