New York | 1h 30m | Already closed


From 6 critic and 17 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Clever

About the show

Colt Coeur presents Ana Nogueira's new play about a new pharmaceutical that could change relationships forever. More…

How far are you willing to go to save your romance? When a new miracle drug promising ultimate intimacy hits the market, one couple puts everything on the line for the chance to obliterate all boundaries and finally understand one another. But boundaries exist for a reason, and all miracle drugs come with unforeseen side effects. Starring TV actor Jimmi Simpson ('House of Cards,' '24').


"Playwright Ana Nogueira extends our faith in pharmacology to its ludicrous conclusion in 'Empathitrax,' her imaginative, brutally honest, and emotionally draining new play…Nogueria crafts realistically raw dialogue that is likely to lead some viewers (especially the long-term coupled) to turn away from the stage in pained recognition…'Empathitrax' benefits from brave and committed performances." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Like much good sci-fi before it, 'Empathitrax' uses a conceptual gimmick to poke at real and substantial questions. Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt, of Colt Coeur, grounds the production in everyday lucidity, and Lupe’s brave performance invites us to recoil from and connect with her at the same time. Bring a loved one if you dare: Unsettling and wise, 'Empathitrax' is the kind of play that could strengthen any relationship that survives it." Full Review

Off Off Online

"Nogueira develops her theme carefully. Focusing on a drug that interferes with one’s natural personality traits is not a fresh topic—'Placebo' and 'The Effect' have been there—but Nogueira’s play is still a strong entry in a subgenre of modern drama. And those actors—Jimmi Simpson and Justine Lupe as Him and Her, and Genesis Oliver, who doubles as the Empath delivery man and as Him’s buddy Matty D.—give astonishingly good performances." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Told with darkly funny storytelling, the show is also inquisitive, comfortably letting questions linger in the air...Lupe and Simpson bring a nervous intensity to their performances…There is a particular irony in the fact that the show sometimes struggles to make the audience feel the intensity of the characters' emotions...In the beautifully redemptive and sweetly funny final moments, the aspects of design come together magically, creating an incredible moment of deep emotion." Full Review

The New York Times

"The role drugs play in our society remains underexplored onstage...Ms. Nogueira gets bonus points merely for tackling the subject, even if some of her arguments are a little obvious...You wish the show had spent more time on an intriguing side superpower of sort: the ability to infect others with your mood...Still, Ms. Campbell-Holt infuses seemingly banal scenes with an anxiety-making mood. She also wrings appropriately fidgety, raw-nerved performances from Mr. Simpson and Ms. Lupe." Full Review


"Playwright Ana Nogueira has a facility for often arch dialogue but not much else. The play’s potentially promising sci-fi premise is undermined by its bizarre vagueness...Ms. Nogueira basically presents two ciphers that are difficult to truly care about. Ultimately, it’s all a hollow and smug exercise. Thankfully there are a trio of talented actors who do their best with this talky and deficient material...Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s staging is smooth and makes this murky play watchable." Full Review

Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Relevant, Raw

See it if u want to witness emotions laid bare. A couple comes to terms w/ who the other really is & how to bridge their disconnection through empathy

Don't see it if you're not in the mood, as audience member in a small theater, to experience the rawness of emotions that the actors make manifest. Intense!

Also If you enjoyed the intensity of last season's "Cal in Camo" by Colt Co... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you like intimate drama at bargain prices.

Don't see it if you hate 8:30 curtain times.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Great concept, great acting. Fresh new playwright voice

Don't see it if If mental illness and the politics of pharmaceuticals aren't interesting to you, you'll hate this.

Clever, Cliched, Great writing, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if it's an interesting premise and the writer does a great job of portraying mental illness and its impact on relationships

Don't see it if you enjoy more plot-driven stories, this is much more character based and the plot is a little sparse

Thought-provoking, Edgy, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy science-fiction, medical, depression, or relationship-drama centric plays.

Don't see it if You are looking for a masterful play.

Great writing, Indulgent, Intense, Intelligent

See it if you're interested in the psychology of the human mind and watching plays solely based on the ups and downs of a relationship

Don't see it if you want a spectacle or a cast with many characters and plot lines. it is a very direct story. don't see if you are offended by sex on stage

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Engaging, Unfinished

See it if you want to see some AMAZING performances in a fascinating play about what life might be like if we could feel other people's feelings.

Don't see it if a play that feels like it's ALMOST there but doesn't quite get to the heart of what it's about would frustrate you.

Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if It's closed now, but if you enjoy films such as "Blue Valentine" or "Revolutionary Road" you'd like this. Real, raw, sad.

Don't see it if You aren't willing to watch two people live their lives in front of you because it may give you severe anxiety about your own relationships

Uneven, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you've ever wanted a greater emotional connection with your significant other, or ever taken a prescribed drug for a psychological disorder.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy shows about interpersonal relationships.

Also The theater was very cold -- the temperature was at most 65 degrees an... Read more Read less

Great acting, Slow, Original, Disappointing

See it if you can appreciate good acting despite a very slow and somewhat tedious play. Also, sit in the first or second row otherwise you can't see.

Don't see it if Due to the staging (on the floor and a low couch), you literally can't see much of it! If you want a fast-moving realistic plot, stay away.

Disappointing, Quirky, Compassionate, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a compassionate look at a young couple trying to stay afloat as the woman drifts into crippling depression.

Don't see it if you really wanted to see the ideas in the synopsis. The plot quickly back-burners the fantasy drug and becomes more about antidepressants.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you enjoy insightful, intelligent writing that's both funny and heartbreaking; great acting and staging; unexpected and beautiful ending.

Don't see it if you are unable to follow a complex, multilayered story.

Great acting, Great staging, Disappointing, Slow, Confusing

See it if You like shows with an interesting premiss.

Don't see it if you want a fulfilling experience. There were many good ways the plot could have gone. It didn't go to any of them.

Absorbing, Edgy

See it if are in or have ever been in a relationship that needs some work!

Don't see it if raw emotion and edgy sex scenes unsettle you.

Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Funny

See it if you enjoy small, intimate, original plays that make you laugh and cry, wonderful actors, sensitive, understated direction and staging.

Don't see it if You are incapable of empathy.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Like to think, love the idea of love and have a healthy skepticism about western medicine

Don't see it if Can't handle any emotions

Exquisite, Original, Entertaining

See it if An inventive dramedy about recapturing new relationship energy

Don't see it if Wouldn't enjoy watching 30-somethings working on relationship issues

Cast & Creatives (9)