The process of making something new often looks the same, whether you’re readying a new theater production or coming up with new ideas to combat cancer.

It is pretty interesting to think about how many people in wholly different sectors in San Diego County are, every day, engaging in the cycle of identifying problems, waiting for inspiration, experiencing moments of revelation and dealing with roadblocks.

That’s what the La Jolla Playhouse contends and is hosting a discussion about it this weekend. A few prominent scientists from major San Diego medical research institutions are going to sit down Sunday afternoon with top Playhouse artistic minds to discuss the art in science and the science of art.

There’s a lot of room to explore in the idea that medicine and research is about discovery and creativity, and how that translates to theater and stagecraft. These people do groundbreaking work in medicine — in our own backyard. And the Playhouse is trying a bunch of new stuff as it tells the story of Yoshimi, engaged in a battle for her life against pink robots (cancer cells). The Playhouse’s musical, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” centers on the music of The Flaming Lips, and opened for its first preview performance Tuesday night.

I talked about Sunday’s discussion on KPBS Thursday, along with another chance you have this weekend to witness the way art and science overlap. The artist I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, Kelsey Brookes, opens his “Serotonin” show at Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla on Saturday.

Brookes left his job in microbiology to pursue art full time a few years ago, but he hasn’t lost his fascination with how things work. From our interview:

Brookes’ latest projects take the simple molecular line diagrams you remember from high school — the ones scientists use to relate a molecule in a simple, visual way — and corresponds them to what those molecules do to our visual perception.

Update: You can listen to my appearance on KPBS here.

And if you want to go to the panel on Sunday at 5 p.m., RSVP to or 858.550.1070, x143.

I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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