This is a conversation with Bread and Puppet founder and director, Peter Schumann…a conversation in which I ask him over and over again to answer questions that don’t really have answers, about what makes a great performance. And about what is a great performance…
Peter Schumann is a driven, prolific artist who makes huge outdoor theater performances with giant paintings and puppets and sculptures. There is music. There are people making animal sounds. Everything seems to be made of paper mache, twigs, twine and cardboard. The theater company lives in an old farmhouse in Glover, Vermont, when it’s not performing around the country and the world. And what Peter Schumann makes isn’t always good, but it’s always great. There’s a wild current that runs through all that he does, and it all seems to be alive long after he’s done with it. ((If you haven’t been to the museum, housed in a huge barn behind the house in Glover….I would highly recommend it…))
Bread and Puppet is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country. To learn more about the company and its strange and illustrious history, I recommend going HERE to read more.
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Thanks and Other Things and Pictures
The music for this show is Peter on the fiddle, and his grandson, Ira Karp, on the drums. Pictures from their epic session below. Also, the show features Sinfonia number 15 in B Minor, from the 1955 Goldberg Variations, performed by Glenn Gould.
Thanks to Clare Dolan, Jennifer Miller, Larry Massett, Scott Carrier and Marc Estrin for their help on this show. And to Elka Schumann for her patience.