Meet the Players

Kevin Richard WoodallKEVIN RICHARD WOODALL* has been a performing member of The Paper Bag Players for twenty-five seasons. Kevin, an Illinois State University graduate, is also proud to be the company’s Director, Co-Writer and Choreographer. His memorable and fan-making roles include the Bully in Big Bully, the Baby in Baby Mayhem, Cowboy K in Cowboy K and the Cowgirls, Spring in When Winter Stayed Too Long and Boom in Boom Surprise! Regionally, Kevin has had featured roles in BIG RIVER, INTO THE WOODS, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, THE FANTASTICKS, and THE MUSIC MAN. Kevin has toured as Sam The Postman in SESAME STREET LIVE 1…2…3… IMAGINE!
*Appears through the courtesy of Actors Equity Association

John StoneJOHN STONE has been Composer and Music Director of The Paper Bag Players since 2003, playing the electric keyboard at each show. He has also co-written material for the shows since the founding of the new creative ensemble in 2009. John’s chamber works have toured nationally and internationally, appearing most recently in the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. His Langston Hughes song-cycle, Daybreak in Alabama, has received numerous performances in the USA and France and was featured in the nationally broadcast radio series, Song of America, hosted by Thomas Hampson. In 2017, Met opera soloist Molly Fillmore sang the Daybreak cycle at the University of North Texas. John’s theater and film credits include the scores for Vanessa Redgrave’s production of Antony and Cleopatra. John has received grants from Meet the Composer as well as the W.K. Rose Fellowship of Vassar College. For more info, please visit johnkstone.com

Kyle BeckerKYLE BECKER is elated to join The Paper Bag Players on their most recent excursion: Sing a Song, Dance a Dance! Kyle strives to bring a good work ethic and a positive attitude into everything he works on. He has recently toured with Theaterworks USA and hopes to continue creating shows that make kids smile everywhere!

Jada BennettJADA BENNETT is a Delaware native who calls Brooklyn home. She is so excited to be back for her 3rd season with the Bags. After graduating from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA), she was seen in plays with Nia Production Company and “Together We Grow,” a YouTube series for kids. Jada is also a member of the Brooklyn Cyclones Surf Squad dance team as well as the current International United Ms South New York titleholder. She is the founder of Backstage ACCESS, a platform designed to expand arts access in our communities.

Rebecca RandREBECCA RAND is so excited to be back for her third season with The Paper Bag Players! Most recently seen in our virtual field trip, Out and About and Together Again, Rebecca is excited to be back portraying even more characters that she loves, most notably, Vanessa Nomessa, who upholds some of Rebecca’s own traits of being a delightfully joyful clean-freak. A native of Rochester, NY and a graduate of Kent State University, Rebecca has been performing and entertaining children since the age of 5. She can’t wait to be back dancing, singing and making students smile! RebeccaRand.com

James HuggansJAMES HUGGANS is returning for his 19th season as Production Supervisor for The Paper Bag Players. James is a Rutgers University graduate who has worked in the NY area for over 25 years. During his time with The Bags, they have traveled extensively to places like Boston, Providence, Chicago, Maine, Alabama, and the Festival Internacional in Chihuahua, Mexico. James is a performer as well, with some of his favorite credits being Petruchio in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, Tybalt in ROMEO AND JULIET, and Roy in LONE STAR. James thanks his wife Mary for all her love and support.

Jon PeckJONATHAN PECK is in his 11th year as Scenic Artist with The Paper Bag Players and he thoroughly enjoys the challenge of bringing the stories and characters to life with his designs. Jonathan’s work has been shown in many exhibitions across the country. Outside of The Bags, he has created sets for several films including Isabella Rossellini’s “Seduce Me” series for IFC. In 2010, Jonathan attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as well as receiving his MFA from Yale.

Judith MartinJUDITH MARTIN (1917–2012) was a founding member of The Paper Bag Players in 1958 and Artistic Director from 1963 through 2009. Judith devoted herself to developing a contemporary theater for children. She wrote, designed, choreographed, directed and performed in 35 Paper Bag Players shows and co-authored five children’s books. Her awards include Parents Magazine’s “As They Grow” Award for having “truly made this world a better place for all children” and an American Theater Wing Design Award for her “sustained contribution to theatrical design,” the Children’s Theater Foundation Medallion for 2003 and a “Playful People Award” from Nick Jr. Magazine.

Judy LissJUDITH LISS (Founding Managing Director) joined The Paper Bag Players in 1962. She took The Paper Bag Players from a company that gave 20 shows a year for approximately 6,000 children to a company gave 130 shows for approximately 65,000 children annually, including performances in 37 of the United States and internationally in Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Israel, Iran, Egypt, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.

Under her stewardship, “The Bags” were awarded with an Obie, six American Theater Wing Awards, three awards for excellence from the American Association for Theater and Education, The Broadway Theater Institute Award for Theater and Education, and the Children’s Theater Foundation Medallion. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which houses the company’s archives, held an exhibition in 2008, The Paper Bag Players: 50 Years of Theater Art.