Bread & Puppet Museum
Lonely Planet review for Bread & Puppet Museum
Rolling though the Northeast Kingdom, it’s easy to become jaded at the sight of yet another barn. One in Glover definitely warrants a detour – not for its livestock but for the cosmological universe of the Bread & Puppet Museum, lurking within. Formed in New York City by German artist Peter Shumann in 1963, the Bread & Puppet Theater is a collective-in-training that presents carnivalesque pageants, circuses, and battles of Good and Evil with gaudy masks and life-size (even gigantic) puppets. The street theater of its early performances gave voice to local rent strikes and anti–Vietnam War protests as well as an epic parade down Fifth Ave in the early eighties to protest nuclear proliferation. By then, it had moved its operation to Glover, where it currently occupies two barns. The first barn is a two-floor space crammed with puppets and masks from past performances. The high-ceilinged top floor is especially arresting, with its collection of many-headed demons, menacing generals, priests, bankers, everyday people and animals, and an array of gods (some as large as 15ft). A second barn features performances in July and August – Bread & Puppet is on tour the rest of the year – for which Schumann bakes the bread that gives the enterprise half its name. Regular shows are on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, but it’s well worth checking the website to see if anything special is cooking. To get to the Bread & Puppet Museum, take I-91 to exit 24, then take a right onto VT 122 and continue 13 miles.