Bread & Puppet Theater to bury rotten idea at WFU
By Pam Barrett
The internationally renowned Bread & Puppet Theater will present The Insurrection Mass with Funeral March for A Rotten Idea, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Wake Forest Universitys Wait Chapel. The performance is designed for both adults and children. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.
Bread & Puppet founder Peter Schumann will also hold a free fiddle lecture, a lecture intermingled with fiddle playing, followed by a question-and-answer session Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ring Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center.
The Bread & Puppet production, which incorporates several papier-mâché puppets representing gods, revolves around a rotten idea that is buried during a non-religious Mass. The rotten idea is usually derived from some recent political or economic event or idea. The Mass includes secular scripture readings, a fiddle sermon and hymns in which the public is invited to participate.
Bread & Puppet, one of the oldest non-profit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the United States, is known for its politically-oriented theatrical messages, larger-than-life rod puppets, street performances and the popular, but now retired, weekend production Domestic Resurrection Circus and Pageant.
According to Schumann, who founded Bread & Puppet in 1962 on New York Citys Lower East Side, theater is like bread like a necessity. Hence, the name Bread & Puppet.
The theaters early productions included both rod- and hand-puppet shows for children and focused on rents, rats and police, all problems facing that neighborhood.
During the Vietnam War, Bread & Puppet staged block-long processions involving hundreds of people that depicted what their brochure calls the arrogance of war-mongers and the despair of the victims.
In 1974, after four years as the theater-in-residence at Goddard College, Bread & Puppet settled on a farm in Glover, Vt., where they transformed a 140-year-old hay barn into a museum for hundreds of puppets and masks, ranging in size from miniature cut-outs to towering giants.
Bread & Puppets visit to Wake Forest, which is being funded in part by a Lilly Grant, is in conjunction with a first year seminar called Theatre of Protest and Social Change. It is sponsored by the Wake Forest Department of Theatre and Dance.
For more information, call 336-758-1997.