About This Show

Bread and Puppet presents How to Turn Distress into Success and Standing-in-the-way-Bystander Commemoration.

How to Turn Distress into Success features the “National More-More-More Society” who teach the “Student of Success” how the transformation of distress into success transforms success. With cardboard puppets, live music, and ancient Georgian chants, Distress takes a child, which is “Population” from the arms of “Truth” to the butcher’s shop where war is taught. The lesson is concluded with a dance of the “Collateral Damage Dancers.”

The Standing-in-the-way-Bystander Commemoration is an 18-foot-tall puppet memorial service for the recent collateral damage victims of Iraq. The Commemoration starts with a street paly from the 60s called “A Man Says Goodbye to His Mother” and proceeds by transforming the Vietnamese into Iraqis.

Bread & Puppet Theatre, one of the country’s oldest and most successful
alternative theater groups, was founded in 1962 by Peter Schumann, a
German-born sculptor. Inspired by ancient folk traditions as well as
classical artists like Goya, Massacio and Michelangelo, Bread & Puppet
Theatre quickly began to illustrate everything from children’s fairy tales
to the daily news. As the puppets grew bigger, often approaching — and even exceeding — human scale, the theater pieces began to grow more complex, incorporating elements of sculpture, music and dance.

By the mid-1960s, the company had become involved with a variety of
contemporary social issues and had begun to stage ambitious public events
like rent strikes, voter registration parades and, during the Vietnam War,
block-long street demonstrations.

In the early 1970s, Bread & Puppet Theater relocated their current
facilities on an old farm in Glover, Vermont. The company’s tradition of
social engagement lives on today in the form of public productions held on a
variety of social, political and environmental themes, and in the annual
“Our Domestic Resurrection Circus”, a two-day summer festival. They have
also played a part in the many demonstrations that have been held recently
against the NAFTA and the War in Iraq. Bread & Puppet Theatre tours
extensively and has appeared in North Africa, Venezuela, Australia, Italy,
France, Poland, Yugoslavia, Taiwan and elsewhere.

Appropriate for ages 7 & up due to political content.

Show Details

Running Time: 1hr 15min (0 intermissions)
Dates: Opening Night: December 3, 2003 Final Performance: December 20, 2003
Location: Theater for the New City, New York City

155 1st Avenue,

New York,


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Theatermania Review

| | December 14, 2003