Bread and Puppet Theater Plays Bryn Mawr College from Tonight, 9/28
The 2012-2013 season of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series opens in September with new works by the Bread and Puppet Theater, reflecting contemporary issues through theater and puppetry.“Art is Not Business! Art Is Food! Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers! Art Is Cheap! Hurrah!” proclaims Bread and Puppet’s Cheap Art Manifesto. The legendary activist theater company returns tonight, September 28-30 with two productions: The Complete Everything Everywhere Cabaret and the 2012 edition of the group’s family-friendly The Circus of the Possibilitarians accompanied by the B&P Circus Band and full of “animals of all kinds.” The company’s work features giant puppets, storytellers and stilt dancers who deliver a unique distillation of political issues, reflections on daily life and sheer silliness.
Bryn Mawr’s Campus is located at 101 N. Merion Ave. Tickets to individual events in the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series are $20, $18 for seniors, $10 for students with ID and Dance Pass holders, and $5 for children under 12. Circus will be presented outdoors free of charge. Tickets and more information are available online at brynmawr.edu/arts/series.html or by calling 610-526-5210.
Bread and Puppet Theater
The Complete Everything Everywhere Cabaret
Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m. / Appropriate for ages 12 and up
Hepburn Teaching Theater
The Circus of the Possibilitarians
Sunday, September 30 at 2 p.m. / Appropriate for all ages
Outdoors: Thomas Great Hall Cloisters (in case of rain: McPherson Auditorium).
The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side and is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police and other problems of the neighborhood. More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants. Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and Puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people. In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets.
The company makes its income from touring new and old productions both on the American continent and abroad, and from sales of Bread and Puppet Press’ posters and publications. The traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of The company, to extensive outdoor pageants, which require the participation of many volunteers.
Since 1984 the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented great artists and performances to audiences in the Philadelphia area, creating an environment in which the value of the arts is recognized and celebrated. Talks and workshops provided free to the public help develop arts awareness and literacy. The Series works to lower barriers to arts access through its partnership with Art-Reach, a nonprofit dedicated to improving arts accessibility for people of all ages and circumstances, and through its low ticket prices. Partnering in recent seasons with such organizations as the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented performances and enriching events by such luminaries and visionaries as Meredith Monk, John Waters, Il Fondamento, the Khmer Arts Ensemble of Cambodia and Urban Bush Women.