by Ana Nogueira
Directed by Nell Bang-Jensen

The futuristic Empathitrax is a searing, darkly funny sci-fi story of a young couple who turn to a breakthrough in pharmacology to save their fractured relationship. When “Empathitrax” hits the market promising instant emotional intimacy by divining what others feel, one couple takes the leap to eliminate all boundaries between them. Like any new drug, there are unforeseen side effects which in this instance have catastrophic and poignant consequences.
Empathitrax is pronounced /em · path · i · traks/.

This show’s runtime is 100 minutes with no intermission.

FEB 10 – MAR 5, 2023
STREAMING MAR 6 – 19, 2023


Makoto Hirano and Claire Inie-Richards by Mark Garvin Photo
Makoto Hirano and Claire Inie-Richards by Mark Garvin Photo
Claire Inie-Richards by Mark Garvin Photo
Matteo Scammell by Mark Garvin Photo
Claire Inie-Richards and Makoto Hirano by Mark Garvin Photo
Makoto Hirano and Matteo Scammell by Mark Garvin Photo
Claire Inie-Richards and Makoto Hirano by Mark Garvin Photo
Claire Inie-Richards by Mark Garvin Photo
Makoto Hirano and Claire Inie-Richards by Mark Garvin Photo
Makoto Hirano and Claire Inie-Richards by Mark Garvin Photo

MEET THE playwright & DIRECTOR

Ana Nogueira (Playwright) is a writer and actress based in Brooklyn. Her most recent play Which Way to the Stage had its world premiere production at MCC Theater in New York City in May 2022, immediately followed by its regional premiere at Signature Theatre in Virginia. The play was chosen for the 2019 Kilroy’s List and the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Rep, where Ana was the recipient of the Elizabeth George Emerging Playwright Commission. In 2016, Empathitrax premiered Off-Broadway at Here Arts Center with the critically-acclaimed theater company Colt Coeur, where she is a company member. Her work has been developed at Second Stage, The New Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm and Barrington Stage. Ana co-wrote and starred in the short film We Win, which premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and won Best Screenplay at the Rhode Island Film Festival. Her acting credits include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (The New Group); Engagements, Mala Hierba (both at Second Stage); Bump (Ensemble Studio Theater); Knives and Other Sharp Objects (The Public/LAByrinth); and three seasons on the Starz series Hightown. She is a proud alumni of the Obie Award-winning playwriting group Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater.

Nell Bang-Jensen (Director) has been directing and creating theater in Philadelphia for the past ten years. She has created five original works, in addition to producing and directing for Philadelphia’s major theater institutions including FringeArts, People’s Light, Theatre Horizon, Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Wilma, Pig Iron, and the Painted Bride. Nell currently serves as Artistic Director of Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA.  She is passionate about work that helps arts organizations align with community-held values and creating plays with people who do not identify as professional artists. Recent productions include Town (Theatre Horizon), The Wolves (Philadelphia Theatre Company), and Boy Project (FringeArts). Nell is the recipient of a 2019 Map Fund grant, a Next Stage Director’s Fellowship from the Drama League (2019), and a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (2011). In 2016, Nell was a participant in Theatre Communication Group’s Leadership U: One-on-One program; a national fellowship given to eight individuals who TCG believes are the core and future of theater. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Nell is also passionate about Education and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts and the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.


Headshot for Leslie Ann Boyden (Stage Manager for Empathitrax)

LESLIE ANN BOYDEN (Stage Manager) (she/her) is a freelance stage manager in the Philadelphia area. In the past she has worked with Theatre Horizon, The Wilma Theater, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Azuka Theatre, Simpatico Theatre, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Revolution Shakespeare, Tribe of Fools, Act II Playhouse, Arden Theatre Company, Millbrook Playhouse, and Hedgerow Theatre. She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2014 with a B.A. in Theatre and Drama.

LILY FOSSNER (Lighting Design) (she/her) Recently: A Christmas Carol Comedy and The Pillowman for Hedgerow, In Search of the Kitchen Gods for 1812, Athena for Theatre Horizon. Theatre Includes: Azuka, People’s Light, Lantern, Delaware Theatre Company, Act II, WAM, Bryn Mawr, TACT, Culture Project, Public Theatre, Prospect Theater Company, NYU/Grad Acting, Chautauqua Theater Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, A Fierce Kind of Love for the Temple Institute on Disabilities. Dance Includes: Nichole Canuso, Doug Varone & Dancers,  Monica Bill Barnes & Company. Opera Includes: Juilliard Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Festival. Training: MFA, NYU/Tisch. Member, United Scenic Artists Local 829.  Website:

Headshot for Chris Haig (Scenic Designer for Empathitrax)

CHRIS HAIG (Scenic Designer) (he/him) PTC Debut! A University of the Arts alum and teacher, Chris has designed throughout Philly for over 20 years and enjoyed ten seasons as the Props Supervisor at Arden Theatre Company. He has designed sets for the Arden, Theatre Horizon, InterAct, People’s Light, 1812 Productions, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Inis Nua, University of the Arts, Arcadia University, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Tribe of Fools, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, and Simpatico Theater, including their production of R. Eric Thomas’ Time Is On Our Side for which he received a Barrymore nomination for Best Scenic Design. Local USA 829 member.

Headshot for Jillian Keys (Costume Designer for Empathitrax)

JILLIAN KEYS (Costume Design) is stoked to be with this team making her design debut for PTC! She is a UArts graduate (2011), and a three-time Barrymore Award Nominee for her whimsical childrens’ theater costumes at The Arden. She is a maker of all sorts and not only has designed over 50 shows for many companies in town, but also designs spaces and installs like the summer beer garden at Eakins Oval, and holiday bars ‘Blitzen’ (Wilmington DE/Scranton PA) and ‘Tinsel’. For other fun facts please visit:

Headshot for Jordan McCree (Sound Designer for Empathitrax)

JORDAN MCCREE (Sound Design) is a percussionist, producer, composer, sound designer, and teaching artist in Philadelphia. His most recent works and collaborations include: TOWN (Theatre Horizon), This Is The Week That Is (1812 Productions), Backing Track (Arden Theatre Company), Citizen (New Light Theatre), Peril’s Island (Shakespeare in Clark Park), Fat Ham (The Wilma Theater), My General Tubman (Arden Theatre Company). Recently, he has become one of the grant recipients to the 1/52 Project. He is also a member of Philly-based hip hop collective, ILL DOOTS. Their music is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and more! #ILLMOVEMENT | ILLDOOTS.COM

ABBY WEISSMAN (Intimacy Coordinator) (she/her) is a director, consent educator, arts administrator (and more!) based in Philadelphia, PA. She is a company member of Revolution Shakespeare, and a proud alumnus of Northwestern University and the Arden Professional Apprentice Program. Most recently, she has spent her time talking about sex and relationships at colleges across the country with Speak About It, directing light opera with Penn Singers and the Vocal Academy of Opera in Bodrum, Turkey, and coordinating free teen performing arts programming with Opera Philadelphia. Training: Theatrical Intimacy Education, Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, and Intimacy Coordinators of Color. Love to the BLGS.

MEET THE CAST OF empathitrax

Headshot for Makoto Hirano (Cast of Empathitrax)

MAKOTO HIRANO is a Philadelphia-based choreographer and theatre-maker having studied under the mentorship and guidance of Hellmut Gottschild, Andrew Simonet, and Ping Chong. His award-winning, original performance projects have been presented nationally in numerous venues and festivals including Off-Broadway at the National Asian American Theatre Festival (NYC), DanceTruck (Atlanta, GA), Ringling Museum (Sarasota, FL), Yale University (CT), and FringeArts (Philadelphia, PA). As a freelance collaborating performer, Hirano has originated over 25 roles, with highlights that include projects with Bill Irwin (The Happiness Lecture at PTC), Pig Iron Theatre Company, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, and Thaddeus Phillips/Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental. Hirano is a founding member and current advisor to the arts collective PAPA (Philly Asian Performing Artists); co-founder of installation art duo Gatto+Hirano; co-founder of Team Sunshine Performance where he is a creator, producer, performer, administrator, and choreographer (2018 Barrymore-Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography for ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! OR WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!), as well as Lead Artist for the forthcoming The Great American Gunshow (2024). From 2007-2014 Hirano was a Facilitator with Philly/Baltimore/South Carolina-based professional development program Artists U. A former U.S. Marine, Hirano earned his BFA in dance at Temple University.

Headshot for Claire Inie-Richards (Cast of Empathitrax)

CLAIRE INIE-RICHARDS is excited to be making her PTC debut. Other work includes; The Vinegar Tree, Project Dawn, I And You, Sense and Sensibility, and The Cherry Orchard (People’s Light); Measure for Measure (Lantern Theatre); Completeness (Theatre Exile); The Revolutionists (Theatre Horizon); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare in Clark Park); A Christmas Carol (Delaware Theatre Company); and Mercury 13 (BBC Radio4). She is a company member of People’s Light, and holds an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. 

Headshot for Matteo Scammell (Cast of Empathitrax)

MATTEO SCAMMELL is a Barrymore award-winning artist based in Philadelphia. Empathitrax marks his 4th production with PTC (Detroit, Hand to God, Sweat). A company-member of New Paradise Laboratories, contributing to 6 original works. A member of Wilma Theater’s Acting ensemble, HotHouse, appearing in 6 productions. Matteo has performed in over 35 theatrical productions. He does film – music videos, feature-films, short-films, commercial work. Matteo loves playing guitar. Received 2017 Barrymore Award for Best Performance of Male Actor in Lead Role for The Legend of Georgia McBride. 2020 Independence Fellowship Recipient. Love and gratitude to Lee and our families. BFA – University of the Arts.


Empathitrax explores the complex topic of mental health and includes honest and sensitive discussions (depression, self-harm)
The performance includes depictions of intimate scenes between couples

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or having thoughts of suicide, it’s important to know that help is available. Here are some resources that can provide support and guidance:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: call or text 998. This is a free, confidential 24/7 hotline that provides support to individuals in crisis, as well as resources for their loved ones. Visit for more resources.

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Volunteer Crisis Counselor. This service is available 24/7. Visit for more information.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Visit for more information.