Bread and Puppet Theater heads to Kingston this week
November 10, 2023
Story by Christena Lawrie, CFRC's Broadcast Journalist, for the Local Journalism Initiative.
Bread and Puppet Theater is on route to Kingston with their acclaimed show: Inflammatory Earthling Rants (with help from Kropotkin).
The company, founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side, is one of the oldest non-profit theatrical companies in the Unites States. Bread and Puppet is well known for their hand-crafted puppets, both large and small, which are used throughout their productions.
Now celebrating its 60th year, the company is currently touring a refreshed version of their show Inflammatory Earthling Rants for the second time as part of the festivities, the original version being produced on the spring of this year. Bread & Puppet is a politically minded theater company, this show being no different and drawing on Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid ideology.
Speaking to this updated version of the show, performer Denise Rogers Valenzuela explains, “We reworked it because at Bread and Puppet, we like to sort of respond to the political climate. And with everything that's happened, the genocide in Gaza, we felt like we had to address that. And so we reworked the show to incorporate some of what's happening now and some of what we had already done with the previous show.”
After the show, attendees can enjoy an art sale, chat with those involved in the production, and partake in the company’s famous post-show sourdough rye bread with aioli.
“The bread is always a very critical component,” remarks Ocea Goddard, another performer with Bread and Puppet. “After all of our shows, we always serve a rye sourdough bread with garlic aioli, and both of these things are always meant to be like, we want them to be as accessible for everyone as possible. We want everyone to be able to have art and theater and also nourishing bread to eat something, you know, food for your mind and your heart and your soul and your bellies.”
Valenzuela goes on, explaining, “It's understanding theater as an essential need. And also the kind of bread Ocea was mentioning is sourdough and it can be quite hard. And the kind of shows that we do, the audiences are intended to chew on it. Like it's not just easily digestible or pre-digested.
More information on the company’s appearance at the Spire on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. can be found at BreadAndPuppet.org/Tour