- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Textile Museum’s Mantles of Merit: Chin Textiles from Mandalay to Chittagong is the first major exhibition devoted to the strongly geometric, abstract textiles of the Asian Chin peoples. Traditional cloths such as these show the wearer’s high status in this life and the next and also serve as badges of identity. 2320 S Street NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Free; donation suggested. 202/667-0441.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Performer and writer Heather Raffo, a native Midwesterner born of an Iraqi father and an American mother, first conceived of 9 Parts of Desire, her one-woman show at Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theatre, after visiting Iraq in 1993. There, she connected with relatives and collected the stories of Iraqi women — and it’s those she tells in this play as she races around Antje Ellermann’s bombed-out ruin of a set, using an ‘abaya,’ the traditional Iraqi black robes, to define and liberate her characters, a cross section of social classes, religions, and ethnicities. She brings the Iraq war home with heart-rending depth and clarity, but the point of the play is see how war and tyranny ravage the souls and bodies of Iraqi women, but cannot completely silence their voices. 1101 Sixth St. SW. $47-$66. Through Nov. 12. 202/488-3300.

— Jayne Blanchard

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