Object of Her Affection – Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

photo: Rafael Hernandez


Creator, Writer, Performer: Marsian De Lellis
Director: Michele Spears
Lighting Design: Jacob Snodgrass
Sound Design: Rebecca Kessin
Stage Manager: Jacob Snodgrass
Production Manager: Eli Presser
Production Assistant: Fletcher Pierson
Sound Effects: Grant Baciocco
Lead Soft Fabricator: Christine Papalexis
Lead Hard Fabricator: Chris Sheets
Lead Doll Fabricator: Liz Watson + Peter Ceili
Cantonese Language Coach: Felix Kamchung
Practical Table Lights: Moira Lael MacDonald
Music: Kevin MacLeod incompetech.com
Press Photography: Kelly Stuart, Rafael Hernandez, Steve Gunther,
Press Video: Justin Streichman


Pat Brymer, Kristin Charney, Clarissa Estrada, Felicia Funderbunk, Liz Hara, Milena Hunter, Kate Katz, Tim Lagase, Yomy Lopez, Lupe Lucero, Alison Mork, Erika Montenegro, Sarah Oh, Leah Olbrich, Marissa Parr, Nate Pontius, Jessica Scott, Nick Shoob, Kat Vinegrad, Hunter Wells

Special Thanks

Janie Geiser, Susan Simpson, Miranda Wright, George Lugg, Ronnie Burkett, Jean Marie Keevins, Pam Arciero, Cheryl Henson, Lynn Jeffries, Jane Pickett, Allison de Fren, Aaron Martin of Harvard Westlake School, Mark Saltzman, Blair Thomas, Taylor Bibat, Sandy Gerling, Margaret Nelson, Giau Truong, Eli Presser


Object of Her Affection was made possible with funding from The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, The Jim Henson Foundation, The Center for Cultural Innovation, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, The Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, Hatchfund, and Kickstarter with additional support from The Automata Residency Program, The National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, REDCAT, Impro Theatre, Harvard Westlake School, and  Los Angeles Performance Practice.

JHF-Logo-Invert-1920x1080 The Jim Henson Foundation Logo 2015 2014 JHF Object of Her Affection
CCI Center for Cultural Innovation Object of Her Affection Logo 2014 2015

Company Bios

Marsian De Lellis (Writer, Performer, Creator) is an interdisciplinary artist who combines sculpture, objects, installation, performance and handmade spectacles to memorialize obsessional lives. Their work celebrates stories of unconventional people whose private manias become public fodder for tabloids and reality television.  MarsianDeLellis.com 

Michele Spears (Director) is a director/choreographer, performer, theatre producer, and arts educator. She has worked in traditional theatre genres, dance, cabaret, opera, puppetry arts, film, television, and new media – but is most attracted to projects that can’t be easily categorized.  She is a founding member of Impro Theatre where she performs, directs, and teaches, as well as an associate artist with the LA Gay Men’s Chorus where she choreographs. Originally from Kentucky, she is an alum of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Directors Lab West, and now lives in Los Angeles with her pack. MicheleSpears.com

Jacob Snodgrass (Lighting Designer, Stage Manager) has been designing lights and working within the performing arts community since 2000. He has designed lighting for Giordano Dance Chicago, Aerial Dance Chicago, Same Planet Performance Project, Breakbone Dance Co./BONEdanse, Danceworks Chicago, The Ishti Collective, Joel Hall Dancers, Hedwig Dances, the Ruth Page Dance Center to name a few. He has traveled both nationally and internationally working production on a variety of projects.  In addition to design, Jacob is the Technical Director for Giordano Dance Chicago and Lighting Director for the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago.

Rebecca Kessin (Sound Designer) is a sound designer working in Los Angeles and regionally since 2006. Theatre is her life’s great passion, particularly new play development.  She teaches Sound Design at California State University, Fullerton.  Seeing her students flourish in their chosen field brings her great joy.  RebeccaKessin.com

Eli Presser (Production Manager) is a multimedia artist and performer. Most recently, he co-directed and co-wrote puppetry productions with half past selber schuld for Free Forum Theater; and co-organized the Celluloid Golem Puppet Film Festival, both in Düsseldorf. He has performed at such venues as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Automata Arts, Dynasty Typewriter, and Track 16 Gallery. He was a key puppeteer for Kevin McTurk’s The Haunted Swordsman, which is currently touring film festivals. At present he is serving his term as a director on the board of the Los Angeles Guild Of Puppetry. EliPresser.com

Fletcher Pierson (Production Assistant) is a puppeteer based in Chicago since 2015. His work with Rough House has appeared at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, the Puppeteers of America National Festival, and in the pages of Architecture magazine. He is the founder of The Physicists, a new puppet dance group in Chicago, making shows about fish and organ transplants.

Christine Papalexis (Lead Soft Fabricator) has been performing and making puppets and costumes since discovering her love of puppetry while performing at Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles. Next she worked with hand/rod puppets, followed by animatronic, cable and various monster puppets for movies, tv, videos and commercials. She recently completed her directorial debut with a short marionette film Amaterasu, based on a Japanese folk tale.  ChristinePapalexis.com

Grant Baciocco (Sound Effects) is a creator and puppeteer who works regularly with The Jim Henson Company.  His credits include work on The Muppets, Wet Hot American Summer, Last Week Tonight and Mystery Science Theatre 3000.  He is the creator of Toiley T. Paper who has over 2.2 Million followers on TikTok. Grant was inducted into the Podcasting Hall of Fame in 2018. MrGrant.com

Additional Support

Kickstarter Backers:  

Adrian Rose Leonard, Alissa Hunnicutt,  Allison de Fren, Amanda Hamm,  Amber West, Anita Maloney, Anna Slotky, Barbara Carrellas, Baxley Andresen, Bernie Beauchamp, Betsy Zajko, Bruce Lanoil, Carol Bixler,  Ceili Clemens, Cheri Gaulke,  The Creative Fund, Christine Papalexis,  Colette Searls, Cynthia Freeman, Dan Evans,  Debra Broz, Deborah Hunt, Deborah Oliver, Dolores De Lellis, Elena Dorfman, Felicia Funderburk, Fred Thompson, Glass Half Full Theatre, Grant Baciocco, Greg Pritchard, Holly Laws, Jade Finlinson,  Janie Geiser, Jayne Entwistle, Jennifer Cole, Jess Imme,  Jessica Massart,  Jim Fouratt,  Julie Brown, Julie Phillips,  Kate Bornstein, Kate Katz, Katie Shook, Katherine Sweetman, Kelvin Kao,  Kristin Charney, Kristina Wong,  Kulov, Kyle Loven, Lalouise, Leonora Anzaldua Burke,  Lesley Smith, Leslie Tamaribuchi, Lindsey Z. Briggs, Libby Bideau, Linda Hoag, Mark Erdmann, Marlene Kasahara, Matthew Wagner, Max Daily, Melissa Dunphy, Moira MacDonald, Molly Allis, Monica Muniz, Nadia Scheherazade,  Pam Severns, Paul Manchester, Peggy Etra, Paul McGinnis, Paul Zaloom, Peter Ceili, Playlab NYC,  Rachel Gibas, Ray Busmann,  Rob Hamilton, Ronald De Lellis, Ryan Dillon, Sam Brelsfoard, Sharon Challenger,  Sir Ladybug Beetle, Steffany Vance, Stina Hanson,  Susan Silton, Suzanne Szucs, Sylvia Ann Soares,  Vanessa Gilbert, Valeska Populoh,  Zeb L. West

Hatchfund Supporters:

Alan Calpe, Alexandra Andresen, Alissa Hunnicutt, Allison Linamen, Amber West, Anna Huff, Anonymous (4), Ariel Rodriguez, Arthur Poore, Barbara Carrellas, Basil Twist, Ben Durocher, Bernie Beauchamp, Caitlin Correll, Camelia Naguib, Carol Bixler, Catherine May, Chad Latham, Cheryl Revkin, Chi-wang Yang, Christine Papalexis, Christopher Sheets, Clarissa Estrada, Cloud Eye Control, Coleman Hough, Dan Evans, David Mack, Deborah Hunt, Deborah Sale-Butler, Debra Eckloff, Eleftheria Lialios, Elizabeth Hara, Eric Kurland, Erica Frank, Erika Montenegro, Estee Taylor, Fariba Ghaffari, Felicia Funderburk, Felix Kam Chung, Frank Santos, Gina Lovoi, Grant Baciocco, Hopper Stone, James Godwin, Janie Geiser, Jennifer Reeder, Kat Vinegrad, Kaylynn Raschke, Kelly Hargraves, Kelvin Kao, Kurt Hunter, Lawrence Siegel, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Leslie Tamaribuchi, Lindsay Buchman, Lorena Manriquez, Marissa Chibas Preston, Mark Erdmann, Mark Ruffin, Maya Ahuja, Melissa Dunphy, Mindy Donner, Michael Oleon, Moira MacDonald, Monica Muniz, Nancy Smith, Nguyen Nguyen, Pam Arciero, Paul McGinnis, Paul Spirito, Paul Zaloom, Rachel Rosenthal Company, Ray Busmann, Reed Garber-Pearson, Richard Schwass, Ronni Kappos, Ryan Dillon, Sam Brelsfoard, Sam Wayman, Sarah Frechette, Sarah Peterson, Shannon Dedman, Shari Goodhartz, Sharon Challenger, Steffany Vance, Sylvia Ann Soares, Teresa Flores, Thessaly Lerner, Val Sivilli, Valeska Populoh, Vanessa Gilbert, Wendy Morton, William Funderburk, Zachary Dorn