The Empaths

The Empaths

By John Markus and Rebecca Bazell
World Premiere
Directed by Jeffry George
July 22 – August 19, 2017
Wednesday through Monday
8:00 p.m.
$20-$35; students $12

The Empaths, a timely, fast-paced comedy, mines the complex landscape of shifting societal mores, family roles, and the expectations of relationships.

Celine, a 30-something serial entrepreneur playing with her father’s money, is faced with the adult challenge of finding love. After randomly meeting Lichen, an overly-compassionate SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy), Celine is instantly convinced Lichen is The One. In order to ensure the relationship sticks, Celine tricks him and her wizened psychotherapist into having their first six dates in couples counseling.

It does not go as planned – for anyone.

‘The Empaths,’ or: to shag or not to shag a Snag

Provincetown Banner review by Howard Karren

Comedy is all about timing. And having timing means putting on a comedy about psychotherapy in Wellfleet in July and August. It’s hard to know who will find “The Empaths,” the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater’s newest production, more satisfying and hilarious: the bourgeois bohemians who are routinely miserable and spend years in therapy vainly trying to alleviate it, or the therapists who are paid to tend to them. Both groups are well represented among the vacationers who come here during the summer. Both groups will see themselves jauntily harpooned in the play. And they’ll surely relive their deepest frustrations about each other when they watch the privileged fools in “The Empaths” have a go at it.

(read the review)



Seeing the world premiere of a play is not an everyday experience. It can be exciting, especially when the brand-new work is well-written and timely. Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater is known for cultivating new plays by giving playwrights the time and space to workshop their ideas, and WHAT’s stellar world-premiere comedy “The Empaths” is a testament to that process. (read more…)

Sam Perwin (Lichen) and Kate Margalite (Celine) on WOMR


“On the Couch”
Rebecca Alvin talked to John Markus and Rebecca Bazell for Provincetown Magazine 

“…while the idea of couples therapy has been around for decades and is no longer seen as unusual, the idea of trying to kind of craft one’s soulmate and control a relationship, customizing it as you would a social media profile, feels very now. And the stereotypical Millennial obsession with the self, coupled with past generations’ acceptance of therapy as an inevitable part of life also creates a new kind of dilemma in trying to find one’s perfect match.” (read more)

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer John Markus began his career in high school, supplying jokes about his rural Ohio hometown to Broadway columnist Earl Wilson. After graduating from Stanford University he moved to Los Angeles where he landed a job writing a revival of the animated Mighty Mouse. After an assignment on Paramount’s acclaimed Taxi, Markus joined the original writing staff of The Cosby Show, moving to New York where the show was produced. Promoted to Supervising Producer after six episodes, he returned for the show’s second season as co-executive producer and head writer for five additional years. During his tenure, he wrote or co-wrote 67 episodes, earned multiple Emmy nominations, and a People’s Choice award for “The Greatest Sitcom of All Time.” They haven’t asked for that award back, yet. He co-created the spin-off A Different World, which ran six seasons on NBC. Next, teaming with Al Franken, Markus co-created the critically-acclaimed Lateline for Paramount Television and NBC. He was consulting producer on The Larry Sanders Show, co-writing the Emmy-nominated Ellen Degeneres episode, “Ellen: Is She Or Isn’t She?” A play, The Sons of Liberty, his first collaboration with Mark St. Germain, was staged as a prototype for an NBC television at the American Place Theater and directed by Jerry Zaks. Markus became theater-struck. The Fabulous Lipitones, the story of a barbershop quartet that loses its lead singer to a strenuously high B-flat, debuted at Goodspeed in Connecticut. Co-authored with Mark St. Germain, the musical has had fifteen productions across the U.S.,  including George Street Playhouse in New Jersey and The Taproot in Seattle, with Markus directing the show at The Julie Harris Theater in Wellfleet, The Colony in Burbank and Virginia Rep. He’s thrilled to return to Wellfleet with The Empaths.

Rebecca Bazell‘s written work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barnes & Noble Review, The New York Daily News and Glamour Magazine.

Currently, she is working on a satirical novel about the art world. She was a fine artist until she discovered that writing supplies are a lot cheaper and she loves drama.

The Empaths is her first play.

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