Los Angeles, CA




1999            California Institute of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Experimental Animation  

 1993            Brown University, Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Visual Art           

 Co-Artistic Director of Automata,  an arts organization dedicated to the creation and presentation of puppet theater and related forms.

Grants and Awards

2017   Jim Henson Foundation Production Grant

2014   Center for Cultural Innovation Investing In Artists Grant    

2012   Center for Cultural Innovation and Durfee Foundation Matching Funds Grant    

2009  Jim Henson Foundation Project Grant    

2008   Center for Cultural Innovation Investing In Artists Grant    

2007   Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant

2001, 2005, 2007    Durfee Foundation The Artist Completion Grant    

2006  Creative Capital Grant    

2003 The California Community Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship        

2002 The Richard E. Sherwood Award



2017            A Machine for Living ( puppet play development )

                     workshops at Automata June 2016 and 2017


2014 -15    Augustine September: Artist in Residence

                               Opening of New/Net, Ace Hotel, Los Angeles         

                                          Tongva After Dark: Wonder Room, Santa Monica 2014

                               Live Arts Exchange Festival, Los Angeles                                                                                                           

                               Bright Light Night Festival, Rosemead                       

                               The Far East Plaza, Los Angeles (July-Nov 2014)            


2014            The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Falcon Theater, North Hollywood

                    Designed and constructed a toy theater cabinet and puppets and scenery for puppet shows


2008-14      Concrete Folk Variations (Writer, Director, Designer)

                               Automata, Los Angeles, CA, May 2014

                The Manual Archives, Los Angeles, CA, 2008-2009

                               Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CAJuly 2008

                 International Toy Theater Festival, Brooklyn, May, 2008

2010-12        Exhibit A ( Writer, Director, Designer)

                                   NOW Festival, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2012)

                    Forum for Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2010)

                    Rio Hondo College, Whittier, CA (2010)

                    Links Hall, Banners and Cranks Festival, Chicago, IL (2010)


 2010             Ineffable Sustenance           

                            Let Them Eat LACMA, LA County Museum of Art


 2010             Питер-Burg (Co-Director)

                              Theatre Pokoleniy, St Petersburg, Russia


2004-08       Frankenstein: Mortal Toys ( Co-director and Designer with Janie Geiser) adaptation by Erick Ehn

                           HERE Art Center, New York, NY (2008)

            The Velaslavasay Panorama, Los Angeles CA (2006)

            The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City, CA (2004)


2007          Lead Feet and Nothing Upstairs a History of the Lifelike ( Director, Designer)

                          The Manual Archives, Los Angeles, CA           


 2005-07    Sunset Chronicles

                       Velaslavasay Panorama, Los Angeles, CA           

         Il Corral, Los Angeles, CA            

         Noah Purifoy Foundation, Joshua Tree, CA


2001                 Pseudoflora            

                          The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City, CA


Design Projects

 2016         Saving the World One Bus at a Time, Huntington Library and Gardens, San Marino, CA

                  Designed and fabricated of a multi-panel three dimensional map illustrated with children's drawings of  the Huntington                                           

                  Part of a campaign to raise funds to provide transportation for field trips to The Huntington.


2015          The Readers Chorus, at Automata in Los Angeles

                  Visual Designer (including costumes and musical scores)  


2015            Mobile Display Case, Huntington Library and Gardens, San Marino, CA

                    Designed and oversaw fabrication of 2 folding mobile display cases


2014             Augustine September: Artist in Residence, The Far East Plaza, Los Angeles

                    Designed and built a kiosk with puppet stages, display case and peepshows


Visual Art

Solo Shows and Installations           

 2013                Infinite Interstitial, Culver Center for the Arts, UC Riverside,

                         A kinetic window installation generating live feed video for a jumbotron

                         part of the Digital Mural project

 2009              Dreamers, Thank You. Come Back Again: The Work of Susan Simpson           

                        Exhibition at Sheehan Gallery, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA

 Group Shows

 2009                         The Future Imaginary , Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College, Los Angeles

2009-present            Homesick For the World, collaboration with writer Janet Sarbanes           

                                   Home and Garden, Viralnet Curatorial Project


Community Based Public Arts Projects

 2012-13            Second Campus Photomural            

                         Huntington Library and GardensSan Marino, CA

                          Lead in the creation a 700ft photomural featuring 220 portraits of students from three East Los

                          Angeles schools, holding photos they had taken in their neighborhoods. The mural was on the

                          fence surrounding the grounds for 2 years during construction

 2014-15            Harmony Project           

                         Huntington Library and Gardens, San Marino, CA

                         Lead students from two schools in the collaborative creation of multimedia

                         mosaics for exhibition for the opening of The Huntington's Education Center


2008                Boll Weevil Days, Director/Designer           

                          Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2005

                          Seattle International Film Festival, 2006

                          MadCat Film Festival 2006,

                         OutFest Los Angeles, 2006

                          Yerba Buena Center, SF, 2008

2016           Inconsolable Objects for Los Angeles Peephole Cinema

2017           ALARM for Peephole Cinema at Ann Arbor Film Festival



KCRW, May 6, 2014, Formally Excavating the Past, on Opening the Curtain by Anthony Byrnes

Hyperallergic, May 14, 2014 Hard-Boiled Wooden Puppets, Alicia Eler

L.A. Weekly Blog, April 25, 2013 Silver Lake's Gay Rights History...As Told by Puppets, by Anna Jones  

LA Weekly Pick5 Artsy Things to do in LA, April 25, 2013 Rules for Radical Puppets 

Stage and Cinema, August 1, 2012“Best Be On Your Avant-Garde”, Tony Frankel,

Flaunt, Issue 106, Fall 2010, "Radical Puppeteers: Susan Simpson, Janie Geiser and The Experimental Theater Art of Automata" Interview by Sylvia Sukop

The Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2009, “Puppet Masters are not Toying Around” by Holly Myers

L.A. Weekly, March 14, 2008, "Concrete Folk Variations: Death of a Sugar Daddy" by Amy Nicholson

New York Times, Jan 14, 2008, "Down Sized: Eerie Tale Of a Man and His Monster"

by Rachel Saltz

Los Angeles Times, Dec 15, 2007 “Expressive Puppetry Bring 'Frankenstein' to Life” by David Ng

L.A. Weekly, December 13, 2007 “Frankenstein (Mortal Toys): Small Wonder” by Holly Willis

Backstage West, June 13, 2007 "Lead Feet and Nothing Upstairs", by Jennie Web

Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2007, “Mythmaking for Adults” by Kathy Foley

Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2007, "Propagating Puppets" by Diane Haithman

American Theatre, February 2005, “Size Matters” by Melinda Barlow

Los Angeles Times, June 2005, “Thinking Really Small Pays Off” by Brenda Rees



Selected courses taught at California Institute of the Arts over the past 15 years:

 The Manual Mechanical - a practical course in constructing mechanical toys

 Constructing Performing Objects - a practical course in constructing puppets

 Decoys, Dolls and Dummies: Animated Objects in Contemporary Performance, Media and Visual Art

 Objects High and Low: The History of Puppet Theater in the U.S.