DATE & TIME: Oct 21-22
LOCATION: St. Stephen’s Church ( 1525 Newton St NW ; Corner of 16th and Newton )
DETAILS: The World-Famous Bread and Puppet Theater Will Perform in DC:
“To live in America and never see the Bread and Puppet Theater perform is like living in Egypt and never seeing the pyramids.” (Christian Science Monitor)
“The Bread & Puppet Theater has been so long a part of America ’s conscious struggle for our better selves, that it has become, paradoxically, a fixture of our subconscious.”” (NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu)
At St. Stephen’s Church ( 1525 Newton St NW ; Corner of 16th and Newton )
Tuesday, Oct 2120at 8pm: “The Sourdough Philosophy Circus”
Wednesday, Oct 22 at 8pm: “Storm Office: A Storm Poem with Implementation Machine”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Janelle Treibitz
WASHINGTON, DC (Oct. 3, 2008) – Giant puppets, dancing zebras, city bred cows and sour stilters will transform St. Stephen’s Church into a big-top circus of political proportions when the world-famous Bread and Puppet Theater returns to DC for two performances Tuesday and Wednesday, October 21-22. The performance is free and open to the public.
Bread and Puppet is one of the oldest activist street theater companies in the country, and this year they will perform two different shows to DC audiences:
On Tuesday evening at 8pm Bread and Puppet will perform the newest of their famous (and family-friendly) puppet circuses. The “Sourdough Philosophy Circus“ is a show about the need for human fermentation. In their own words: “Human fermentation concerns those parts of the human body that are not governed by the government, like the guts and the gutsy par ts of the brain. This is also applies to zebras and city bred cows, dancing bears and independent donkeys. The show is run by a bunch of cooks, specialists in cooking the various stews and pancakes of our everyday first world exist ence. Additional commentary is provided by the Rotten Idea Theater Company. Music is by the Sourdough Philosophy Brass Band and a quartet of sheep.”
On Wednesday evening at 8pm, Bread and Puppet will perform “Storm Office: A Storm Poem with Implementation Machine“. two-curtain box stage, using newspaper comments on recent storms and their relationship to politics. This show speaks with pictures instead of words. In Storm Office, Bread and Puppet relies “on a big collection of masks and puppets, representing all archetypal traits of the ancient and contemporary worlds. In this [show] masked characters are joined by an airplane, a typewriter, a deer, a big fist and…a sailboat called: We Are All in The Same Boat, which will take the audience on a journey through the streets.” Storm Office is a puppet and mask show, performed in and around a
Both shows will include an opportunity to savor Schumann’s famous sourdough rye bread, laden with garlic aioli, while both theater- and circus-goers alike will enjoy the opportunity to purchase the company’s legendary “cheap art.”
Bread and Puppet History:
The Bread & Puppet Theater is one of the oldest non-profit, self- supporting theater companies in the U.S. The theater has been enacting its radical utopian vision in cardboard and cloth for over forty years, from the spectacle of its larger-than-life puppets at Vietn am War protests in New York City, to the pageantry of its annual event, Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, in Glover, Vermont, which ran for over 25 years. The Domestic Resurrection regularly attracted audiences in the tens of thousands up to the late 1990’s.
Dubbed a “living national treasure” by The New York Times, Bread and Puppet Theater, under the direction of German-born sculptor Peter Schumann, has toured internationally for more than 35 years. The Vermont-based troupe performs on urgent social, political, and environmental issues. According to the Christian Science Monitor, “To live in America and never see the Bread and Puppet Theater perform is like living in Egypt and never seeing the pyramids.”
Author and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu has praised “the genius of P eter Schumann, the prodigious puppet-God,” writing that “the Bread & Puppet Theater has been so long a part of America ’s conscious struggle for our better selves, that it has become, paradoxically, a fixture of our subconscious.”
Schumann founded Bread and Puppet Theater in 1963 in New York City . Hand-puppet shows for children and rod-puppet shows for the street were produced from early experiments. Later, complex stylized compositions with masked performers, over-life-sized effigies, improvised music and narration astounded adult audiences. The company has won distinction at international theater festivals in Italy , Poland , France , Venezuela , and South Korea . Awards include the Erasmus Prize of Amsterdam, two off-Broadway Obie Awards, the Puppeteers of America President’s Award, a Guggenheim Award, the Vermont Governor’s Award, and numerous trophies from local small-town parades.
The company currently tours new and old productions, on the American continent and abroad, and sells Bread & Puppet Press posters and publications. The traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company to extensive outdoor pageants that require the participation=2 0of many volunteers. Apprentices come to the farm in the summer to work with Peter Schumann and the Bread and Puppet Company, joining Bread and Puppet old-timers and community members in presenting large-scale spectacles on the Bread and Puppet farm in Glover every Sunday in July and August.