9 Parts of Desire

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.


Production History:

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