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Rehearsing With Gods: Photographs And Essays On The Bread & Puppet Theater

Peter Schumann and his Bread & Puppet Theater are likely the most important, and surely the longest-lasting, contributors to modern American theater history. Since the early sixties Schumann and his puppeteers have been pouring out work after work on every scale: political works, mysterious works, grand works, modest works, works on the street and works in fields, works to be played in every size theater on four continents, books, prints, posters, and banners which live as show-and-tell in so many homes. Now Ron Simon and Marc Estrin, a remarkable photographer, and a long-time puppeteer, who have each in his own way contributed to the shows, recorded events, and reflected on them. Out of their experiences they have created Rehearsing with Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread & Puppet Theater. Far more than history or documentation, they identify eight archetypes engaged repeatedly by Peter Schumann and his crew. Their book consists of parallel meditations—the texts not commenting on the photos, the photos not illustrating the texts—unified and intertwined by the chapter themes of Death, Fiend, Beast, Human, World, Gift, Bread, and Hope. Altogether, it's a collaboration that reflects their sixty-odd man-years of personal experience in, hidden narratives of, and speculative reflections on Peter Schumann's projects, ever-more relevant to our times. This is a book that will engage both fans and newcomers—an inside-view of Peter Schumann's political-artistic world.

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (May 1, 2004)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1931498199

ISBN-13: 978-1931498197

Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches

Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,691,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #101 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Puppets & Puppetry #4024 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Dramas & Plays > Regional & Cultural > United States #25026 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Movies

This is a simply breathtaking book, a wonderful and sorely needed piece of work. It captures in one volume a sample of the beauty and intelligence of the Bread & Puppet Theater which has not been recorded before. This radical puppet theater troupe, directed by the venerated Peter Schumann, is among the most important in the postwar theater; it is influenced by Brecht and hippie culture, but its work is unlike anything else before or since, and its brilliance has not yet been chronicled, much less sufficiently appreciated by criticism.You can use this as a one-stop introduction to the Bread & Puppet Theater -- something which has long been needed, for the radical puppeteers have been among the most important artists of the last half-century but also the least known (at least outside radical politics and the Northeastern U.S.). And you can, and should, read it to reflect on the beauty of Bread & Puppet even if you already know the theater well. Ronald Simon's photos are stunning examples of spontaneous photography, capturing the essential feeling of being around Bread & Puppet, and are beautifully reproduced here at a decent size. Marc Estrin's essays on clusters of little topics -- World, Bread, Fiend, Human -- capture some lovely details and meditate intelligently on the life and aims of the theater.This is the place your Bread & Puppet reading should begin, but it doesn't have to end here. Stefan Brecht's brilliant study of Bread & Puppet is out of print, but used copies can still be found both of

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