Thursday, 20 September 2007


Welcome to the blog for the Contemporary Theatremaking option on Bread and Puppet Theater.

Bread and Puppet at Lincoln Center, New York, 8 August 2007,
Photograph by Matthew Cohen

This space is an opportunity for us to document the process of the project we are undertaking together. Documentation is a key concern for contemporary practitioners and scholars and part of your study during this course will involve reflecting upon the documentation of the company and developing documentation of your own work.

Each week group members will be allocated to the process of documentation - although you are all invited to post reports and comments. If you are unsure how to do any of these things, you can email Nesreen Hussein ( or Matthew Cohen ( and we'll try to talk you through it. You will receive feedback on your documentation work from both Nesreen and Matthew.
By the end of the course we hope that this blog will be a rich account of the ideas and images we have explored during the term which should prove very useful to you as you write your reflective essays.
Readings and viewings
This course has a course pack containing readings on Bread and Puppet that you are required to purchase from the departmental office. You will also be expected to view a number of videos.

Before the first class on Monday 1 October please view Bread and Puppet videos from 2004 to 2007 on youtube ( as well as do the assigned readings in the course pack (only about 12 pages).
You are also encouraged to view Biting the Hand that Leads Us, an online video about theatre companies (primarily American) that use performance for political impact, including a three minute excerpt from the documentary Bread and Puppet Theatre: A Song for Nicaragua. See The Bread and Puppet segment is at 47.42 -50.55.
By the Way...
A political theatre company based on Bread and Puppet features in Julie Taymor’s new film Across the Universe which will be in general release in the UK at the end of September. A trailer for this film can be viewed at

There has been some discussion among puppeteers about the (mis-)representation of Bread and Puppet's work in the film. (See, e.g., this posting at puptcrit.)You are encouraged to see the film before 15 October when will be discussing Bread and Puppet’s work in the 1960s.

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