LIGHTING DESIGN PROJECTS
TheatreFIRST closes its first season of in-house new works with the world premiere of HeLa -- by Lauren Gunderson and Geetha Reddy, dramaturgy by Lisa Marie Rollins, and directed by Evren Odcikin.
HeLa evokes and explores the story of Henrietta Lacks, the African-American woman whose hard life and young death produced the most powerful line of immortal cells the world has ever seen. This lyrical theatrical mash up will explore the science, legacy, tragedy, poetry, and universal truths that one woman’s story and biology can offer the world.
“In remembering Henrietta Lacks as more than just a bunch of cells, “HeLa” posits that it’s important that we name her, but also that stories and memories are part of what allow her, or any of us, to become fully human. In so doing, the show proffers a subtle metatheatrical tribute to the power of performance itself. Theater doesn’t just tell us good stories; it testifies that we existed and that we meant something.”
-- Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle
“There’s a cumulative power to this story that feels both intimate and epic, another chapter in our history of taking that tells an essential story that should keep being told.”
— Chad Jones, Theater Dogs
“Working on a unit set by Bailey Hikawa with lighting by Stephanie Anne Johnson and sound by Kevin Myrick, the stage was dominated by a large sculpture made of plastic balls which, when bathed in different colors by Johnson’s impressive lighting design, almost seemed to quiver with life.” “Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson, an African American member of TheatreFirst’s Board of Directors who, as a theatre artist and cancer survivor, was especially proud to be part of this deeply moving world premiere.” See complete article>
— George Haymont – New Works from Female Playwrights, My Cultural Landscape - May, 2017