This chapter concerns what happens when we put actors and puppets together onstage. Chapter 4 will outline Sue Buckmaster’s philosophy on puppetry or ‘animism’ as an expanded practice. The metaphor of puppetry-as-dreaming will form a basis for Buckmaster’s thinking on objects as alter-egos and externalised expressions of the psyches of their operators. In order to better understand the role of objects in enabling attachments with others through performance, the chapter will apply concepts from psychoanalysts such as Sándor Ferenczi, Melanie Klein and Sigmund Freud, including the key theories of ‘introjection’, ‘projection’ and ‘transference’.
While the object relations in Theatre-Rites’ practice do not represent ‘therapy’, the therapeutic principles of play therapy will be discussed to better understand the way objects can communicate information to an audience about the performers who interact with them. Examples of how different objects can externalise aspects of a performer-characters’ personhood will be explored with reference to Theatre-Rites’ shows, Sleep Tight (2000–2001), Shopworks (2003) and Rubbish (2013–2014).