Bread and Puppet Theater Brings Whimsy, Sourdough Rye and a Rabble-Rousing Good Time to Price Hill

The Warsaw Avenue Firehouse will soon host an event featuring larger-than-life paper-mache puppets and some very good loaves of sourdough rye bread

click to enlarge "Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis" - Provided by Bread & Puppet Theater
Provided by Bread & Puppet Theater
"Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis"

UPDATE: Bread and Puppet Theater’s Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis has been postponed, according to event organizers. A date has yet to be announced. 

 It is a known fact that Peter Schumann can make at least two things: larger-than-life paper mache puppets and some very good loaves of sourdough rye bread. As he well should — he’s been mastering both since 1963, when his Vermont-based company Bread and Puppet Theater was just a tiny production in a rented loft in New York’s Lower East Side.

Having grown up in Germany as a refugee of World War II, Schumann and his fellow dancers, sculptors and puppeteers spent their time in between protesting the Vietnam War and DIY-ing experimental, unabashedly political plays where the Everyman was celebrated, the rotten upper echelon was read for filth and good always triumphed over evil. Schumann broke bread (his mother’s recipe) with the audience at every show, from free performances for New York inner-city kids to crunchy granola crowds at the company’s Glover, Vermont farm. 

Bread and Puppet Theater’s touring production Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis lands at the Warsaw Avenue Firehouse Sunday, March 22.

The play centers around a somewhat sideways alternative to what is perceived as the domination of verticality in Western culture, as exhibited in our city architecture, ladders of success and the everyday uprightness required of us wakeful citizens.

“It is our common fate,” says Schumann in a press release, “the hard to sustain in-between-life, neither up nor down.”

The resulting performance “brings all the bewildering, beguiling and downright funny possibilities and implications of diagonality to life with song, dance, magic, mechanism and stunning cardboard and paper-mache puppets painted in Peter Schumann’s exuberant, slapdash expressionist style.”

Bread and Puppet will share its famous sourdough rye bread (with aioli) after the show, coupled with the company’s “Cheap Art” for sale — books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press.

With tour dates across the United Staes (and one in Canada) this Spring, Bread and Puppet Theater will stop by Louisville, Kentucky for two shows (March 20 and 21) ahead of their Cincinnati date. Admission to Bread and Puppet performances are donation-based, but no one is turned away for lack of funds.

$5-$20 suggested donation. Warsaw Avenue Firehouse, 3120 Warsaw Ave., Price Hill, breadandpuppet.org.

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