Celebrating the life and creative talents of Judith Iris Martin, one of the founders of the Paper Bag Players

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION celebrating the life and creative talents of
Judith Iris Martin, one of the founders of the Paper Bag Players

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize that the
quality and character of life in the communities across New York State
are reflective of the concerned and dedicated efforts of those individ-
uals who would devote themselves to the welfare of the community and its
citizenry; and
WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to celebrate
the life and creative talents of Judy Martin, one of the founders of the
Paper Bag Players; and
WHEREAS, Judith "Judy" Iris Martin of Mineola, New York, passed away
in July of 2012 at the age of 93; and
WHEREAS, Her legacy and dedication to children's theater lives on with
the Paper Bag Players, a troupe based on Manhattan's Lower East Side at
185 East Broadway; the troupe's long history of intelligent and imagina-
tive children's theater continues to reaffirm the Lower East Side as a
hub of artistic creativity; and
WHEREAS, Judy Martin was born on August 13, 1918, in Newark, New
Jersey to Russian immigrants; she traveled to Manhattan for theater and
dance lessons, and eventually studied under the renowned actress Maria
Ouspenskaya at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater; and
WHEREAS, As a young woman, Judy Martin performed with the Merce
Cunningham Dance Company, and assisted in managing the dance project for
the National Youth Administration, a New Deal agency; additionally, she
taught theater to disadvantaged children in settlement houses in New
York City; and
WHEREAS, Judy Martin would distinguish herself in her profession as
founder and artistic director of the Paper Bag Players, a renowned non-
profit theater company of adults which performs original, contemporary,
musical theater for children; and
WHEREAS, In 1958, Judy and her friends developed the idea for the
Paper Bag Players as an improvisational theater group with a focus on
performing street humor for children; they began by putting on shows for
the children of the staff of the Living Theater, and soon expanded to
the general public; and
WHEREAS, Judy Martin served admirably as Artistic Director, basing the
group's performances on a child's everyday experiences, and combining
short plays, rousing songs, freewheeling dances and audience partic-
ipation; the troupe became known for their use of common household
objects, cardboard boxes and brown craft paper brightened with splashes
of color in their stage design; and
WHEREAS, For 51 years, this esteemed woman played a pivotal role in
the Paper Bag Players, embodying their unique style through her contrib-
utions as writer, designer, creative director and actress; she was an
essential part of more than 35 shows with the Players which were seen by
five million people; and
WHEREAS, Under Judy Martin's tenure, the Players grew in popularity
and became one of the first children's theater groups to appear on
educational television; they received support from the National Endow-
ment for the Arts and received many awards, including three from the
American Theater Wing; and
WHEREAS, Although the Paper Bag Players toured the nation and the
world introducing children to theater under Judy Martin's leadership,
the theater company remains true to its roots by continuing to perform
on the Lower East Side; The Paper Bag Players continue to spark chil-

dren's interest in theater by partnering with Lower East Side insti-
tutions such as Henry Street Settlement and the neighborhood's local
libraries; and
WHEREAS, Predeceased by her husband, Solomon Miller, she is survived
by her daughter and two grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Judy Martin leaves behind a legacy which will long endure
the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all she
served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
celebrate the life and creative talents of Judith Iris Martin, one of
the founders of the Paper Bag Players; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Judith Iris Martin.


  • 17 / Jun / 2014
  • 20 / Jun / 2014
  • 20 / Jun / 2014

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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