The Collections

Bread and Puppet Theater

Bread and Puppet Theater

The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. The theater’s puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many community volunteers. Performances occur in diverse venues, from international theater festivals to urban community centers to rural elementary schools. Bread and Puppet’s impact on the greater world of experimental theater is acknowledged by scholars, and evidenced by the hundreds of unique theater companies now in existence that cite Bread and Puppet as an influence. One of the most enduring legacies of Bread and Puppet is its autonomy, receiving no direct government funding, but instead relying on its own practice of frugality and a huge amount of volunteerism, along with the merged incomes performance fees, and sales of Bread and Puppet Press’ posters and publications, as well as donations to pay its own way. Bread & Puppet has won numerous awards, including the Obie Award, the Erasmus Award from Amsterdam, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Puppeteers of America Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous ribbons in local Vermont parades in Hardwick and Barton.

Bread and Puppet Website