Dancing Frogs. Bread & Puppet Theater. Printed on Recycled Paper. Political theater. Vermont based theater & arts group
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The Bread and Puppet Theater (often known simply as Bread & Puppet) is a politically radical puppet theater, active since the 1960s, currently based in Glover, Vermont. Its founder and director is Peter Schumann.
The name Bread & Puppet derives from the theater's practice of sharing its own fresh bread, served for free with a strong garlic aioli, with the audience of each performance as a means of creating community, and from its central principle that art should be as basic to life as bread.
The Theater was founded in 1962–1963 in New York City. It was active during the Vietnam War in anti-war protests, primarily in New York. It is often remembered as a central part of the political spectacle of the time, as its enormous puppets (often ten to fifteen feet tall) were a fixture of many demonstrations. In 1970 the Theater moved to Vermont, first to Goddard College in Plainfield, and then to a farm in Glover where it still resides. The farm is home to a cow, several pigs, puppeteers and chickens, as well as indoor and outdoor performance spaces, a printshop, store and large museum showcasing over four decades of the company's work. The Bread & Puppet Theater has received National Endowment for the Arts grants and numerous awards from the Puppeteers of America and other organizations.
Until 1998 the Bread & Puppet hosted its annual Pageant and Circus (in full, Our Domestic Resurrection Circus), in and around a natural amphitheater on its Glover grounds. In the 1990s the festival became very large, drawing crowds in the tens of thousands of people who camped on nearby farmers' land over the summer weekend of the pageant. The event became unmanageably large and less and less concerned with the theater's performance. Since then the theater has instead offered smaller weekend performances all summer long, and traveled around New York and New England, with occasional tours around the U.S. and abroad.