Photo by Paula Court

Psychic Self Defense

SEPT 12-30, 2023

Psychic Self Defense is a show that invites audiences into the guts of the theater. Patrons enter the show through portals draped with fabrics and corridors dimly lit by chandeliers. Are they entering into a séance? After piercing many veils, the audience arrives at what is apparently a tiny, haunted proscenium theater. Anticipation mounts as a grand curtain opens with fanfare… and then another… and then a further curtain… and then the curtains keep opening and closing, revealing and concealing characters, objects and scenes in hypnotic patterns, transporting performers and audience to psychic realms. As this dance of curtains ascends to abstraction, creatures of knots and thread emerge from the shadows, protagonists are absorbed into set dressing and scenic ornaments run rampant. The theater digests and incorporates its prey.

Commissioned, developed, and produced by HERE Artist Residency and Dream Music Puppetry Programs.


Psychic Self Defense is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support is provided by The Dime Community Bank Fund for NYC Theatres, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York); Mental Insight Foundation; NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program); Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Puffin Foundation. Commissioning and development support provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. This work received artist residency support from Collapsable Hole, HERE, Millay Arts, and Yaddo. We are also grateful for support from Lucinda and Pogo Sherwood, The Bresnan Family Foundation, and Agnes Gund.


As part of HERE’s ongoing commitment to accessibility, we partner with Music:Not Impossible who provide our patrons with vibrotextile™ haptic suits which translate sound onto the skin through vibration, allowing users to feel the nuances of a music-listening experience. The most advanced technological solution of its kind, M:NI’s use during any musical or art performance produces a ‘surround body’ experience and dramatic effect for all participants, regardless of hearing abilities. Six suits will be available at HERE for select performances; to reserve them, choose the “Haptic Suit” option when purchasing tickets.

NOTE: Haptic suit users should arrive 30 minutes before the curtain time to receive assistance from our front-of-house specialist.



Design, Object Theatre, and Puppetry in Performance

Tuesday, September 26
(after the 8:30 p.m. performance)

Normandy Sherwood
Machine Dazzle
Tyler Gunther AKA The Greedy Peasant

Moderated by Amanda Szeglowski.

HERE is now a mask-optional space. All patrons attending HERE performances and events will no longer be required to wear masks.

We ask all audience members to please stay home if they have a sore throat, are feeling sick in any other way, or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and to please contact the box office for refunds or exchanges.

All of our performers, technicians, and staff members are required to be fully vaccinated and masked unless they are onstage performing. Additionally, they are participating in an active testing regimen to keep everyone as safe as possible.

HERE reserves the right to revise protocols as the rate of transmission changes and in light of new scientific data that may present itself.

Tue-Thu, 8:30 p.m.
Fri,  8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Sat, 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Sun, 4 p.m. 



In the event of a sold-out date, patrons can sign up at the box office starting one hour before each performance. If any tickets become available, they will be sold at curtain time. Rush tickets are $25 and cash only.

Six state-of-the-art vibrotextile™ haptic suits will be available, courtesy of our friends at Music: Not Impossible, for the following performances:
Wed, Sept 20 and 27, 8:30 pm
Fri, Sept 15, 22, and 29 at 11:00 pm

60 minutes, no intermission.

This show contains theatrical haze and sudden loud noises.   

Buy Tickets


Normandy Sherwood