Bread & Puppet


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It’s certainly not for everyone, but it has a certain appeal. I first went to the Bread & Puppet’s Domestic Resurrection Circus in Glover, VT in 1995, before I ever knew a thing about the theater and circus. These parties, held for 27 years, grew into a drug fueled spectacle of hippies, ravers, punks, you name it – thousands and thousands of people gathering on a couple farms for a weekend of music and partying. The thing that struck me most about these parties was that so many people of different colors, backgrounds, countries, tastes, could all gather together and get along. Strangers were no longer strangers. My experiences at Bread and Puppet were some of the best of my long and reckless youth.

My last year there was the last year. I woke up in the morning, August 8th, 1998, in my tent, hot and sweaty from the morning sun to my friend kicking my tent and demanding I wake up, which I did after hearing the words “someone was murdered.” That was enough to get me out of the tent. A mere 20 feet from our campsite on the farm were police and yellow tape, and a body bag ready to be carried away. Someone had died, violently, as rumor had it.

The sting of that experience has never left me – I’ll never forget the horror that crept up my spine that morning. A mere feet from me was a lifeless body – and that this person’s life ended at some point during the night – while perhaps no one even knew it. That amongst thousands of people, one person could be killed, and no one would notice, was a solitude I’d never considered before.

Here is a great history of Bread & Puppet’s Domestic Resurrection Circus.

A couple years ago I heard that Bread & Puppet was in town, here in Boston, at the Boston Center for the Arts, and my wife, who was also in attendance in 1998 (before we’d met) and I went to the show. We were blown away, by the depth of symbolism of the performance. The puppets brought me back over 10 years to the first time I saw similar ones, on the fields in Glover, VT.

Last week I volunteered to take photos of the Bread & Puppet performance at the BCA, and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to take part in B&P from a totally different perspective.

The times have changed, but in some ways, some things just remain the same.