About Us

Exploring Boundaries Through Kinetic Artistry:
The Animal Cracker Conspiracy Story

Bridget Rountree and Iain Gunn, the dynamic duo behind Animal Cracker Conspiracy (ACC), are San Diego-based artists on a mission to delve beneath the surface of conventional performance, pushing the boundaries of live kinetic expression. Since joining forces in 2004, their collaborative venture has evolved into a contemporary hybrid puppet company with a penchant for defying expectations and invoking the uncanny.

At the heart of their artistic journey is a commitment to devising hybrid performances that challenge norms and uncover hidden narratives. ACC's shared passion for exploring the intersection of fine art, puppetry, performance art, stilt walking, and mixed media continues to fuel their creativity. Their work, characterized by emergent structures and layered storytelling, seamlessly integrates symbols, images, film, sounds, movement, and puppets on stage.

ACC's performances traverse the spectrum of movement, from the tangible to the ethereal, from folk to contemporary, and from intellectual to intuitive. They actively cultivate the suspension of disbelief through immediate choreography, embracing the unknown, and using puppet manipulation to craft original stories.

With a rich history of participation in national and international artist residencies, conferences, and workshops, ACC has collaborated with esteemed organizations such as La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Symphony, Bread and Puppet, North American Creative Laboratories, La Pocha Nostra, Rosenclaire, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Handspring Puppet Company, and The Eugene O’Neill Center’s National Puppetry Conference.

ACC's diverse performances and exhibitions, both independently and in collaboration with other artists, have graced prestigious venues like the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and Santa Barbara, La Jolla Playhouse, The Rady Shell, HERE ARTS NYC, Exit Theatre San Francisco, The Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, and many more. Their extensive repertoire includes appearances at Arts and Lectures at Cal State San Marcos, Art Power at UCSD, the San Diego Symphony, and the Skirball Cultural Center.

Supported by entities such as the San Diego Foundation, Jim Henson Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Guthman Foundation, Sator Arts Foundation, Synergy Arts Foundation, the Heather Beth Henson Fund, and The Puppet Slam Network, ACC continues to captivate audiences with their innovative approach to puppetry, stilt walking, and the creation of spectacular visual theater experiences.

Meet the Founders

Bridget Rountree

Bridget Rountree is an interdisciplinary artist working in a variety of stylistic mediums such as collage, painting, and performance. She holds a B.A. in Literature from UC Berkley and the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara.

Her work often juxtaposes art historical references, creating visual narratives concerned with current environmental, social, and economic inequities. She is co-founder of Animal Cracker Conspiracy a hybrid puppet company. Where she continues to experiment and cross-disciplines by combing mixed media, performance, stop motion film, and puppetry, in both the street, museums, and in between. She continues to study with her main artistic influences Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky activist teaching artists who hold art residencies in Italy and South Africa.

Her work has been exhibited and or performed at the California Center for the Arts and Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, CA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA, and the Bristol Museum of Art, Bristol, RI.

Iain Gunn

Iain Gunn is an experienced artistic collaborator with a demonstrated history of working in the performing arts industry. Strong arts and design professional skilled in Puppetry, Improvisation, Performing Arts, Choreography, and Stilt Walking.

Awards & Recognition

Our Partners

Our Origin Story

San Diego based artists Bridget Rountree and Iain Gunn are Animal Cracker Conspiracy, a contemporary collaborative hybrid puppet company invested in peering under the surface of things and pushing the boundaries of live kinetic performance.

Joining forces in 2004 with a shared desire to collaborate with one another and create performances that would radically decenter expectations, open new avenues of thought and invoke the uncanny. Their ongoing performance practice is based in devising hybrid performance, as well as creating frameworks for collaboration, investigation, and discovery of the stories hidden amongst us.

Their shared interest and exploration of where fine art, puppetry, performance art, physical theater, and mixed media intersect is a continued source of inspiration for their work. ACC seek the creation of emergent structures, defining the work through layering symbols, images, film, sounds, movement, and puppets on stage.

Traversing abstractions of movement from the material to immaterial, folk to contemporary, and intellectual to intuitive. ACC actively cultivates the suspension of disbelief by employing immediate choreography, embracing the unknown, and using the manipulation of puppets to create original stories.

ACC have participated in both national and international artist residencies, conferences, and workshops with the La Jolla Playhouse, Bread and Puppet, North American Creative Laboratories, La Pocha Nostra, Rosenclaire, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Handspring Puppet Company and The Eugene O’Neill Center’s National Puppetry Conference.

They have performed and/or exhibited as ACC or in collaboration with ZIRK UBU, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, Mango and Dango, WSOHOIDPS, ZenArtsLA and the Vaudeville Vixens at the Museum of Contemporary Art- San Diego and Santa Barbara, the La Jolla Playhouse, HERE ARTS NYC, Exit Theatre San Francisco, The Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, as well as for Arts and Lectures at Cal State San Marcos, for Art Power at UCSD, at the Performance Annex in City Heights, at the Montana Fair, at KAABOO, at Lightning in a Bottle and the Skirball Center. They have received support from the San Diego Foundation, Jim Henson Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Guthman Foundation, Sator Arts Foundation, Synergy Arts Foundation, the Heather Beth Henson Fund and The Puppet Slam Network.