The puppetry community has sadly lost another important figure. Tears of Joy Theatre co-founder Janet Bradley passed away earlier this week. Janet was well known and well liked in the puppetry community, especially in the Northwestern United States where Tears of Joy is based. The Portland Tribune did a feature on Janet back in 2009 that provides a nice overview of her career.
Tributes to Janet have been flowing in to the Puptcrit puppetry discussion list since her passing. Tears of Joy Artistic Director Nancy Alderich commented that “Janet can not be replaced. But we must carry on her legacy, and honor her memory.”
A statement from Janet’s daughter Emily was also posted to Puptcrit:
My wonderful and perfect mother, Janet Bradley, passed away early this morning. She was, as you know, a vibrant, electric, and beautiful woman. Her passing is a shock. The cause can best be described as a birth-defect of her aorta that none of us, including my mother, knew about.
She was an elegant queen with a green thumb who could turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. And she truly loved and enjoyed her life. My mom was my very best friend, and a second mother to my children. I am so grateful to have had the time we did.
…I will announce the details of her wake in the days to come. She would want a celebration of her life, and she would most certainly want flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.
A celebration of Janet’s life is planned for May 16th at the Newmark Theater in Portland, Oregon. Some of Janet’s favorite artists will perform, followed by a wine and cheese reception. Donations and remembrances for Janet can be made to Tears of Joy Theatre via www.tojt.com or by phone at 1-503-248-0557.
Rest in peace Janet. I’m sure you will be much missed by many.