The Migration Play Cycle: A New Theatrical Platform


Heather Raffo is a singular and outstanding voice in the American theater whose groundbreaking plays have been championed by The New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world.”

Artist Bio

Heather Raffo is a singular and outstanding voice in the American theater whose work has been championed by The New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world.” Having helped forge a new genre of Arab American theater, she’s spent her career writing and embodying stories of Iraq: from the lives and dreams of Iraqi women in her seminal work 9 Parts of Desire (2003), to the suicidal ideation of an Iraq war veteran in the opera Fallujah (2012), to the restless longings of an Iraqi refugee architect, in Noura (2018). A multi-award-winning writer and actor, she’s toured nationally and internationally: from the Kennedy Center to the Aspen Ideas Festival, and from London’s House of Commons to the US-Islamic World Forum. Her newly released anthology, Heather Raffo’s Iraq Plays: The Things That Can’t Be Said (Bloomsbury, 2021), brings together two decades of her most groundbreaking contributions to the American theater and speaks to the bravery required to be at the forefront of a movement. Her newest work, The Migration Play Cycle, her most ambitious theatrical imagining in scale and scope, situates themes around migration and the global economy. Being raised in the Midwest and the daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Raffo has committed her artistic practice to working across all kinds of borders: on main stages and in rural communities, with the military and in the Middle East, in swing states and in refugee facilities. She is uniquely positioned to explore what migration means for an ever-evolving American and global identity.

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Photo by Satya Tisman Photography.

Heather Raffo

Brooklyn, NY

Heather Raffo is a singular and outstanding voice in the American theater whose work has been championed by The New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world.” Having helped forge a new genre of Arab American theater, she’s spent her career writing and embodying stories of Iraq: from the lives and dreams of Iraqi women in her seminal work 9 Parts of Desire (2003), to the suicidal ideation of an Iraq war veteran in the opera Fallujah (2012), to the restless longings of an Iraqi refugee architect, in Noura (2018). A multi-award-winning writer and actor, she’s toured nationally and internationally: from the Kennedy Center to the Aspen Ideas Festival, and from London’s House of Commons to the US-Islamic World Forum. Her newly released anthology, Heather Raffo’s Iraq Plays: The Things That Can’t Be Said (Bloomsbury, 2021), brings together two decades of her most groundbreaking contributions to the American theater and speaks to the bravery required to be at the forefront of a movement. Her newest work, The Migration Play Cycle, her most ambitious theatrical imagining in scale and scope, situates themes around migration and the global economy. Being raised in the Midwest and the daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Raffo has committed her artistic practice to working across all kinds of borders: on main stages and in rural communities, with the military and in the Middle East, in swing states and in refugee facilities. She is uniquely positioned to explore what migration means for an ever-evolving American and global identity.

Photo by Satya Tisman Photography.