What is behind that name
giant puppets?
cheap art
somewhere in vermont
50 years of perfomances
Bread and Puppet continues to be one
of the oldest, nonprofit, political theatre
companies in the country.
Peter Schumann
creator and co-founder
We have two types of puppet shows:
good ones and bad ones, but all
of them are for good and against evil
50 years ago
The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns
of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood.
More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners.
The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants.
Many performances were done in the street.
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During the Vietnam War, Bread and puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people.
Why Bread?
We give you a piece of bread with the puppet show because our bread and theater belong together.
For a long time the theater arts have been separated from the stomach. Theater was entertainment. Entertainment was meant for the skin. Bread was meant for the stomach.
The old rites of baking, eating and offering bread were forgotten. The bread became mush. The bread shall remind you of the sacrament of eating.
Cheap art
Bread and Puppet’s Cheap Art Philosophy and production was born in 1979 when Peter Schumann and his company and friends filled their old school bus with hundreds of small pictures painted on scraps of masonite, cardboard and newspaper, painted slogans and statements about art and Cheap Art, and hung them on the outside of the bus.
Then they drove it to neighboring towns
and sold the stuff for 10 cents to 10 dollars.
Today Cheap Art is practiced by all kinds of artists and puppeteers all over, and continues to cry out:
Art is Not Business! Art Is Food!
Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers!
Art Is Cheap! Hurrah!
Somewhere in Vermont
In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets.
Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, a two day outdoor festival of puppetry shows, was presented annually through 1998.
Bread and puppet in movie
The Bread & Puppet Theater has a visual reference in the 2007 Julie Taymor film Across the Universe.
The movie replicated characters such as Uncle Fatso, Washer Women, White Ladies, and the many armed Mother head.
The world of Bread and Puppets
is creation of Peter and Elka Shuman
Let`s make creative projects together
Design by Elena Reingard
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