“Henrietta Lacks” Theatre Show

Do you believe in immortality? Do you think that the world of science will win with mortal diseases and that your children will live forever? Oprah Winfrey invites you to a discussion panel. Her remarkable guests will try to answer all your questions. They will be based on a case study of the famous protagonist of the scientific world – Henrietta Lacks. Does the name sound familiar? No? You are not the only one.

“Henrietta Lacks” is an attempt to restore the memory of a woman who is hiding behind the HeLa abbreviation. It is the name of immortal cells that have led to a breakthrough in science – cells that had been extracted from her before she died. Today, Henrietta is long gone but those cells are still alive. 

Authors of the play imagine the impossible: meeting with the protagonists from the past. They allow for confrontation that has never happened; we hear words that have long been unspoken and that have been rejected; the voice is given to those who so far have been deprived of it.

The play uses elements of encounters between artists and representatives of the world of science, medicine and bioethics. The screenplay is a result of collective work of actors and director, and is based on scientific and biographic facts. Workshops conducted by the creators and various meetings played an important role in the preparation of the play. . The cast had a chance to look at the history of immortal cells through the prism of experiences of oncological patients, scientists cooperating with the Copernicus Science Centre, biologists working in the field of bioethics, as well as bio-artists. The play is a result of all these perspectives. It also asks questions about the limits of science, the nature of experimenting on human beings, human rights regarding their own bodies and social phobias related to progress and its potential excesses.



Screenplay: creative collective featuring: Anna Smolar, Marta Malikowska, Maciej Pesta, Sonia Roszczuk, Jan Sobolewski
Director and dramaturgy: Anna Smolar
Costumes: Anna Met
Music and musical arrangement: Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak
Director’s assistant: Jan Jeliński
Cast: Marta Malikowska, Sonia Roszczuk, Maciej Pesta, Jan Sobolewski
Project coordinators: Paweł Kolanowski (CNK), Hubert Prekurat (NT)
Co-producer: Nowy Teatr in Warsaw
Partner of the play: Fundacja Onkocafe – Razem Lepiej




Ticket costs 18 PLN


Premiere show:
2 September (Friday) at 7.30 p.m.
More dates:
3 September (Saturday) and
4 September (Sunday) at 8.00 p.m.


Auditorium of the Copernicus Science Centre