CHAPEL HILL – Portraits of nine distinctly different Iraqi women are woven into the one-woman show 9 Parts of Desire, to be presented by PlayMakers Repertory Company April 22-26. PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will conclude its 2008-2009 PRC² second-stage series with the production.

The New Yorker said 9 Parts of Desire is “A triumph! Thrilling! An example of how art can remake the world!”

Based on a decade of interviews by Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo, the lives of a cross section of Iraqi women are explored. Theater-goers will hear the stories of a doctor, a vivacious painter, a radical Communist, an exile, wives, mothers, sisters and lovers. The timely and sensitive play delves into the many conflicting aspects of what it means to be a woman in this age-old war zone in the Middle East.

“Humor and horror are experienced together in this moving portrayal that lifts the veil on women’s lives in a culture vastly different than our own,” said PlayMakers’ producing artistic director Joseph Haj.

9 Parts of Desire “brings us closer to the inner life of Iraq than a thousand slick-surfaced TV reports,” said The Wall Street Journal. It is “beautifully shaped … and therein lies its singular force and compulsion … it is persuasive precisely because it is beautiful.”

The play will be directed by Emily Ranii, artistic director of the ArtsCenter Stage in Carrboro, where she recently directed A Child’s Christmas in Wales. She also is a member of Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh.

Performing the piece is Elizabeth Huffman, who has acted Off-Broadway, regionally and extensively in Los Angeles theaters. She also has appeared at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and Hanau, Germany’s Theatertage Festival. Huffman also is a director and playwright.

PRC² performances are followed by artist-audience discussions. Shows will be at 8 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on April 26 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Tickets are $24 to $32, available at www.playmakersrep.org or (919) 962-PLAY (7529).

Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premiere resident professional theater company. The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America.

PlayMakers recently announced its plays for 2009-2010. A variety of subscription packages are now available. For the lowest subscription prices, new and renewing subscribers can take advantage of PlayMakers’ Early Bird Discount rates through May 4. 

PlayMakers contact: Connie Mahan, (919) 428-1744, cmahan@email.unc.edu
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093, spurrk@email.unc.edu