Bread & Puppet Theater is an internationally celebrated company that champions a visually rich, street-theater brand of performance art filled with music, dance and slapstick. Its shows are political and spectacular, with huge puppets made of paper maché and cardboard. Founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City's Lower East Side, the theater has been based in the North East Kingdom of Vermont since the early 1970s.
Bread and Puppet presents a wide array of offerings from its homebase in Glover, VT. The Bread and Puppet Museum, one of the largest collections of puppets in the world, can be viewed in two stories of an 1863 dairy barn, open for self-guided tours year round. The Bread and Puppet Press, also on site, produces posters, banners, postcards, booklets and other "cheap art" created by director Peter Schumann and composed and realized by printshop director, Lila Winstead. Throughout the summer months, Bread and Puppet puts on a variety of shows: an outdoor puppet circus with a live brass band, a roving puppet pageant featuring the beautiful North East Kingdom landscape, and indoor puppet shows performed in the paper maché cathedral. Bread and Puppet can also be seen at parades, festivals, protests and marches, where it invites local community members to join. The theater offers a variety of educational programs including apprenticeships, residencies and workshops to artists, bakers, farmers and activists from all over the country and the world.
For many of the fall and winter months, Bread and Puppet tours nationally and internationally, bringing political puppet shows, workshops, cheap art, exhibits, street performance and bread and aioli to communities near and far.
For director Peter Schumann, art "has to be cheap and available to everybody." It feeds the soul, while bread feeds the stomach -- both are necessary to human life. After every show, Bread and Puppet serves its famous, generations-old sourdough bread, baked in wood-fired ovens and served with garlic aioli.