McKelvey School Medicine

BrainWorks: Theater production explores wonders of human brain

Albert Kim, PhD, MD (left), and Eric Leuthardt, MD, help prepare July 1 for the live theatrical performance of “BrainWorks,” taking place July 19-21. “BrainWorks” also will air on the St. Louis public television station Nine Network. The program dramatizes real-life neurological cases to reveal the science behind brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and stroke. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Two nationally renowned neurosurgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will present “BrainWorks,” a live theatrical performance that explores the wonders of the human brain by dramatizing real-life neurological cases.

The performance, comprised of four one-act plays, will debut July 19-21 at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts at Webster University.

Albert Kim, PhD, MD, associate professor of neurological surgery, and Eric C. Leuthardt, MD, professor of neurological surgery, will guide the audience through each scene as they explain the mysteries of the human brain and the neuroscience of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors and stroke. Kim and Leuthardt teamed up with playwrights from the New Dramatists to write each one-act play; the scenarios are based on patients the doctors have treated.

“We have involved conversations about what’s going to happen – the course of treatment, the risks and benefits,” Kim said. “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.’”

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Listen to the KMOX Charlie Brennan Show to hear an interview with Drs. Kim and Leuthardt.

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On Tuesday’s (7/9/19) St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jonathan Ahl talked with Drs. Leuthardt and Kim about what production entails, particularities about the brain that explain how movies like “Toy Story 4” can make adults cry and more.

Listen to the full discussion