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:
Single Carrot Theatre
February 26, 2021
Covid Monologues aims to use research-based theatre to creatively disseminate and humanize emerging research on health, behavior and societal aspects of COVID-19. In addition to translating COVID-19 research, we are aiming to build community resilience by promoting creativity through collaborations between artists, scientists, and policy makers. This project is created in partnership with Public Health Researchers Saraniya Tharmarajah and Emily Hurley, Single Carrot Theatre, and independent artist Jess Rassp.
Puppet Powered Weekend
Port of Discovery Children's Museum
March 20 and 21, 2021
Performance and Meet/Greet with the Vulture Puppets
Workshop: Make a Puppet at Home using Tinfoil and Tape!
Unnatural Causes: Art of a Critical Nature, Exhibition
The Vultures is a devised performance piece that blends puppetry with martial arts. Six vulture puppet characters swirl around our decaying Earth ready to fulfill their role as harbingers of death. The vultures, with visceral and chaotic movement, consume the Earth in order to complete the cycle of life and begin a process of renewal.
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