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Co-founder of Bread and Puppet Elka Schumann dies at 85

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Photo by Tanya Mueller.
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GLOVER — Co-founder of the Bread and Puppet theater company Elka Schumann has passed away at the age of 85.

Schumann was born in the Soviet Union in 1935 and died on Sunday, surrounded by her five children and her husband Peter.

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She founded Bread and Puppet, a politically radical puppet theater based in Glover, with Peter in 1963.

The name Bread & Puppet is derived from the theater’s practice of sharing its own fresh bread, served for free with aïoli, with the audience of each performance to create community.

The tradition also represented its central principle that art should be as basic as bread to life.

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Peter and Elka Schumann began The Bread & Puppet Theater in New York City.

In 1970 it moved to Vermont, first to Goddard College in Plainfield, and then to a farm in Glover where it remains.

A private wake is being held at the farm in Glover today.

The burial will take place tomorrow morning.

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