Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Go See 9 Parts of Desire

Beyond the Proscenium Productions, the theatre company I founded back in 1994, is extending the current production for two more weekends. Director Karen Nyland has done a stunning job as have the actors in this humourous, chilling and bittersweet look at Iraqi women.
  • Friday, July 25th at 8:00 pm Saturday, July 26th at 8:00 pm Sunday, July 27th at 2:00 pm Thursday, July 31st at 8:00 pm Friday, August 1st at 8:00 pm Saturday, August 2nd at 8:00 pm Tickets are $12 general and $10 for seniors, students, SARTA members, and groups of 6 or more. Call 916-456-1600 or email
9 Parts of Desire is a fascinating meditation on love, loss, regret, motherhood, identity, war, and survival through the voices of nine Iraqi women as told by Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo.
Iraq from a woman's point of view: featured story in The Sacramento Bee Ticket Section
"I allow the Iraqi point of view to be complex and divided. I allow the Iraqi voices to be on many sides of the issues facing Iraqis. I allow their deep and extensive history to be present in the play, even while talking about a contemporary issue. Essentially, I think audience members see in "9 Parts of Desire" the kinds of complex human stories they cannot find on TV or in the general media. And most specifically they are hearing from the women."
Read Marcus Crowder's interview with playwright Heather Raffo:
  • Sacramento News & Review

    9 Parts of Desire

    By Jeff Hudson More stories by this author...

    Playwright Heather Raffo’s harrowing script looks at life in Iraq during the past 30 years—through tyranny and war—from the perspective of multiple Iraqi women. We meet a painter, a doctor, an impish girl, a peddler selling family heirlooms and a devastated mother who lost her child when American bombs fell. We also meet two exiles and others who stayed, including some who got uncomfortably close to Saddam and his sons.

    As a writer, Raffo brings personal perspective to the task—her father is Iraqi, her mother American. Raffo originally performed this piece herself, as a solo show in Britain, New York and Los Angeles, winning several awards.

    In this mounting, by Sacramento’s ever-adventuresome Beyond the Proscenium Productions, the play is staged as an ensemble piece without intermission, featuring five or six cast members (depending on which night you attend); almost all of the segments are monologues, frequently intense.

    The names and faces onstage bespeak American diversity, but that doesn’t become a problem. Most segments manage to put you in the shoes of these Iraqi women, raised in a country with an ancient history, known at one time for literacy and medicine, now largely wrecked by mismanagement, military invasion and internal conflict. It’s a haunting, eye-opening evening.

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