This Week on One Detroit:

Michigan playwright Heather Raffo re-imagines ‘Nine Parts’ play as new film with Detroit Public Theatre

When Michigan-born Iraqi American playwright Heather Raffo was offered the opportunity to re-make her seminal 2003 monologue play “Nine Parts of Desire” as a film, it was more than just a chance to bring her play to the screen. It was an opportunity to write a whole new version, in light of the 20th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, and in light of the grief and trauma of the COVID pandemic.

This story also appeared in DPTV - One Detroit

“Nine Parts,” Raffo’s film adaptation, weaves a remarkable story about the lives and experiences of Iraqi and Iraqi-American women into a new modern story based on her own experience of losing her father to COVID in early 2020 and being unable to hold a funeral or grieve with loved ones. Raffo wrote and stars in the film as the sole actress in the movie performing as an ensemble of characters.

The film looks at what the experiences and rituals of Iraqi women can teach us about grief, division, and the chaotic state of America today. It was co-produced by Detroit Public Theatre and People’s Light Theatre in Pennsylvania. The film airs on Detroit Public TV at 9 p.m. Friday, March 24.

One Detroit’s Chris Jordan joined the production team on-location of the “Nine Parts” filming in Flint and Detroit in May 2022 for a behind-the-scenes look at how Raffo’s play was adapted into a screenplay. While on set, he talks with Raffo, producer Nilou Safinya and Detroit Public Theatre Producing Artistic Director Sarah Winkler about the inception of the filming, the importance of the story being retold in present day, and the similarities Raffo finds to the start of the Iraq war 20 years ago.

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Fading stars and river bugs Great Lakes Now Episode Promo

In the latest episode of Great Lakes Now airing March 27, 2023, learn about citizen science with a look at initiatives measuring changes in the night sky and counting insect larva to assess the health of a river.  

Great Lakes Now host Ward Detwiler meets up with a group of citizen scientists from Friends of the Rouge in Ypsilanti, MI to research stone fly larvae and learn about the health of the Rouge River, which was once one of the most polluted waterways in the Great Lakes. Restoration efforts like these citizen scientists are doing, however, are slowly starting to turn the tides on the river’s health.  

Plus, The Catch offers news from around the Great Lakes. You can watch the latest episode of Great Lakes Now, “Fading Stars and River Bugs,” on Monday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. on Detroit Public TV. 

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Stephen Henderson is the Founding Editor of BridgeDetroit, and a former writer and editor for the Detroit Free Press, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune. Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary,...

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