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.

“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.

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 larvae 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. 

Stacey ‘Hotwaxx’ Hale: Detroit’s godmother of electronic house music 

If you’re a fan of Detroit house music, you’re likely familiar with the name Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale. known as the Godmother of House music, Hale was the first female DJ to play house music on Detroit’s radio airwaves and she did it all in the birthplace of American techno music — Detroit.  

Hale’s multi-genre blend of House music with flavors of funk, gospel, hip hop and Motown soul has set her apart from other DJs on the scene and has afforded her opportunities to DJ at the Apollo Theatre in New York as well as major cities across the globe. It’s also gifted her the opportunity to give back to the community through music education for youth and adults. She was inducted into the National Museum of African American Music in 2019.  

In recognition of Women’s History Month, One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ talks with Hale about her early roots and rise in Deejaying, what was at the time a male-dominated industry. They talk about how she developed her unique multi-genre style, her passion for mentorship and the importance of music education, and about the mission of her Sheometry Music & Arts Festival, which she created in 2019. The festival is planned to return July, 15 2023. 

One Detroit Weekend: March 24, 2023

Are you looking for some arts, culture, music and family-friendly fun to experience in Southeast Michigan this weekend? From a free planetarium show to a Ramadan festival and local live music, metro Detroit has several things planned for the weekend. 

One Detroit contributor Peter Whorf of 90.9 WRCJ shares what’s happening around metro Detroit during the March 24 weekend and into next week on “One Detroit Weekend.” 

List of Upcoming Events: 

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