Bread & Puppet Theater’s Joan of Arc

(1999, Brian Standing)

This video captures Bread and Puppet’s 1998 revival of Joan of Arc in performances at Madison’s Barrymore Theater and Chicago’s Musem of Contemporary Art.

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Puppetry has experienced a rennaissance in recent years as a tool of political protest. Activists in Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Prague all owe an enormous debt to Vermont’s Bread and Puppet Theater. Founded by Silesian-born sculptor and choreographer Peter Schumann in 1969, Bread and Puppet uses exquisitely designed, larger-than life, neoprimitive puppets and common materials such as cardboard and paper mache to create profound images that powerfully blend the mythic and spiritual with the political. Joan of Arc retells the archetypal tale of St. Joan as a startling lesson in political repression, revolution and redemption. Originally created in 1977, this award-winning show has toured the U.S., France, Italy, Spain and the former Soviet Union.

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