The Eye Which We Do Not Have

Puppet Show

Inspired by the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock and the critical discussion of cinema by GIlles Deleuze,

The Eye Which We Do Not Have uses a set of 6 frames and 8 screens with a pulley system to create a transforming stagespace that transitions from small to large, vertical to horizontal, and static to mobile.

The formal experience of a transforming stage suggests a transforming viewpoint like that of a camera in motion. Incorporating close-ups, long shots, pan and zoom, The Eye Which We Do Not Have uses a cinematic visual language to deterritorialize its imagery, creating affect, mood, and suspense with live puppetry.

I have seen and heard tell of people making puppets out of unusual items. But I have neither seen nor heard tell of anyone recognizing quite as Brehm does that the totality of the stage phenomenon is a puppet, that every instant and dram of the stage’s innards is a puppet.

Daniel Maidman, Huff Post

The Eye Which We Do Not Have is an eerie, yet powerful psychological tale about suppressed female desire told with puppetry and performing scenery. Dark and cinematic, The Eye is a piece of live theater accompanied by an original symphonic and emotional score.

A victorian woman (a bunraku-style and table top puppet) has a forbidden sexual encounter, which she obsesses over and dreams about as she sits in the house she has made for herself, surrounded by furniture that feel both comforting and hostile (flat toy theater puppets). She is drawn by her own compulsion to revisit the scene of the crime, across the parlor, up the stairs, and down the hall to her bedroom door. She hallucinates the house shrinking, stretching and swirling around her (scenic puppetry), which prevents her from reaching her desire.

Premiered at the Puppetopia Festival at Here Arts Center 2022
Puppeteers 2022 Emily Batsford, Rosa Douglas, Ben Elling, Dorothy James, Carrie Morris, and Justin Perkins 2013 Katie Melby, Dorothy James, Ren Carillo, Siobahn O’Loughlin, Tracy Howard 2012 Katie Melby, Justin Perkins, Marina Tsaplina, Andrew Benincasa 2011 Sarah Bendix, Eva Lansberry, Keri Lewis, Jenny Campbell
Puppet Designers Kate Brehm, Rosa Douglas, Ari Boles
Set Designers Kate Brehm & Mike Kerns
Composition and Sound Design Andrew Lynch
(in previous version: Andrew Livingston)
Dramaturgy Alexis Macnab
Puppet Fabrication Eva Lansberry - furniture and staircase. Emily Batsford, Kate Brehm, Jenny Campbell, Rosa Douglas, Ben Elling, Dorothy James, Miki Katagiri, Nat Marvan, Carrie Morris, Daniel Nelson, Justin Perkins, Magda Rachwal, Debra Roth, Gregory Schott, Sonya Sobieski, Sara Stern, Dorothee Senegal, and Ashley Winkfield
Presented as Work in Progress at
  • Standard Toykraft June 2013
  • Dixon Place Puppet Blok November 2009
  • Dixon Place Puppet Blok February 2011
  • Standard Toykraft June 2012
  • Wall of Windows Performing Installation.  Governor’s Island Art Fair 2012.

Produced by imnotlost.
Supported by The Jim Henson Foundation, Here Arts Center, private donors and Dixon Place Puppet Blok.

Gallery of Development