Object of Her Affection is a solo puppetry and object performance art piece centered on a woman, who in her search for true love develops intimate relationships with inanimate objects. In this unconventional love story, puppets and performing objects are a primary through-line, as I explore the synesthetic relationship between objects and personalities, and ways that objects can occupy more than one meaning at any given time. Object of Her Affection is a visual narrative about human beings (flesh and blood) developing intimate relationships with inanimate things and the universal development and loss of relationships we encounter on our journey through life.
Object of Her Affection follows the emotional journey of protagonist, Andrea Lowe, after she has mysteriously fallen from a building. In her last moments, she reflects on her meaningful relationships starting with her first love, a baby’s blanket. As an adolescent, she loses her virginity to a bad-boy hunting rifle and subsequently becomes infatuated with the Berlin Wall. As Andrea evolves, so do her desires. In adulthood, she forms doomed relationships with monumental structures: a high-profile statue, tragic twin skyscrapers, and a bridge who cheats. Each of these relationships has a profound effect, shaping Andrea’s views on life and love. She finds solace in Roy, a crumbling tenement who ultimately fails her.
“The piece, which questions on a cosmic level our artificial divide between the animate and the inanimate, has the appealing, droll humor and structural unity of a David Sedaris story.”
– LA Weekly
In an age where the fate of marriage equality is in the news, I strive to complicate notions of sexual identity by focusing on a protagonist with Object Sexuality (OS). Although sexual minorities have made recent strides, a secondary tier of otherness festers outside the oversimplification and mainstreaming of queer identity. As an emotional, physical, and romantic desire towards inanimate objects, OS explodes traditional categorization of sexuality. People with OS fall in love with things, rather than humans. They don’t so much want a place at the table as they might long for a relationship with one.
Object of Her Affection was written, designed, and performed by Marsian De Lellis; directed by Michele Spears, Stage Manager / Assistant: Lupe Lucero, Lighting Design: Tony Shayne, Sound Design: Rebecca Kessin, Sound Effects: Grant Baciocco, Sound Assistant: Christian Lee, Lead Soft Fabricator: Christine Papalexis, Lead Hard Fabricator: Chris Sheets, Lead Doll Fabricator: Liz Watson and Peter Ceili, Practical Lights: Moira Lael MacDonald, Cantonese Language Coach: Felix Kamchung, Production Support: Lisa J. Maydwell, Video: REDCAT, Photography: Rafael Hernandez and – Music: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
2014 Bootleg Theater (Los Angeles)
2013 REDCAT Studio (Los Angeles)
2013 Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Fullerton, CA)
2013 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Waterford, CT)
Object of Her Affection was made possible through generous support from The Jim Henson Foundation, The Automata Residency Program, an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, Hatchfund, the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and funding from The Anna Sosenko Assist Trust with additional support from Impro Theater and REDCAT. Special Thanks: Cricket Myers, Christine Papalexis, Maximo Torres, Ronnie Burkett, Jane Pickett Heretic Salon, Impro Theater, REDCAT, Andrew Villaverde and Harvard Westlake School.
Photos: 2014, Rafael Hernandez and Steve Gunther, Video: REDCAT