Bread and Puppet Theater kicks off 2024 summer season

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GLOVER — The Bread and Puppet Theater hosted its traditional museum opening on Sunday, marking the start of the theater’s 2024 summer season with an afternoon of celebratory performances.

The event began at the entrance of the Bread and Puppet Museum, located off Route 122 in Glover, with local singers gathering to perform songs in the shape note tradition, an early American, four-part harmony singing style with deep roots in Vermont.

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Following the ceremonial opening of the museum for the season, visitors explored the exhibits and enjoyed Bread and Puppet’s sourdough rye bread with garlic aioli on the second floor, accompanied by an ad hoc string band.

Mid-afternoon performances featured Bread and Puppet friends Maria Schumann, Icarus Tyree, Mary Go-Round, and others, who presented original music and short puppet shows at various locations around the farm. A new reimagining of the theater’s historic show, The Gray Lady Cantata, directed by Maria Schumann, was also showcased.

The afternoon concluded with a brand-new Bread and Puppet show, The Whole Kit and Caboodle Show, created by Peter Schumann and company along with a cohort of the theater’s spring apprentices.

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Schumann described the show as an offering of “anti-hospital-bombing calisthenics in the face of the freedom and democracy bullshitters,” featuring “precise funeral rites for the collapsing Western civilization” and the use of “divine papier-mâché weaponry” to “defeat the capitalist hegemony and celebrate a brand-new humanity.”

Throughout the event, Bread and Puppet’s art – including books, posters, postcards, pamphlets, and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press – was available for purchase in the museum store.

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