St. Louis, MO — June 24, 2019 — Barnes-Jewish Hospital, in partnership with Nine Network of Public Media, will present BrainWorks, a live theatrical performance in four one-act plays July 19-21 at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts on the Campus of Webster University.
BrainWorks explores the wonders of the human brain by dramatizing real-life neurological cases through the eyes of Washington University neurosurgeons Albert H. Kim, MD, PhD, and Eric C. Leuthardt, MD, nationally renowned physicians, scientists and hosts of the Brain Coffee Podcast. Merging medical information and entertainment, Drs. Kim and Leuthardt will guide the audience through each scene, helping them understand the wonders of the human brain and the neuroscience of brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors and stroke. Drs. Kim and Leuthardt teamed up with playwrights from the New Dramatists to write each one-act play based on real-life cases overseen by the neurosurgeons.
“We have involved conversations about what’s going to happen – the course of treatment, the risks and benefits,” said Dr. Kim. “We also ensure the families become involved in those conversations. Together, the patient and family members become a part of the process that transforms and heals them. It’s this kind of conversation we want to bring to others through BrainWorks.”
“Medicine is incredibly human,” said Seth Gordon, director of the playwright. “Medicine determines if we are healthy or unhealthy, medicine determines if we live or die. To pair those questions with an art form that deals with human empathy and human behavior is something I’m proud to bring to the stage so that everybody can see it.
BrainWorks is comprised of four unique and compelling one-act plays:
Rinse & Repeat: A retired judge prepares for the case of her life, while her granddaughter does her best to get through breakfast. Rinse. Repeat. This play highlights the challenges, the love, and even the humor, involved in having (or caring for someone) who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
X Marks the Spot: Inspired by a number of patient stories from Barnes-Jewish Hospital, this fascinating play focuses on a mid-career professional whose personality undergoes profound changes caused by meningioma, a treatable, benign brain tumor. As the story unfolds, Dr. Kim reveals how brain tumors form and develop. He then discusses surgical advances that make removing them safer for patients today.
Brain Interrupted: This coming-of-age story examines epilepsy and its effects on the brain. Dr. Leuthardt walks audiences through the neuroscience of adolescence and epilepsy and discusses new brain-mapping technology that eases the suffering of those who live with seizures.
Double Windsor: The Double Windsor knot is elegant, dignified, and difficult to tie under the best of circumstance—and seemingly impossible if you’ve suffered a stroke and lost the use of your left hand. Inspired by one of Dr. Leuthardt’s patients, this scene demonstrates how new therapies and emerging technologies, such as the brain-computer interface, are making second chances possible for people who have experienced stroke and other traumatic brain injuries.
BrainWorks will be recorded for broadcast in St. Louis on Nine PBS, and potentially, on public television stations across the country in 2020. The previous BrainWorks broadcast, originally aired in 2015, won a Regional Emmy.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online. Limited opening night VIP experience tickets are also available, which include an exclusive VIP reception directly after the performance with Drs. Kim and Leuthardt.
A promotional video can be found here.
About the Nine Network of Public Media
The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine Network offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life. Nine’s platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine PBS KIDS®), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, the Public Media Commons, social media, and multiple websites accessible at nineNet.org. Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our vision of a strong and healthy community working together through public media and our mission of igniting the spirit of possibility.