Jean Marie Keevins, Owner
Jean Marie is a NYC-based, Emmy-nominated producer, writer, puppet artist, designer and all around cheerleader for those who work outside of the box and are on a mission.
Most recently, Jean Marie served as the puppet supervisor on Apple TV+ & Sesame Workshop’s “Helpsters”, created by the unstoppable Tim McKeon.
Under the umbrella of her production company, Little Shadow Productions, Jean Marie has created a self-produced short film, and co-produced many others. Little Shadow was proudly commissioned to create and perform the puppets for Wyatt Cenac’s (“The Daily Show” and “Problem Area’s”) Netflix special “Wyatt Cenac’s Brooklyn”. Most recently, Little Shadow executive produced Martin P. Robinson’s All Hallow’s Eve, and created original puppets for Andy Sandberg’s “The Lonely Island’s” live event at Clusterfest. With Little Shadow, Jean Marie is also honored to serve as the lead producer for downtown theater icon, James Godwin (recipient of the Jim Henson Award for Innovation and a Doris Duke Fellowship). Godwin’s The Flatiron Hex was a New Times Critic’s Pic and his Lunatic Cunning was lauded with many awards including an UNIMA Citation of Excellence.
In her role as a theater producer, Keevins has executive produced multiple works for Heather Henson’s Ibex Puppetry, including Crane: on earth, in sky, featuring Ty DeFoe (Straight White Men) and directed by Maija Garcia (Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It”). She also executive produced The Riddle of the Trilobites (directed by Lee Sunday Evans), which opened at the Flint Repertory Theater and went on to a NYC premier at The New Victory Theater. Additionally she served as a producer of Puppet Playlist, a quarterly cabaret, featuring NYC’s top musical and puppetry talent.
As the long-time VP of Business Development at Puppet Heap, Jean Marie served as a knowledgeable liaison between clients (The Muppets, Mother, Diet Coke, Disney Theatricals, and more) and the Puppet Heap workshop throughout the entire design/build/production process. She has built puppets for Avenue Q, Disney on Ice’s Finding Nemo, Baby Einstein, “The Muppets”, “Johnny and the Sprites” as well as various Broadway shows.
Keevins has co-authored the plays Zwerge with Deb Hertzberg and Spencer Lott (“Sesame Street”) and Elephant in the Room with Sahr Ngauaja (Fela, Moulin Rouge!). She has received grant support from the Jim Henson Foundation Grants and Puffin Foundation. Similarly, Jean Marie has received prestigious writing residencies from Space on Ryder Farm, ArtPark, The Orchard Project, The National Puppetry Conference, NISDA and Dixon Place to name a few.
A reoccurring Guest Lecturer at New York University, Jean Marie holds a BA in Theater Studies with a concentration in the Puppet Arts from the University of Connecticut. Honing her training at the National Puppetry Conference, one of Jean Marie’s proudest accomplishments came when she joined the conference as staff. She now serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Conference as well as the Director of Participant Projects where she leads a mentoring program to create new short works of theatre. Jean Marie is a frequent moderator of interviews and panels featuring world renown artists. Ms. Keevins is a former board member of the international puppetry organization UNIMA-USA.
On the side, Jean Marie continues to design and build hats and accessories, a love that she fostered while studying at FIT and the couture. With the advent of Covid-19, she relaunched her eponymous brand, Jean Marie New York, and now designs and builds facemasks for all occasions, donating 50% of the masks made to essential workers and people in need.