Model Killer at LAX Festival

Company Bios

Marsian De Lellis (Writer, Performer, Creator) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer who constructs installations and time-based visual narratives in intimate settings. In their practice, they employ puppets, dolls, performing objects, and humor to memorialize obsessional lives. Viewers of their work largely identify as queer, artistic, godless, neurodivergent, and trans/nonbinary.

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.

Rebecca Kessin (Sound Designer) is a sound designer and arts educator. Theatre is her life’s great passion!  Favorite productions include Ride The Cyclone (Chance), American Mariachi (South Coast Rep), The Real Black Swann, Born to Win, Die Mommie, Die!, Priscilla! Queen of the Desert, Dream Boy, Bootycandy (Celebration), Object of Her Affection (Automata), This Land (Company of Angels), MISS YOU LIKE HELL (Theatre Squared), Good People (Coachella Valley Rep). She teaches Sound Design at California State University, Fullerton and Los Angeles City College.  Seeing her students flourish in their chosen field brings her great joy.

Tim Lagasse (Video + Live Feed Designer) is an American director, puppeteer and puppet designer. He has worked on films and television programs for Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, Disney XD, and HBO. He is known for playing the title character on Noggin’s Oobi, and Crash on Disney XD’s Crash & Bernstein. Lagasse has been nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards. In 1991, he became the first recipient of the Jim Henson Memorial Prize in Puppetry. In 1993 he was presented with a Citation for Excellence by UNIMA; and later that year, received a Broadcast Design Silver Award for his series of short films, A Show of Hands.

William Wright (Composer) is a composer of musical works for film, television, the stage, and contemporary ensembles. Best known for his neoclassical debut, 2018’s Salt Mass (Gezellig Records), and for scoring Hulu’s This World Alone, Wright’s works have been performed and celebrated internationally. He was honored in 2021 as “Best Composer For The Screen” by Milan, Italy’s Merry-Go-Sound. Wright is a 2x composer of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Puppetry Conference and a graduate of Berklee College of Music. He lives and works out of East Tennessee, where he is a Staff Composer and Creative Audio Director.

Hunter Wells (Costume Designer) is an artist who loves making costumes, and exploring the physical interface between body and meaning. Hunter works at CalArts where he teaches costume design classes and runs the costume shop. Hunter’s design work includes the award-winning 2011 musical feature film Leave it on the Floor, several years of costuming the Halloween Horror Nights and Grinchmas events at Universal Studios Hollywood, and a variety of theater and short film projects around the LA area. Hunter also creates art-to-wear costumes and sculpture, as well as performance art. Recently Hunter has been working on a script for a film project.

Eli Presser (Puppet Consultant) 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.

Rachel Burson (Rehearsal Coordinator) is a puppet builder and puppet wrangler in Los Angeles and the former President of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry (LAGP). Rachel has worked for various companies ranging from The Jim Henson Creature Shop to Swazzle Inc. She has also built on shows such as: Waffles + Mochi, Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time, The Barbarian and the Troll, and Crank Yankers. Rachel is an active member in the puppetry community who has been on the LAGP board for four years and President for two of those years.

Gavin Higa (Assistant Sound Designer) is a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton where he was a proud student of this production’s sound designer Rebecca Kessin. He currently works as the sound engineer for East West Players’ Theatre for Youth program where kids are inspired to learn more about theatre and some prominent Asian American figures in history. He is also the assistant director for a local high school where he is passionate about helping students who might have no experience performing gain the confidence to reach their fullest potential.

Los Angeles Performance Practice is a non-profit organization devoted to the production and presentation of contemporary performance by artists whose work advances and challenges multi-disciplinary artistic practices.

Special Thanks

Artist Relief, Puppeteers of America, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Center for Cultural Innovation, Fulcrum Arts, Pen America, Dramatists Guild of America, L.A. County Arts and Culture, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), Center Theater Group, Harvard Westlake Upper School, Sharon Challenger, Seth Roseman, Pam Arciero, Jane Martineau, Derron Wood, Sharon Murphy-Boski, James Godwin, Richard Termine, Roger Danforth, Steven Massicotte, Martin Kettling, Ronnie Burkett, Janie Geiser, Susan Simpson, DanRae Wilson, Mark Simon, Clove Galilee, Paul Outlaw, Tawni Shuler, Jacki Apple, Ezrha Jean Black, Jayne Entwistle, Eric Birghtwell, Coco LaFey, Chris Sheets, Bob Bonniol, Margot Linden-Katz, Mireya Lucio, Miranda Wright, Samuel Vasquez, Scarlett Kim, Lily Comeau, Ximón Wood, Patricia Garza, and Umbrella Lady