In the Spring of 2009, Lynn Jeffries wrote about my work in Puppetry International’s “40 Under 40” edition, in which she likened my performances as “a crazy hall of mirrors, flashing bits of a story from multiple angles [..] held together by a strong idosyncratic personal aesthetic. And lots of fake fur”
A giggly grinning ice cream cake flies Linda off to Planet Birthday, where she is briefly happy and loved. Moments later, Linda stares in horror as a piece of her new friend is cut and served to her on a plate. Its sugary severed mouth hisses up at her, “You let them kill me!” So begins fictitious ice cream heiress Linda Carvel’s long troubled relationship with food, as told in a psychedelic puppet fantasia by Marsian De Lellis.
Marsian ([they] pronounces it like “Martian”) is finishing [their] Master’s degree at CalArts this year. With [their] shock of pink hair and oversized silver boots, [they] resemble[ ] an anime character, and there is a cuteness to [their] fleecy neon-colored puppet world. It is also a dark and very adult place, teetering between comedy and nightmare. The people in Marsian’s plays distort their bodies in a search for love, or something like it. Linda becomes grotesquely fat, while in Bride of Wildenstein, a socialite grows fur and claws in hopes of recapturing the attention of her game hunter husband.
Marsian draws inspiration from breaking news, 12-step lore and pop culture. [They are] an eclectic experimenter who has played with cantastoria, bunraku, pop-up books, toy theater, shadow puppets, costumes and video. [Their] productions can feel like a crazy hall of mirrors, flashing bits of a story from multiple angles. Yet, the chaos is held together by a strong, idiosyncratic personal aesthetic. And lots of fake fur.
Puppetry International is a publication of UNIMA-USA. UNIMA-USA, founded in 1966, is the North American Center of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the oldest international theatre organization in the world, founded in 1929. The organization’s mission is to promote international understanding and friendship through the art of puppetry.
Union Internationale de la Marionnette is an organization in which all those people in the world concerned with the Art of the Puppet Theatre associate voluntarily in order to serve through their art the idea of peace and of mutual understanding without distinction as to race, political ideas or religion.