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  • Writer's pictureTeam Acacia

Otherworld Theatre Company Launches "Nerd Therapy Podcast" Exploring Mental Health Through Fandom

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Monthly Talk Show Drops April 22, 2022; New Episodes 4th Friday of Every Month

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Otherworld Theatre Company, the premier sci-fi and fantasy theatrical production company in North America, today announced the launch of THE NERD THERAPY PODCAST, a new monthly series that will explore mental health themes through the lens of popular science fiction and fantasy genres. The first episode of THE NERD THERAPY PODCAST will drop on April 22, 2022 on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and everywhere podcasts are available., with new episodes releasing the fourth Friday of each month.

THE NERD THERAPY PODCAST is hosted by licensed clinical social worker Eric Koll of Keystone Mental Health, and licensed professional counselor Natalie Jeung of Skylight Counseling Center. Jeung is an expert on the positive and negative effects on mental health that video games create, while Koll is a trauma therapy expert who appeared in the Academy Award-winning documentary short CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1.

“As a proud competitive gamer and geek culture member myself, I know firsthand the importance these stories and the worlds they build have in people’s lives,” said Natalie Jeung. “Otherworld Theatre has built a space where it is okay to be a geek or a nerd, where fandoms are respected and celebrated while exploring the deeper meaning and impact of the stories they tell, making the theatre the perfect partner for THE NERD THERAPY PODCAST.”

“Fantasy and science fiction stories can be an excellent way for clients to understand their own trauma responses,” said Eric Koll. “So often, the authors of these stories draw from personal experience to create their characters, worlds, and conflicts. Having this opportunity to join my own geekiness with my work to help people is a joy and an honor.”

“Otherworld Theatre is entirely about community,” said Otherworld Theatre founder and Artistic Director Tiffany Keane Schaefer. “THE NERD THERAPY PODCAST is by, of, and for a community that is often ridiculed rather than served, using a shared love of incredible storytelling and imagination to find commonality to reach and to help people. This is the power and beauty of science fiction and fantasy, and to be able to use our theatre company as a platform for this work is deeply humbling.”

THE NERD THERAPY PODCAST launches April 22, 2022 with its premiere episode introducing Koll and Jeung. The podcast’s May episode focuses on found family during the pandemic, discussing the psychology of what happens when life as we know it is upended, weaving in stories of plagues and post apocalyptic futures told in many pop culture entries. In a special episode releasing June 24, 2022, Koll and Jeung host a sit down conversation with actor Doug Jones, star of STAR TREK DISCOVERY on Paramount+, focusing on Star Trek’s lessons on dealing with loss and family trauma - themes that are significant parts of Jones’s character, Captain Saru’s, arc throughout the series.

Otherworld Theatre Company is North America’s premier science fiction and fantasy genre theatre, staging shows out of its Chicago, Illinois storefront venue. Current productions include MURDER ON HORIZON, an immersive sci-fi noir in which audiences explore the space station Horizon and interact with her crew as they work to solve a grisly crime, and PORTAL-PROV!, a weekly improv show that explores a new fandom from Star Wars to Jurassic Park to Jane Austen every Sunday evening. For more information, visit

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