One of America’s oldest, most celebrated independent theatre companies is coming to the Netherlands! Bread & Puppet Theater, world renowned for its socially committed, vivid (site-specific) productions, will be performing in Frascati. Together with a group of local artists from migrant backgrounds, they will be looking at society through the eyes of the underdog. Have we, like Goethe’s Faust, entered into a pact with the devil? What role can the underclass play in overcoming the existing order? Puppets, masks and props flow together to create a grotesque dreamscape in which – as in a hall of mirrors – the big themes of our times are shown from a different perspective. A grotesque collage of the world today, in search of new paths.
Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest and most renowned independent theatre companies in America, established in 1963. Under the slogan “Cheap Art and Political Theater”, they create vivid, socially committed productions, sometimes using larger-than-life puppets. With their form of theatre, the group has agitated against the war in Vietnam, for the closure of a nuclear reactor in Vermont and in support of the Occupy movement. In the words of founder Peter Schumann:
“We are the Bread & Puppet Theater because we offer good old sourdough rye bread together with a great variety of puppet shows, some good, some not so good, but all for the good and against the bad. The art of puppetry helps to overcome the established order and the obsessive submission to its politics and consequent brutalities.”
In 1978, the group played at the Holland Festival, where it won one of the four Erasmus Awards, which were dedicated that year to exceptional, innovative puppet theatre.
This production was made possible in a cooperation between Frascati and BAK (Basis voor Actuele Kunst) in Utrecht. BAK organises exhibitions and lectures, publishes books and works with contemporary artists, theoreticians, writers, curators and other institutions.