Puppet theater is the theater of all means. Puppets and masks should be played in the street. They are louder than the traffic. They don’t teach problems, but they scream and dance and display life in its clearest terms. Puppet theater is of action rather than dialogue. The action is reduced to the simplest dance-like and specialized gestures. A puppet may be a hand only, or it may be a complicated body of many heads, hands, rods and fabric. We have two types of puppet shows: good ones and bad ones, but all of them are for good and against evil.
The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country. Founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side, Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont in 1974. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets. The company makes its income from touring new and old productions both on the American continent and abroad, and from sales of Bread and Puppet Press’ posters and publications.
FIRE was made in 1966 and later dedicated to three Americans who immolated themselves in protest against the war in Vietnam. Seven days in a Vietnamese community which is incinerated by fire bombs, followed by the self-immolation of a woman, performed with life-size puppets which resemble their manipulators. The play is slow and mute, preceded by a cantastoria of the same title.