Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bread and Puppet at BCA next week

Bread and Puppet Theater of Glover, Vermont, presents its “Sourdough Philosophy Spectacle & Circus” in the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston, next week. The theater, which was founded by Peter Schumann in the 1960s, is one of the great treasures of New England, and the United States. These Boston shows are (I believe) an outgrowth of shows they performed in Vermont last summer.

The troupe presents the “Sourdough Philosophy Spectacle,” a pageant for adults, at 7 each night from Thursday, Jan. 29, to Sunday, Feb. 1. They describe the show as “about the need for human fermentation. It takes a lesson from how apple cider is made. Our republic teases us with the possibility of democracy, but citizens are raised like military apple orchards, pruned down to their predictable minimums, yielding controlled fruits that lack the ecstasy of nature. However, human fermentation occurs in parts of the human body that are not governed by the government, like the guts and the gutsy parts of the brain. Fermented citizens are corrupted by the ecstasy of nature and from that corruption, derive strength to corrupt military-orchard citizens.”

Bread and Puppet performs a family-friendly “Sourdough Philosophy Circus” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 1.

Also, Schumann will speak at an opening reception for his visual art installation, “Auction Notice,” at the Cyclorama from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26. The large paintings depict “the real story of a Haitian-American woman who received notice about her house being foreclosed and then being told about the death of her eldest son who was serving in the U.S. military.” The art show will be on view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday for one hour before and after each matinee and evening performance.

• My September report on and photos of Bread and Puppet, its history, where its going, and the summer shows. Plus an interview with Peter Schumann.
• My report on Bread and Puppet’s “Storm Office,” which it performed in Providence in October.

Photo by Jack Sumberg.


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