Heather Raffo

Playwrights: The Profane. Heather Raffo is an award-winning playwright and actress whose work has been seen Off-Broadway, off West End, in regional theater and in film.  She is the author and solo performer of the play 9 Parts of Desire (Lucille Lortel Award, Susan Smith Blackburn commendation, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Helen Hayes nominations), which The New Yorker called “an example of how art can remake the world.”  The play ran Off-Broadway for nine months and has played across the U.S. and internationally for over a decade.  Current productions in Greece, Hungary and India. Raffo’s libretto for the opera FALLUJAH was part of Kennedy Center’s International Theater Festival, received its world premiere at Long Beach Opera and opened at New York City Opera in 2016. Heather’s newest play, Noura, just won Williamstown’s prestigious Weissberger Award. Noura was further developed at Georgetown University’s LAB for Global Performance and Politics with refugee and Middle East policy experts.  Further workshops were supported by the McCarter Theater, Epic Theater Ensemble and our nation’s first Arab-American Museum in Dearborn, MI.  Noura is currently receiving its world premiere at Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC before a production in Abu Dhabi. Raffo is the recipient of multiple grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.



Footnote: Iraqi Women in Diaspora

Playwright and performer Heather Raffo gathers a multi-generational, multi-religious, multi-national group of women to discuss the themes and ideas of her play Noura.


In Process: Heather Raffo on Noura

Playwright and actor Heather Raffo discusses her inspirations for Noura, including the struggle for modern women to “have it all” while balancing commitments to family and community.

First Rehearsal Photos: Noura

Welcome back! After rehearsing in Abu Dhabi, the Norua company is now settling in the Mainstage Theater and is set to bring Heather Raffo’s “epic” (Washington Post) new drama to life.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright’s Perspective: Noura

The characters of Noura attempt to balance their individual pursuits with a search for community. I believe it is a balance with which many of us struggle.


Backstory: City of Peace

As the international community faces the task of rebuilding Iraq, and as Noura confronts her dreams of home on stage in Hell’s Kitchen, a consideration of Iraq’s past becomes all the more poignant. (Adam Greenfield, Associate Artistic Director)