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Bread and Puppet Theater

Bread and Puppet Theater

The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in this country. It was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Internationally, Bread and Puppet Theater performs massive spectacles with hundreds of participants, sometimes devoted to social, political and environmental issues and sometimes simply to the trials of everyday life. The traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company, to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers. At most performances, the company distributes bread and aioli (garlic sauce) to the audience. The most recent creative history of Bread and Puppet Theater was written by Holland Cotter in the New York Times in 2007. Cotter described Peter Schumann’s epics as "spectacle for the heart and soul." He commended Schumann for the courage "to live an ideal of art as collective enterprise, a free or low-cost alternative voice outside the profit system." He testified that one summer, on a mountainside in Glover, VT, Bread and Puppet gave him the single most beautiful sight he’s ever seen in a theater. And when Bread and Puppet led the nuclear freeze parade in New York City during United Nations sessions on disarmament, it was "one of the most spectacular pieces of public theater the city has ever seen." He added, "For me the real affirmation of the disarmament pageant lay less in the fac

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