Bread & Puppet’s Diagonal Life Circus is a raucous, colorful giant puppet spectacle that sheds light on our current precariously diagonal condition – on the verge of collapse, yet always capable of uprising. As always, the Circus will feature the riotous Bread and Puppet Brass Band, stilters, flags, and the whole roaring, squawking, whinnying paper maché menagerie, attempting to speak to the urgent heart of the moment.
“Reality is either horizontal or vertical or both,” says Bread & Puppet Director, Peter Schumann. “The horizontal produces us, and eventually takes us back into its giant arms’ embrace. The vertical is the exceptional human predicament, the up- and forward-striding ambition that makes history and warfare. The diagonal results from the hurts that the vertical suffers in the process. It is our common human fate, the hard-to-sustain-in-between life, neither up nor down that needs to muster all its strength to lift itself up and the courage to invent tricks that keep it from falling. And this trickery deserves a circus, to celebrate the inventiveness of the struggling body and mind in the fight against falling, as well as a victory feast for the successful lifting itself up.”
After the show Bread and Puppet will serve its famous sourdough rye bread with aioli, and Bread and Puppet’s “Cheap Art” – books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press – will be for sale.
Bio: First birthed in 1970 on a farm in Vermont, The Bread & Puppet Circus features music by the Bread and Puppet Brass Band as they accompany a litany of circus acts, each packed with stilt-walkers, flag-twirlers, masked performers and the menagerie of paper mâché creatures and giant puppets for which the Bread & Puppet Theater is famous. Every Bread & Puppet Circus brings in a mix of magic, comedy, artistry and subversive politics that all speak to the urgent heart of the current moment, and every Bread & Puppet Circus is an all-ages event where children can rule the world and grown-ups are free to be kids again.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of The Bread & Puppet Circus, and Vermont’s Bread & Puppet Theater is celebrating the occasion with a national tour. Since its founding in the 1960s, Bread & Puppet has remained an iconic fixture in the landscape of protest, fueling our movements against war, imperialism, environmental disaster and other injustices, with the glorious energy of art, music, performance and joyful chaos under the Dadaistic vision of director Peter Schumann.