Radical puppetry returns: Bread and Puppet Theater tours the Island

Bread and Puppet Theater incorporates a raging rhino and brass music. – Photo courtesy Liz Witham

Bread and Puppet Theater arrived back on Martha’s Vineyard last week for four rousing performances of brass band music and radical puppetry, courtesy of Liz Witham

and Ken Wentworth of Film-Truth Productions. The theater company will perform one of Director Peter Schumann’s newest creations, “The Public Access Center for the Obvious Presents: The Situation.” This darkly comedic puppet play is a musical memorial for the already extinct Western civilization, and features such timely relics as an antiextinction angel, the union of brooms, a 100-watt lightbulb, a rampaging rhino, and a ship of fools: all for the purpose of urging the not yet uprisen masses into existence.

The group performed at the Chilmark Community Center on Wednesday as part of A Celebration of Nature parade and One Act Mobile Play, consisting of Island puppeteers with giant puppets, dancers, artists, and musicians and Bread and Puppet Brass Band. The Bread and Puppet Theater continues making the rounds across the Island this weekend, with two performances on Saturday, May 30, at the Chilmark Community Center, and one performance on Sunday, May 31, at the Aquinnah Town Hall.

Based in Northeastern Vermont, Bread and Puppet Theater is now in its 52nd year of touring and performing around the world. Using a wide variety of puppetry and mask techniques, the theater troupe attempts to address the social, political, and environmental urgencies that affect all of our lives. Peter Schumann and Bread and Puppet Theater have received the Obie Award, the Erasmus Award from Amsterdam, The Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the President’s Award of the Puppeteers of America.

Bread and Puppet Theater; Saturday, May 30, at 3:30 and 7:30 pm at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven. Prices are $15 general admission, $10 student/senior, and $7 kids.

Bread and Puppet Theater; Sunday, May 31, at 3:30 pm at the Aquinnah Town Hall, Aquinnah. Prices are $15 general admission, $10 student/senior, and $7 kids. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the campaign to Save the Lighthouse. For more information, please visit breadandpuppet.org/tour-schedule.