One-Woman Show Illustrates Complexity of Women in War-Torn Iraq
Dr. Carrie Ameling
Limestone College Theatre will present the one-woman play 9 Parts of Desire by Iraqi-American Heather Raffo October 21-23 in the Limestone Theatre Center (130 Leadmine Road). Curtain time each evening is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults, and $4 for seniors (65-years-old and older) and students with a valid school ID. Limestone students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with college identification. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door or can be reserved online . Performed by Dr. Carrie Ameling, Associate Professor of Theatre and English at Limestone, 9 Parts of Desire is an impassioned theatrical documentary about the lives of contemporary Iraqi women and takes an honest look at social and political issues in Iraq. The play looks at all perspectives of the past and present wars in Iraq as well as the struggles and triumphs faced by the women in this culture.

There will be post-show discussions following the Thursday and Saturday night performances. The post-show conversations are open to anyone and will provide the audience with an opportunity to discuss the social issues and themes in the play.

9 Parts of Desire was created by Raffo after a life-changing trip to Iraq. Through numerous interviews, she discovered the complexity of Iraqi women. She transformed these interviews into nine fascinating characters who tell stories of heartache, sacrifice, and courage beyond compare. Raffo created and performed in the original production of 9 Parts of Desire. This powerful and beautifully written play is a tribute to the strong spirit of Iraqi women who are often misunderstood and judged.

"As an American with a father who was born in Iraq, I naturally live on both sides of the issues (concerning Iraq and the wars there)," Raffo wrote on her website. "The first Gulf War was the most defining moment of my life. I was in school at the University of Michigan, and I remember watching many of my fellow students at the bar cheering the war as it played out on television while I was worried if my family in Baghdad was even going to survive. Over a decade later, I think Americans are deeply questioning their place in Iraq, and wondering about its history: Who are its people? What do they want? Why are we there? Did we do the right thing?"

About 9 Parts of Desire, she writes "I intended to write a piece about the Iraqi psyche, something that would inform and enlighten the images we see on television. However, the play is equally about the American psyche. It is a dialogue between east and west. The characters are deeply engaged in circumstances unique to them as Iraqis and yet through their passions seem to answer the concerns of the west. The audience plays a vital role in the show with each Iraqi character speaking directly to them in English as if they were a trusted western friend. I wanted the audience to see these women not as the ‘other' but much more like themselves than they would have initially thought. I felt it was important to create a safe environment to experience both horror and humor, but ultimately to see the play as a celebration of life."