Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
INVENTORY OF THE BREAD AND PUPPET THEATER ARCHIVES, 1962-1981, (bulk 1964-1975)
D-136  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (121.19 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
Founded by Peter Schumann, the Bread and Puppet Theater emerged as one of the first alternative theater groups of the 1960s and 1970s. Schumann incorporated religion and morality into the central anti-war theme of the plays. The Bread and Puppet Theater offered bread, baked by the group, to the audience at the beginning of every performance. Schumann believed that theater was as basic to life as bread. The Bread and Puppet Theater Archives (1962-1981, bulk dates 1964-1975) includes scripts, programs, monographs, and serials of the experimental theater.
Background
West German immigrant Peter Schumann (1934-) founded the Bread and Puppet Theater in New York in 1961. Influenced by the peace movement in New York, Schumann wrote radical anti-war plays for his puppet theater. He incorporated religion and morality into the central anti-war theme of the plays. The Bread and Puppet Theater offered bread, baked by the group, to the audience at the beginning of every performance. Schumann declared that theater was as basic to life as bread, hence the name. A street parade with masked puppeteers on stilts, oversized puppets up to twenty feet high, banners, and at times, over a hundred singing and dancing volunteers, preceded the plays. The plays contained little dialogue, usually spoken by a narrator. Schumann believed the plays' imagery communicated best in an outdoor setting, therefore most of the plays were performed outdoors. With only a small core of paid staff, the Bread and Puppet Theater relied on a fluctuating volunteer staff whose numbers changed according to each performance. Charging the audience a nominal fee, the group received most of its funds through grants and donations. The group performed in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Australia.
Extent
3.3 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Availability
Collection is open for research under regular Reading Room rules and copyright restrictions.