The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in this country. All Bread and Puppet Theater shows, created and designed by Peter Schumann with input from the company, use music, dance and slapstick to get their point across. Schumann founded Bread and Puppet in 1962 on New York City’s Lower East Side. The Theater is now an internationally recognized company that champions a visually rich, street-theater brand of performance art. Its shows are political and spectacular, with huge puppets made of papier-maché and cardboard, a brass band for accompaniment, and anti-elitist dances. Most shows are morality plays — about how people act toward each other — whose prototype is “Everyman.” Their overall theme is universal peace.
In 1970 Bread & Puppet moved to Vermont as theater-in-residence at Goddard College, combining puppetry with gardening and bread baking in a serious way, learning to live in the countryside and letting itself be influenced by the experience. In 1974 the Theater moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year-old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets.