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9 Parts of Desire - Acting Edition
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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 and details the lives of nine Iraqi women that span the decades between the first and second Gulf Wars and occupation. This work delves into the many conflicting aspects of what it means to be a woman in a country overshadowed by war.
In the original version, a single performer plays all nine characters. Heather Raffo herself has acted in productions of Nine Parts of Desire. Michael Billington of The Guardian wrote that the play's "great virtue" "is that it not only deals with the plight of Iraqi women but forces us to confront the moral issues of war. The title originates from a statement from Ali that "God created sexual desire in 10 parts; then he gave nine parts to women and one to men. The only aspect the book by Brooks and the play share are the title. According to Raffo, a painting titled "Savagery",  depicting a naked woman holding onto a tree, gave her the inspiration to make this play.
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The title comes from the teachings of the seventh-century imam Ali ibn Abu Talib: "God created sexual desire in ten parts; then he gave nine parts to women and one part to men. This compassionate and heart-breaking work will forever change your view of Iraqi women and the people of the Middle East. Heather Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire. Heather Raffo Author. Publication Date. November