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Loyola University’s spring theatre season opens tonight with “9 Parts of Desire” and visit from playwright

February 22, 2008

The Loyola University New Orleans Department of Theatre Arts and Dance proudly presents 9 Parts of Desire, a play by Heather Raffo. Directed by Laura Hope, 9 Parts of Desire is a work designed to be so compassionate and heartbreakingly human that it will change the way the audience thinks about the women of the Middle East. The play is a portrait of the extraordinary and ordinary lives of a cross-section population of Iraqi women, lifting the veil on what it means to be a woman in the age-old war zone of Iraq.

9 Parts of Desire was inspired by Heather Raffo’s trip to the Saddam Art Center in Baghdad, where she discovered, in a back room, a painting of a nude woman clinging to a barren tree. Curious about the artist who created this striking work and the world that inspired her, Raffo began interviewing Iraqi women and ultimately collected the stories and experiences that have created the play’s composite characters.

Loyola’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance will welcome playwright Heather Raffo during the run of the department’s production. During her visit to Loyola, Raffo will conduct masterclasses and workshops for Loyola students. Raffo is the recipient of a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Special Commendation and the Marian Seldes-Garson Kanin Fellowship for 9 Parts of Desire. 9 Parts of Desire was first performed in London’s Off-West End in 2003. Its New York premiere took place in the fall 2004 at the Manhattan Ensemble Theater, where the show ran for nine sold-out months. The play is now produced throughout the United States and abroad.

Performances take place February 22, 23, 28, 29, and March 1, at 8 p.m., February 24 at 2 p.m., and February 27 at 7 p.m. in the Lower Depths Theatre of the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus. Free parking will be available on campus for all shows. The public will have two opportunities to meet the playwright: a “talk-back” session after the February 24 performance and a public lecture after the February 27 performance.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for Loyola community, students, and senior citizens. For group rates, please call (504) 865-2074.

9 Parts of Desire is presented as part of the Loyola University Montage Series. The Montage series is a fine and performing arts showcase that exhibits some of the top arts events in the region. The series is dedicated to providing educational and entertaining performances, which include outstanding concerts, guest performers, masterclasses, jazz, dance, art exhibitions, and theatre productions in an intimate setting.

For more information about this or other upcoming events, visit www.montage.loyno.edu or contact Sean Snyder at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call (504) 865-5882.

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