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Posted inArts & Entertainment

TheatreWorks premiere ‘Nan and the Lower Body’ puts a microscope on the history of reproductive health

Jessica Dickey never thought that her play about Pap smear would premiere at such a time when reproductive rights are once again in the spotlight. “Nan and the Lower Body,” the play Dickey started writing about six years ago, takes place in 1952. It features Dr. George Papanicolaou and his creation of the Pap smear, the technology that detects cervical cancers and has saved the lives of millions. It is also centered on Papanicolaou’s collaboration with his new lab assistant, Nan Day. The 90-minute play was first scheduled to be presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in 2020, but it got postponed twice because of the pandemic. It finally receives its world premiere Wednesday at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.