A new play by the Michigan-born and internationally renowned Iraqi American actor and playwright Heather Raffo has premiered as part of the Detroit Public Theatre’s eighth season and the theatre’s first season at its new, permanent home in Detroit. 

Heather Raffo’s play, “Noura,” tells the story of an Iraqi American woman named Noura and her family after fleeing their home in Iraq eight years prior. But, as the family gears up for a festive Christmas dinner in their New York home, the arrival of an unexpected visitor causes Noura to retrace their past and confront what they’ve left behind. The play runs at the Detroit Public Theatre through Dec. 18, 2022. 

Noura play at the Detroit Public Theatre

Heather Raffo’s new play “Noura” about an Iraqi American family who’s confronted with their past over Christmas dinner is being performed at the Detroit Public Theatre through Dec. 18, 2022. | Photo by One Detroit

One Detroit Arts & Culture producer Sarah Smith talked with Heather Raffo, who also acts as the lead role in “Noura,” actor Amanda Najor, who plays the character Maryam in the play, and Detroit Public Theatre Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Courtney Burkett about the production, its themes of family, marriage, motherhood and belonging, and the diverse story it tells. Plus, viewers can see snippets from a performance of the play. 

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