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Photos: Bread and Puppet Theater

Photographs from Bread and Puppet performances in Vermont
By GREG COOK  |  August 31, 2008

This week, thePhoenix.com art critic Greg Cook visits Glover, Vermont to report on Peter Schumann, 74, "one of America's greatest living artists," who is stepping down as the director of the long-running Bread and Puppet Theater, whose mixture of papier-mache, populist angst, and radical politics have been a staple of New England folk culture since the 1960s. Below are Cook's photographs of Schumann and his troupe in action.

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Peter Schumann on stilts. His Bread and Puppet Theater is about sustainable, communal living, about redemption and acceptance — while also being a strict hierarchy devoted to producing Schumann’s vision. In recent years, Schumann has said he wasn’t concerned about what happened to the theater after he retired or passed on — that it was papier-mâché, not built to last. But he’s now decided that he must consider the people who have helped him achieve his vision. Over the past winter, he began talks with his family and Bread and Puppet’s inner circle about maybe perpetuating the theater’s museum, archive, print shop, Vermont performance spaces, and perhaps even some sort of repertory of shows.
Photo credit: Greg Cook

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