9 Parts of Desire—A Portrait of Iraqi Women in the Shadow of War—Opens at the Riverside Festival Stage, August 19th.

Iowa Theatre Blog says “9 Parts is Powerful.”

Read the blog’s great interview with the cast of 9 Parts of Desire.

Dreamwell Theatre and Iowa City Community Theatre have joined forces to produce 9 Parts of Desire, a portrait of the besieged, broken, uplifting and extraordinary experiences of nine Iraqi women living in a country overshadowed by war. Rachel Howell directs the critically-acclaimed work.

Playwright Heather Raffo, an Iraqi-American, gathered material from hours of interviews with Iraqi women. The resulting work deftly and poetically weaves the stories of a sensual and complicated artist, a radical communist, a doctor embittered by unimaginable horrors, a woman who sells scavenged items to survive, a ceremonial leader of mourning, an elderly exile, a questioning young girl, a mother longing for lasting affection from a man, a caretaker of a memorial, and an Iraqi-American living in New York during 9-11.

Originally produced as a one-woman show, Howell cast nine area actresses in the show.

“I saw this as an opportunity to lend distinct voices to these beautiful, heartrending characters,” says Howell. “The roles absolutely demand compassion, vulnerability and humor, making this a unique showcase for the diverse female talent in our community.”

9 Parts of Desire will be performed August 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28 (Extra show added Sunday, 8/29!) at the Riverside Festival Stage in City Park at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $10 seniors and $8 students, available at the performance. Cash or check only please.

For more information visit www.dreamwell.com or www.iowacitycommunitytheatre.com

Reviews for 9 Parts of Desire:

“The voices are a study in contrasts: vivid and subdued, sophisticated and naive, seductive and standoffish. But they cohere to form a powerful collective portrait of suffering and endurance in Nine Parts of Desire, Heather Raffo’s impassioned theatrical documentary about the lives of contemporary Iraqi women.”–Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

“An example of how art can remake the world and eloquently name pain. . .the play brings news of the psychic life of the brutalized and allows us to think about the unthinkable.”–John Lahr, The New Yorker

THE CAST:
Amal—Jen Gerbyshak
The American—Angie Toomsen
The Doctor—Ashley Yates
Huda—Meg Dobbs
Iraqi Girl—Ottavia De Luca
Layal—Sarah Jarmon
Mullaya—Robyn McCright
Nanna—Mary Haaf Wedemeyer
Umm Ghada—Kathy Maxey