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/hers) is a puppetry, mask, and performance artist who practices combining Visual Arts—painting and sculpture—with the physical training of Dance and Martial Arts to perform Puppetry Arts. Inspired by nature, culture, and mythology, her puppetry work fuels environmentally centered narratives and inspires storytelling through the subtleties of creature expression. Throughout Baltimore, Jess has worked as an independent artist with various theatre companies as a leader, designer, and puppetry pioneer. Jess seeks to challenge and reimagine preconceived expectations of puppetry storytelling and create wordless works that are accessible to people of all backgrounds. 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:
November 6 and 7, 2021
Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
Free and open to the public
In the imagined future of 2032, the earth is beginning to push back in full force against our destructive habits: a virus that has evolved to cross between computers and humans has rendered all digital media unusable and has greatly reduced our population. Air and atmospheric quality make it difficult to spend time outside without full-body protection. The practice of physical distancing has only increased. Through these conditions, as humans always do, community members of Baltimore strive to find new ways to connect, express themselves, and attempt to heal from our collective loss of memory and companionship.
Other credits include:
Submersive Productions (See Also:, MASS/RABBLE,
BATS!, H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum),
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (Dracula,
Alice in Wonderland, The Winter's Tale, Othello),
Interrobang Theatre Company (Here We Are),
Cohesion Theatre Company (Tornkid, Frankenstein,
La Llorona / The Orphan Sea, Mr. Burns, Sally McCoy,
Men on Boats, Schoolgirl Figure),
Single Carrot Theatre (Savage/Love, Midlife,
Year of the Rooster).
The Vultures Photo by: Richard Turmine
See Also: Photos by Kintz