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I am a zookeeper. I sculpt and construct puppet creatures with animal qualities that capture natural forms and movements through a tension between realism and abstraction. I give life to these creature puppets using intense focus to transfer enigmatic energy through my hands. This allows me to disappear behind the puppet to become a visible invisible puppeteer. My endearing puppets emotionally connect to audiences, like Lucy the Ice-Picker Bird plucking a delicate feather to reach out for interaction. It is in that moment, when the puppet is authentically alive that we discover true magic. 

Jess Rassp (she/her) is a Theatre Artist, Producer and Puppetry Performer who specializes in devised ensemble performance. Inspired by nature, culture, and mythology, her work fuels environmentally-centered narratives, inspires storytelling through the subtleties of creature expression, and encourages audiences to connect with our natural world. Jess has worked as an independent artist with various theatre companies as a leader, designer, and puppet creator. In addition to intensive studies in theatre and fine arts, she received her B.A. in English Literature from Brandeis University. 

Jess is a member of the Submersive Collective: 


Unsettling: A Devised Theatre Piece

North American Cultural Laboratory

Summer 2023 


Lyra and the Ferocious Beast

Truepenny Projects

August 2023 

As You Like It

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Fall 2023


Jess Rassp leads puppetry workshop intensives for professional actors, students, and children. These lessons are in the abstract practice of puppetry as well as fabrication of puppets. She has lead this workshop with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Morgan State University, Community College Baltimore County, and Single Carrot Theatre Summer Camp. Please inquire if interested! 


Vital Matters: Baltimore (Producer): Winter Seeds (2021)

Truepenny Projects (Puppetry Performance): Squidsbury (2022)

Submersive Productions (Puppetry and Performance):

Project Katalepsis (2023), rECHOllection (2021), See Also: (2020),

MASS/RABBLE (2019)BATS! (2018)

H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (2017, 2018)

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (Props and Puppetry Design):

A Raisin in the Sun (2022), Dracula (2019), Alice in Wonderland (2018),

The Winter's Tale (2018), Othello (2017)

Pointless Theatre (Masks and Puppetry): Rhinocéros (2022)

Single Carrot Theatre (Production):

Covid Monologues (2021), 

Savage/Love (2016), Midlife (2016), Year of the Rooster (2015)

Interrobang Theatre Company (Scenic Design): Here We Are (2019),  

Cohesion Theatre Company (Production): 

Tornkid (2019), Frankenstein (2019)La Llorona / The Orphan Sea (2018), 

Mr. Burns (2017), Sally McCoy (2017), Men on Boats (2017),

Schoolgirl Figure (2016)

The Vultures Photo by: Richard Turmine

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