The Theater Department is presenting the contemporary drama 9 Parts of Desire now through February 16 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Written by Heather Raffo, the 90-minute play includes monologues from nine Iraqi women detailing their lives during the first and second Gulf wars and occupation. The play premiered in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2003 and has since appeared off-Broadway and across the United States.
Senior theater major Alysha Reller selected and is directing this production.
“I read several plays and this one stuck in my head. It has such an amazingly powerful message,” said Reller, who hopes to write and direct films. “It connected to a lot of my personal beliefs about the strengths of women and universal qualities people share, no matter their nationality.”
It is Reller’s hope that audiences will leave the theater seeing similarities between Iraqis and themselves.
“These women are exactly like us, with the same hopes, fears, and dreams, the same life problems,” she said. “There is a connection between all people that transcends culture and political differences.”
Actress and Buffalo State theater lecturer Maureen Porter is serving as the play’s faculty adviser.
“Maureen has been a great help in making the transition from knowing the theories and intellectual side of directing to putting it into practice,” said Reller. Porter also helped cast the nine females and one male roles included in the production.
Along with compelling stories, 9 Parts Desire gives its audience unique insight into some Middle Eastern perspectives.
“It provides an amazing opportunity to open our hearts and minds,” Reller said. “If we are going to progress as a nation and a world, we have to accept other people and transcend our world differences.”
Performances will be at 8:00 p.m. February 6-9 and February 13-16. Admission: $6 for Buffalo State students; $10 for faculty, staff, and alumni, other students, and senior citizens; and $15 for the general public.
To purchase tickets, go to the Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center Box Office, order by phone at (716) 878-3005 or online.