About an hour into the session we split into two groups; one went to the workshop with Nesreen to explore the practicalities of puppet making and the other group stayed with Mathew and disussed the various issues arising from the Bread and Puppet theatre's ideology - its strengths and its shortcomings. We also watched a section of a Bread and Puppet performance entitled 'Joan of Arc' and then discussed our various reactions to it and the issues it raised.
The last few sessions have been more practical based than theoretical, so we took some time to focus more on the ideolgy of Bread and Puppet as a movement and think about it in critical terms, exploring its strengths and weaknesses. We started with the idea of the contradictions and limitations of the Bread and Puppet movement - Is its ideology and manifesto reflected rightfully through its performances over the years?
Firstly we discussed its relevance today - can we get beyond the nostalgia of the 60's 'movement'? Mathew asked the class wether we as a generation who never personally experienced the 60's had any nostalgic attachments to that era - what does that time represent to us? After many contributions, we reached some form of general consensus that we all had some form of sentimentality attached to the 60's but also felt that we could relate it to the world we lived in today. We talked about how to many of us the 60s represents a time of strong political change and upheaval, and the emergance of 'people power' in the form of protests, demonstarations etc... It was also a time of freedom and experimenting in art of all forms - of which bread and puppet is a product. We also disscussed how the Vietnam war was predominant in Bread and Puppet's work at that time and were able to link it to the Iraq war today. We were left with the question - Is the 'capability of change' experiened in the 60's and embraced by Bread and puppet still applicable today?