Model Killer, D+R Residency

Model Killer
Bisected Dollhouse Research Image: Courtesy of the artist

March 18th-31st I was at Automata as part of a D + R Residency through Los Angeles Performance Practice. While at Automata, I continued developing and researching my latest installation/performance-in-progress, Model Killer: Giant Crimes & Tiny Cover-Ups

Photo: Richard Termine

Model Killer is a morbid comedy centered on a disgruntled dollhouse maker turned investigator. Vivian Nutt builds dioramas of unsolved murders, only for it to be revealed that she is in fact, a serial killer. In Model Killer, I am creating a universe in which I invite the viewer to reconsider female serial killers, the historically feminine craft of miniatures, and murder as entertainment.

Currently,  I am welcoming community involvement in-person in Los Angeles  (and virtually anywhere in the world). Please contact me if you are available to assist in the following  ways:


Help with construction of card board doll houses and assist with small craft projects. 


View/listen to short partially staged and un-staged script excerpts and half-baked ideas and offer feedback though out the residency. FaceTime could work if you’re out of the area.  


Contribute to my research on serial killers remotely via google sheets.  Maybe you like organizing data.. Maybe you have a favorite female serial killer, strange addiction, or personality disorder you want invest some time researching a bit more. (Let’s talk!)

Other Ideas

If you think of any other ways you could be of help (documenting the process, critical thinking, other areas of production and design (sound, video, music, Qlab tutorials, future marketing, assistant-ships, or assisting with research in some other way ), please don’t hesitate to get in touch*.  


Want to get stuff off your hands? I’m seeking donations of doll houses, dollhouse furniture, dolls, model figures, doll clothes, acrylic paint and other art supplies.

If you have any of these items and you’re in L.A., let’s arrange a drop off time at Automata, 504 Chung King Court, Los Angeles, CA 90012

If you’re outside of L.A., I can also receive items through the mail at:

Marsian De Lellis
1920 Hillhurst Avenue 173
Los Angeles, CA 90027


Don’t have any of these items but feeling generous? You can always of course donate at any time through Fractured Atlas.  

*Communicating with me: depending on what I’m doing at any given moment (it may involve detail work with my hands or deep concentration with my brain), I may need to text, voice call, or Facetime. 

Model Killer, 2017, Photo: Isaak Berliner/Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Previously I developed sections of Model Killer at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, where I was the artist in residence at the National Puppetry Conference. Thank you to everyone who supported the project for that iteration.

The current D + R Residency is offered collaboratively by Los Angeles Performance Practice and Automata.

Los Angeles Performance Practice, presents contemporary performance by artists whose work advances and challenges multi-disciplinary practices. The D + R Residency is offered collaboratively by Los Angeles Performance Practice and Automata, and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Located in the Chinatown Arts District of Los Angeles, Automata is an arts organization dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices centered on ideas of artifice and performing objects. I