The Bread & Puppet Theater To Return to NYC with Political Puppet Shows

Experience paper-maché politics, cardboard spectacle, and iconic sourdough rye bread this December.

By: Nov. 24, 2023

The Bread & Puppet Theater To Return to NYC with Political Puppet Shows

Puppet show! Puppet show! The Bread & Puppet Theater returns to New York City with two urgently-needed political puppet shows. Ever focused on this exact moment, the acclaimed avant-garde theater company will share paper-maché politics, cardboard spectacle, and its iconic sourdough rye bread with circus-goers and mass-attendees this December. Crystal Field, executive Artistic Director of Theater for the New City, has presented Bread & Puppet Theater for decades in the beloved downtown venue and is thrilled to host the company again this year--Bread & Puppet's 60th. The company will perform two shows: The Idiots of the World Unite Against the Idiot System Circus from December 6-10 and The Mother Dirt Mass from December 14-17. Limited tickets are available at

The Idiots of the World Unite Against the Idiot System Circus is a brand new show in the tradition of the iconic Bread & Puppet Circuses that began at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont in 1970. As usual, the show will draw on traditional circus tropes and familiar Bread and Puppet iconography to draw attention to the urgent issues of the day. Stilt dancers, paper maché beasts of all sizes and a riotous brass band make a raucous, colorful spectacle of protest and celebration.The Bread & Puppet Theater To Return to NYC with Political Puppet Shows

The show, says Schumann, is "in response to our totally unresurrected capitalist situation, not only the hundreds of thousands of unnecessarily sacrificed pandemic victims but our culture's unwillingness to recognize Mother Earth's revolt against our civilization. Since we earthlings do not live up to our earthling obligations, we need resurrection circuses to yell against our own stupidity."

The Bread & Puppet Theater To Return to NYC with Political Puppet Shows

The Mother Dirt Mass calls us to witness how Mother Dirt makes us and unmakes us ordinarily and extraordinarily, nourishes us, and exposes us to her opposite: the idiot system of war waging human history, pretending to protect us from disaster and providing us with continuous disasters, if not here, there, if not there, somewhere else, uninterruptedly and tremendously, un-persecuted by international law, protected by national exceptionalism, paid for by taxpayer money, originally meant to fix the potholes in car roads, in actuality enlarging the forever biggest pothole: the abyss our all-together abyss - unless, unless we the idiots unite against the idiot system.

After each show, Bread & Puppet will serve its famous sourdough rye bread with aioli, and Bread & Puppet's "Cheap Art" - books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread & Puppet Press - will be for sale.


The Bread & Puppet Theater is an internationally celebrated company that champions a visually rich, street-theater brand of performance art filled with music, dance and slapstick. Believing that theater is a basic necessity like bread, the company frequently brings its work to the streets for those who may not otherwise go to the theater. Its shows are political and spectacular, with puppets often on stilts, wearing huge masks with expressive faces, singing, dancing and playing music.

The Bread & Puppet Theater To Return to NYC with Political Puppet Shows

Bread & Puppet is recognized throughout the world and has won distinction at festivals in Italy, Poland, Colombia, and Yugoslavia, beginning with their break-out performances at the 1968 Nancy Festival in France. Notable awards include the Erasmus Prize of Amsterdam, 4 Obies, the Puppeteers of America's President Award, and the Vermont Governor's Award. Bread and Puppet regularly tours Europe, Canada, and the United States and has recently visited El Salvador, Haiti, Russia, and Korea.

Founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City's Lower East Side, the theater has been based in the North East Kingdom of Vermont since the early 1970s and is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theater companies in the country.


Theater for the New City (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 42 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.


Theater for the New City Executive Artistic Director Crystal Field presents Bread & Puppet's

The Idiots of the World Unite Against the Idiot System Circus

December 6-10, 2020

Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday at 3pm

The Mother Dirt Mass

December 14-17, 2023

Thursday-Saturday at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday at 3pm

Tickets $18, Students/Seniors/Children $15 available at

Theater for the New City: 155 First Avenue, New York, NY 10003