A couple of hours from Montreal, in northern Vermont, a small theater company orchestrates annual productions with puppets, people, and a clear political message.
Peter Schumann, founder of the theater, moved to the United States from Germany in 1961 in an attempt to bring folk motifs and politics back into the arts. This culminated in the Bread and Puppet Theater in 1982. The theater operates under the “cheap art” philosophy, which hopes to “reestablish the appreciation of artistic creation by making it available to a wider audience and inspire anyone to revel in an art making process that is not subject to academic approval or curatorial acceptance.”
At each performance, the cast serves the audience bread and dip, because art is as essential to life as food.
The company is most well known for their incredible, large puppets. Their puppetry can be seen in the Halloween Parade in New York every year and has influenced puppetry at political protests. The puppets used for past productions are on display at the Bread and Puppet Museum from June through October.
Workshops on woodcut printing, bread making, and more are available in July and August, and summer performances occur every Sunday.