Insurrection Mass with Funeral March for a Rotten Idea

The Department of Theater is proud to announce the Bread and Puppet Theater in a performance of The Insurrection Mass With Funeral March for a Rotten Idea on Saturday, September 27, at 3 pm in the Arthur Hoyt Scott Outdoor Amphitheater (in case of rain, the performance will be held in the Pearson-Hall Theater in the Lang Performing Arts Center). This event is free and open to the public. Families are welcome. The Insurrection Mass lasts about one hour and will be followed by the distribution of sourdough rye bread baked fresh in a brick oven which Peter Schumann, founder and director of the Theater, will build on campus. There will be no intermission. For more information, please call 610-690-5747.

The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 on New York City's Lower East Side by Silesian-born sculptor and choreographer, Peter Schumann. After a four-year residency at Goddard College, the Theater moved to their permanent home on a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont in 1974. Until 1998, an annual performance known as Our Domestic Ressurrection Circus was held at the farm in late August, drawing crowds of up to 40,000. Now the Theater produces a lively ongoing summer season from June through the end of August with the help of an internship company. During the rest of the year, The Bread and Puppet Theater tours its indoor shows and massive outdoor spectacles in the United States, Europe and Latin America. Their pageants have a broad theme-oriented appeal to large non-elite audiences. They address social, political and environmental issues, or simply the common urgencies of our lives.

Peter Schumann says: The Insurrection Mass with Funeral March for a Rotten Idea is a non-religious service in the presence of several paper mache gods. The rotten idea, which gets explained and buried, is usually derived from some recent political-economical event or idea which deserves burial. The Mass comes complete with secular scripture readings, a fiddle sermon, and hymns in which the public is invited to participate. The puppets are made of cardboard; the music is live and includes an ancient Georgian chant. As part of The Insurrection Mass, Bread and Puppet will show How to Turn Distress into Success: A Parable of War and Its Making.

Jules Rabin of The Times Argus writes "Distress refers to the fall of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers depicted by two tottering seven foot tall cardboard rectangles... it also refers, with gripping effect, to a single grieving mother - a universal Mater Dolorosa - who sees her baby tumble out of the rickety old baby carriage she has brought to rest in front of the Towers." "Something about this performance touches deeply, reaching those recesses of the mind usually obscured by the distractions of daily grind" (Jerome Lipari, The Times Argus).

Peter Schumann and The Bread and Puppet Theater have received the Obie Award, the Erasmus Award from Amsterdam, the Vermont Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Puppeteers of America Award. Bread and Puppet is one of the oldest nonprofit, self-supporting theater companies in the United States.

Bread and Puppet's performance is made possible by the William J. Cooper Serendipity Fund, the Departments of English, Religion, and Theater, the Dean's Office, Drama Board, and the School in Rose Valley.

Location: Arthur Hoyt Scott Outdoor Amphitheater
Date: September 27, 2003
Times: 3 pm