The Off Broadway hit play 9 Parts of Desire, written and performed by Heather Raffo, was inspired by a trip to a modern art museum in Baghdad in August 1993 and details the lives of nine Iraqi women that span the decades between the first and second Gulf Wars and occupation. Described by The New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world”, it is a portrait of the extraordinary (and ordinary) lives of a whole cross-section of Iraqi women: a sexy painter, a radical Communist, doctors, exiles, wives and lovers. This work delves into the many conflicting aspects of what it means to be a woman in a country overshadowed by war.
9 Parts of Desire has played Off Broadway, Off West End, regionally throughout America as well as internationally. It’s premiere was in August 2003 at the Traverse Theater, Edinburgh. It later moved to the Bush Theater in London’s Off-West End. It was selected both as “First Choice/The Best Shows in London” by The Times, and as one of the “Five Best Plays” in London by The Independent. 9 Parts of Desire was next developed and performed as a reading at The Public Theatre as part of their New Work Now festival in Spring 2004. It’s Off Broadway premiere was at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, where the show ran for nine sold out months and was a critics pick (of the New York Times, Time Out and Village Voice) for over twenty four weeks in a row.
Written and performed by Heather Raffo
Directed by Joanna Settle
Set Design by Antje Ellermann
Costume Design by Mattie Ullrich
Lighting Design by Peter West
Original Music and Sound by Obadiah Eaves
Props by Kathy Fabian
Production Stage Manager: Lisa Gavaletz
Assistant Director: Shana Gozansky
Production Managers: Gene O’Donovan and W. Benjamin Heller for Aurora Productions
Presented by Manhattan Ensemble Theater, David Fishelson, Artistic Director; James Sparnon, Producing Director