The Bread and Puppet Theater

By Meredith Munro & Natalie Lopez

The Beginning

· Founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side

· Rod puppet and hand puppet shows for children

· Topics of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood

· Many performances were done in the street

A New Home

In 1974 the Bread and Puppet Theater moved to a 140 year old hay barn in Glover, Vermont. They transformed the barn into a museum for puppets from previous productions.

They now perform shows in this barn during the winter.

Bread & Puppet Theater - Blue Sky Puppet + Mask Dance - Friday Night Show July 2012

Themes

The two main themes in every Bread and Puppet show are politics and the environment. They focus on issues that are relatable to the audience.

Style

· Large use of masks and puppets- put masks on faces just to draw more attention to the character

· Props such as flags, stilts, and sticks

· Very absurd, larger than life, and somewhat even like vaudeville

· Elaborate costumes that are either very realistic or make no sense at all. Most always have an inside meaning: costumes, music, characters are all very symbolic of the overall theme or message

· Satire/Parody

· Flat out ridiculous

bread & puppet museum

Cheap Art

· Created in 1979

· Peter Shumann and friends filled an old school bus with small pictures painted on scraps of paper painted with slogans about art and cheap art

· They drove to neighboring towns and sold the cheap art for 10 cents to 10 dollars

The Possibilitarian Circus

Bread and puppet's touring shows or, circuses, range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by the company to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of audience volunteer. This is how they make the majority of their income.

Bread and Puppet Summer Theatre 2012 Season

Man = Carrot Circus

• 2010-2011

• Political satire

• Carrot represents nature

• Man represents actions of humans that are affecting the Earth

• Mocking Dick Cheney and his emphasis on energy sources

• Use of elaborate costumes, flags, and a new take on the song “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend”

• Titled a “circus” because of its entertainment and humorous blocking

• Performed in Vermont with about 50 people

• Overall statement: New energy sources are needed

Sources

"Bread and Puppet: Cheap Art and Political Theater | Puppeteers and Sourdough Bakers of Glover." Bread and Puppet: Cheap Art and Political Theater | Puppeteers and Sourdough Bakers of Glover. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2013. <http://breadandpuppet.org>.


" Bread and Puppet’s Man=Carrot | Video-Vermont – Business and Events Video ." Vermont Wedding Video. Cinematic wedding films for your wedding . N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2013. <http://www.video-vermont.com/video/?p=603>.


all pictures from breadandpuppet.org