Lauded New England Staging of Nine Parts of Desire Re-Imagined in Ithaca Dec. 6-23

News   Lauded New England Staging of Nine Parts of Desire Re-Imagined in Ithaca Dec. 6-23 Nine Parts of Desire, Heather Raffo's portrait of the varied lives of Iraqi women, will be seen Dec. 6-23 in Ithaca, NY, in an intimate production by the Kitchen Theatre Company.

A year ago, the team of actress Lanna Joffrey and director Carmel O'Reilly (artistic director of the Sugan Theatre Company in Boston) developed a production of the London and New York sensation at Boston's Lyric Stage Company. Joffrey received the IRNE Award for best solo performance for that run.

They are now joined by Kitchen Theatre veteran designer Solomon Weisbard (scenic and lighting) "to re-imagine it for the intimate Kitchen Theatre space," which has 73 seats.

According to KTC, the solo play is "a timely meditation on the ancient, the modern and the feminine" that "delves into the many conflicting aspects of what it means to be a woman in a country overshadowed by war."

The play's title refers to a quote from Imam Ali, founder of the Shia denomination of Islam: "God created sexual desire in ten parts; then He gave nine parts to women and one to men."

KTC artistic director Rachel Lampert stated, "Nine Parts of Desire is an important play to produce, especially at this time. The lives and stories of the women we encounter in this play illuminate their cultural, historical, political and philosophical differences, and I hope, shed light on the on-going struggle to understand those differences. In addition to the issues raised in this play, the form, tempo and design of it is compelling and original." Raffo's play was first performed in August 2003 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. It later moved to the Bush Theatre in London's Off-West End. It was next developed and performed as a reading at The Public Theater as part of their New Work Now festival in spring 2004. In October 2004 it had its New York premiere at the Manhattan Ensemble Theater, where it ran for nine sold-out months. A tour followed.

For the KTC staging, sound designer is Dewey Dellay, costume designer is Lisa Boquist and stage manager is Stephen A. Wagner. For more information call (607) 273-4497 or visit www.kitchentheatre.org.