Theaterlab Presents David Sauvage's EMPATH

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Theaterlab Presents David Sauvage's EMPATH

After a sold-out run this April, Theaterlab is delighted to bring back EMPATH, a one-man show about emotional superpowers by David Sauvage. The show follows its creator's winding path from self-proclaimed "typical Jewish cynic" through the discovery of his gift for experiencing the emotions of others, to genre-defying performance-artist-intuitive. The show will be presented at Theaterlab (357 West 36th Street, 3rd floor), opening on Thursday, November 29 and running Thursdays thru Sundays until December 9. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased via Ovationtix ( or by calling 866-811-4111.

In EMPATH, writer/performer David Sauvage chronicles his own spiritual coming-out as the titular empath - a person hypersensitive to the emotions of others to the point of experiencing them as his own. Part story of personal discovery and healing, part performance art piece featuring live readings with audience members, the show follows the past decade of its creator's life. Tracing his transformation from skeptical empiricist into purposeful performer-healer, Sauvage's work is about bringing people back to the truth of who they really are.

EMPATH is delivered with self-deprecating humor and unflinching honesty. "My philosophy is simple. I think there are no such things as 'bad' or 'wrong' emotions. They are all important and need to be felt - even negative ones, like grief and hatred. That's the only way to work through them," says Sauvage.

The show is presented from the perspective of a person seldom associated with an appreciation for feelings: a straight white American male who challenges the constraints of toxic masculinity and grows through understanding others' pain, from his Holocaust survivor father all the way to perfect strangers he meets on his travels.

"You can't have empathy unless you appreciate people's emotions. The average person doesn't have much empathy because our culture prioritizes everything other than emotional wellbeing," says Sauvage. "I want to us to value our inner lives as much as our outer ones. I want us to prioritize personal growth above money, status and distraction. And," he adds, "I want to us to realize that magic is real."

David Sauvage (Writer, Performer) began his career as a playwright and director for theater and film. Early stage works include Monologues from the Burning House (2002) and Cheyenne (2004), both produced and critically acclaimed in his home town of Los Angeles. He transitioned into directing for screen and television, directing documentaries and commercials for clients that ranged from Sprint to Occupy Wall Street. Since 2016, David has devoted himself to his work as a professional empath, turning his ability into a brand new genre of performance. He has performed readings in public at art galleries, in shipping containers in the middle of Times Square, at Burning Man, at South by Southwest and at Facebook's headquarters. He even performed in virtual reality through Microsoft's social VR platform Altspace VR. David was featured in The Guardian and Vice and has appeared in many blogs and podcasts around spirituality. He has an BA in English from Columbia and an MBA from UCLA.

Catie Davis (Director) is a NYC based director and a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. At 17 she co-founded Over the Moon Productions, an independent theater company composed entirely of young people dedicated to presenting relevant musicals for a cause. With the company, Catie directed and co-produced Rent and The Who's Tommy, raising thousands of dollars for UNICEF's Unite for Children Unite Against AIDS and NARSAD, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Select directing credits: Girl Versus Corinth (Joe's Pub, FringeNYC, Dixon Place), Noise (Market Theatre Lab, South Africa), Charlotte's Web & We The People (Theatreworks USA Nat'l Tours). Catie regularly directs for NYU'S musical theater program, the New Studio on Broadway, most recently Tuck Everlasting. Associate/assistant credits include Joan of Arc (The Public Theater), Measure for Measure (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival) and The Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout Theatre Company). She is currently the associate director of the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of Beetlejuice. Lincoln Center Directors Lab alum, MTC Directing Fellow, and proud member of SDC.

Theaterlab (Producer) curates and presents new, experimental and hybrid work for theater as well as the visual arts. The company has a longstanding relationship with International Artists of note, showcasing their work to New York audiences. Theaterlab serves the NYC performing arts community through a number of developmental programs including Hotel New Work, the Solo Series, and the TLAB SHARES program. Recent productions include Reut Shemesh's Wildwood Flowers, Nicole Renaud's The Inflatable Salon, French POV#1-Body (Jacques Perdigues, Karine Laval and Pierre Kaufmann), Megan Metrikin's Finding Fellini, Underwater New York's A Held Posture by Hyung Seok Jeon and Orietta Crispino's Let Me Cook For You and Snow in the Living Room. Its resident company DAMN! Film Series was nominated for a Bessie Award in 2015 for a performance by Lil Buck, DPKOM, and Ryan "The Mind" Haskett. For more information, visit

Photo by Jake DeGroot

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