Henrietta Lacks’ story moves audiences at Malden Reads ‘Dessert Theater’

It was an electrifying evening in Malden on Monday, November 10. The cafeteria of Triangle, Inc. at 420 Pearl St. was transformed into an elegant cafe with lamps and candlelight replacing the overhead fluorescents. The opening to the kitchen was covered by grey-mottled panels and formed the backdrop for a theatrical presentation that left the over 70 attendees to the free event profoundly moved by its power and intensity. Malden Reads: One City, One Book in collaboration with the North Shore Black Women’s Association presented a staged reading of an original play, “Henrietta,” based on the 2014 Malden Reads book selection The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Written by poet, musician, songwriter and (now) playwright Licia Sky, the reading was a moving tribute to the African-American woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge in the 1950s at Johns Hopkins Hospital and have been multiplied and used worldwide since that time to further the field of medical science. Henrietta was a poor black tobacco farmer from the south whose family continued to […]