On September 6, 2023

The Bread and Puppet legacy continues in Pittsford on Monday


Monday, Sept.11 at 6 p.m.—PITTSFORD— The magic of Bread and Puppet theatre is ready to be witnessed firsthand, this Monday e at the Pittsford Village Farm on Sept.11 at 6 p.m. This rain or shine event promises an unforgettable evening of political theatre. General admission tickets are available for $20 plus tax/fees, while children aged 12 and under can attend for free without requiring a ticket. Remember to bring a lawn chair for comfortable seating, as the gates open at 5 p.m.. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Bread and Puppet and be a part of their continuing legacy.

In the vibrant world of theater, there exists a unique and captivating company that seamlessly blends art and activism. Founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side, the Bread and Puppet Theater has become an iconic figure in the realm of puppetry and performance art. What sets them apart is their unwavering commitment to using their craft as a means of social and political commentary. With visually rich and thought-provoking shows, Bread and Puppet has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.

Origins and evolution

Bread and Puppet Theater began as a humble endeavor, focusing on rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children. Their early productions delved into the everyday struggles of the Lower East Side community, tackling issues such as rents, rats, and police. As the company grew, their performances became more complex, incorporating sculpture, music, dance, and language as equal partners in their theatrical pieces.

The puppets themselves underwent a remarkable transformation, evolving into larger-than-life creations that captivated audiences of all ages. The annual holiday presentations, including shows for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day, became a cherished tradition, often featuring community members as active participants. What truly set Bread and Puppet apart during this time was their willingness to take their shows to the streets, ensuring accessibility for those who may not have otherwise experienced the magic of theater.

A spectacle of protest

During the tumultuous era of the Vietnam war, Bread and Puppet Theater fearlessly used their art as a form of protest. Their performances included block-long processions and pageants that involved hundreds of people, creating a spectacle that demanded attention. Through their visual storytelling and powerful imagery, they made a poignant statement about the state of the world and the need for change.

Finding a home in Vermont

In 1974, Bread and Puppet Theater found a permanent home on a farm in Glover, located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The company transformed a 140-year-old hay barn into a museum to house their veteran puppets, preserving the rich history of their craft. This move allowed Bread and Puppet to further expand their artistic endeavors and establish a stronger connection with the local community.

The Domestic Resurrection Circus

One of the highlights of Bread and Puppet’s calendar was the annual Domestic Resurrection Circus, a two-day outdoor festival of puppetry shows. This vibrant celebration brought together performers and volunteers from far and wide, creating an immersive experience for all who attended. From meticulously choreographed theater pieces to expansive outdoor pageants, the circus showcased the versatility and creativity of the Bread and Puppet ensemble.

International recognition

Bread and Puppet Theater’s influence extends far beyond the borders of the United States. The company has garnered international recognition, winning accolades at prestigious theater festivals in countries such as Italy, Poland, Colombia, and Yugoslavia. Their breakthrough performances at the 1968 Nancy Festival in France catapulted them onto the global stage. Notable awards include the Erasmus Prize of Amsterdam, 4 Obies, the Puppeteers of America’s President Award, and the Vermont Governor’s Award.

A constant presence

Bread and Puppet Theater’s dedication to their craft is unwavering. They remain an active force, regularly performing at their farm in Glover, as well as in local churches, schools, and parades. Their repertoire continues to evolve, incorporating new themes and narratives that reflect the pressing issues of our time. Additionally, Bread and Puppet embarks on frequent tours, captivating audiences across Europe, Canada, and the United States. In recent years, they have ventured further afield, visiting countries such as El Salvador, Haiti, Russia, Greece, and Korea.

Connecting through art

At the core of Bread and Puppet Theater’s mission is the belief that theater, like bread, is a basic necessity. They strive to bring their art to people from all walks of life, breaking down barriers and fostering connections. Through their visually stunning performances, they engage audiences on a visceral level, encouraging dialogue and reflection. Bread and Puppet’s ability to merge art and activism has made them a powerful force for change, inspiring generations of artists and activists alike.

The Bread and Puppet Theater stands as a testament to the transformative power of art. From their humble beginnings to their international acclaim, the company has remained true to their vision of using theater as a vehicle for social and political commentary. Through their visually stunning shows and thought-provoking narratives, Bread and Puppet has captivated audiences worldwide. As they continue to evolve and adapt to the changing times, their commitment to their craft and their message remains unwavering. The Bread and Puppet Theater is a shining example of the profound impact that art can have on society, inspiring us all to question, reflect, and strive for a better world.

For more information about the Bread and Puppet Theater, please visit: 

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts