Home Arts Bread and Puppet Defies the Apocalypse

Bread and Puppet Defies the Apocalypse

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Large puppet tiger in field.
Photo courtesy of Bread and Puppet Theater.
By Josh Krugman

Fifty-two years ago Bread and Puppet Theater performed “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus” for the first time at Goddard College in Plainfield. Since then, this capacious and provocative title has served as the basis of annual spectacles that generations of audiences have come to rely on for satire and celebration in the face of intolerable circumstances. This year, Bread and Puppet will take up the tradition again, albeit with a timely subtitle: “The Apocalypse Defiance Circus.” 

The show is in two parts: a raucous circus in the gravel pit amphitheater, followed by a more contemplative pageant in the surrounding forest and fields. The circus and pageant will play every Sunday at 3 p.m., preceded by sideshows and ding-dongs at 2 p.m., through August 28.

On Friday evenings in the summers before COVID, Bread and Puppet typically performed a changing program of shows in development in its indoor performance space, The Paper Maché Cathedral. After a two-year hiatus, Friday evening shows will resume this summer, but will take place outdoors behind the Bread and Puppet Museum.

The first of these Friday evening shows is called “The Theory of Our Needs.” Of this show, Peter Schumann, director of Bread and Puppet, says, “Singing the hymn of need and dancing pragmatic utilitarianism into the moment-at-hand is reserved for toddlers only. The mature Homo sapiens has lost that intelligence. We need dirt on our feet and whistles to drive our brain from its prison into the void. This show is about whistles and dirt.” 

Changing performances will continue on Friday evenings through August 26. 

On all performance days Bread and Puppet’s “Cheap Art” — books, posters, postcards, pamphlets, and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press — will be for sale in the Bread and Puppet Museum Store, and on Sundays Bread and Puppet Press items will also be available at the Van Store near the Circus Field. 

Admission for all shows is by donation, $10 suggested, no one turned away for lack of funds. 

Our “Domestic Resurrection Circus 2022: The Apocalypse Defiance Circus” plays at 3 p.m. (sideshows/ding-dongs at 2 p.m.) every Sunday through August 28. “The Theory of Our Needs” and subsequent shows play at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings through August 26. All shows at the Bread and Puppet Farm, 753 Heights Rd/Rt. 122 in Glover, Vt. More information is available at breadandpuppet.org. 

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