Alissa began studying puppetry with John Tartaglia in 2005. She has been a featured participant at the National Puppetry Conference at the O’Neill Theater Center for several years where she studied with Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, Ronald Binion, Phillip Huber, Paul Mesner, Martin P. Robinson, Robert Smythe, Richard Termine, and Hua Hua Zhang. Alissa very recently studied with Matt Vogel, Martin P. Robinson, and Peter Linz in a series of television puppetry workshops sponsored by Sesame Workshop.
As the resident staff puppeteer in the Child Life Department of Mount Sinai Hospital from 2006 – 2012, Alissa performed on-camera hosting live game shows for KidZoneTV with her pink monster alter-ego, Penina. She also led puppet building workshops with the patients and their families in The Zone, playrooms and bedside.
Alissa’s puppet theater credits include playing Fritz, the gay terrorist, in “Die Hard the Puppet Musical,” all of the puppet characters in “Live Nude Girl,” Mustard the Dog in “The Tales of Custard the Dragon,” the feet of “Pinokenstein,” and “EGO,” Mick Jagger in “The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes” a member of Cosmic Bicycle Theater’s “Edward Lear’s Absurd-Ditties” and in the UNIMA Award-winning cast of Kevin Augustine’s “BRIDE.” She was also a featured performer at Great Small Works’ International Toy Theater Festival, Banners & Cranks Festival, and Dragon*Con.
Most recently, Alissa played One-Eyed Bear on the CBS series Life in Pieces. Additional television puppetry experience includes playing Trixie the Rabbit in the pilot of “Boom Chicka Boom,” Ginger West Liberty for Princess Katie and Racer Steve’s “Revved Up & Ready To Rock! – Live Concert DVD,” a series of online videos for 14Hands Agency, and a music video for the song “The Whole World and You” by Tally Hall. Alissa performed on Sesame Street in 2015. Earlier this year she played the lead character in a new kids series produced by Isle Entertainment, currently being pitched to distribution networks.
Short-form musical puppet theater is her specialty and she is a regular at puppet slams around the country. Alissa produced and performed in “A Puppet Music Thing” as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Her sold-out cabaret show of songs, patter and puppetry “The Kid Inside” was presented as part of the Orlando Puppet Festival and has had performances at major NYC cabaret and theater venues, including Dixon Place.