The research is based on famous Bread and Puppet Theatre located in Glover in Northeast kingdom of Vermont, North America. The research gives an overview on principles and information an actor should know in order to produce and perform it."Theatre is as essential as Bread for daily Life"; "Theatre is a religion" are the principles on which exists the famous Obie Award winning Bread & Puppet Theatre founded in 1962 by Peter Schumann in New York City. Bread and Puppet theatre is one of the oldest, nonprofit and self supporting theatre companies in North America since 1960's.Bread and Puppet theatre, as the name suggests uses different arts in their shows like puppets (hand puppets and rod puppets), music, sculpture, dance etc. Bread and puppet is internationally recognized and renowned theatre group campaigning visually rich performance with slapstick, music and dance. Mostly all the performance of the group are done is streets or in farms or in large rooms (like churches). The participants/actors onstage and offstage are mostly local volunteers. Internationally Bread and Puppet theatre performs massive spectacles with hundreds of participants devoted to social, political and environmental issues and sometimes of simple life issues.As the Bread and Puppet group believes in self dependency, The Company makes its own bread and patent of them is the distribution of self baked bread with "aioli" (garlic sauce) to the audience after every performance as a mean of creating community and from its central principle that "Art should be as basic to life as bread". The Bread and Puppet Group gained high visibility during early 60's and 70's during the time of Vietnam Wars for their Anti Vietnam War events. During the war times Bread and Puppet theatre staged processions involving hundreds of people. By the 80's the puppets had become emblematic of activist pacifism and a sine qua non of American Political theatre. All shows hosted by the group are antiwar, anti capitalism, anti globalization and pro Vermont independence.
A brief background of the founder and the group will help a person to understand the foundations the theatre group is laid on. Peter Schumann, the founder of Bread and Puppet theatre was born in New York in 1934.Schumann studied and practiced dance and sculpture in Germany and in 1959 with a friend Dieter Starosky, he created dance group
by the name "GRUPPE FUR NEUEN TANZ" (meaning New Dance Group).
Schumann's work is not with formal or classical dance. He invented dance which was very different from traditional ballet and expressionist dance. Two years later, in 1961 with his wife Elka and two children he moved to the United States of America. He regularly attended lectures at Cunningham studio as he was heavily influenced by the radical innovations by John Cage and Merce Cunningham but very soon he separated himself from them. Peter was against the use of conventional form of dances ONLY, like Ballet which was a requirement for Cunningham. Cunningham refused to work with anybody who is not familiar with the Ballet form of dance.
Peter Schumann-Founder of Bread & Puppet Theatre
In 1970'sBread and puppet moved as theatre in residence to Goddard College where they practiced puppetry and exercised gardening and to make bread as a means of self dependency while living by the countryside. In 1974 the group moved into a 140years old hay farm in Glover, Vermont. The farm has a museum which is the resting place of many veteran puppets. Every year Bread and puppet group hosted Domestic Resurrection Circus which was a 2 day outdoor show which included skits highlighting many serious issues with a touch of humor.
These Acts ranged from people dancing on Stilts to puppets lions dashing