Not all puppets sit around downing booze and pills; some aspire to art and activism! And this month, you’ll have a few opportunities to hang with those high-minded puppets.
First, tonight, Anthology Film Archives plays tribute to Bread & Puppet Theater on the occasion of the troupe’s 50th anniversary. Fittingly enough, the company was based out of Anthology’s building on Second Avenue back in the ’60s, when its 20-foot-tall papier-mâché puppets, masked actors, and brass band music were fixtures at anti-war protests. Tonight at 7:30, the troupe’s founder and director, Peter Schumann, along with past and present members, will present live performances as well as films and recently unearthed footage featuring the B&P.
Not only do proceeds from the $10 price of admission go toward preserving the archives at the theater’s current home in Vermont, but your ticket will get you into “Peter Schumann: The Shatterer,” which opened last week at the Queens Museum. The exhibition of Schumann’s painting, drawing and sculpture features a “papier-mâché chapel” in which the master himself will perform and, of course, bake bread (in 1963, when he started the theater in a $60-a-month loft on Delancey Street, he’d bake sourdough loaves for the audience).
If you’re tied up like a marionette tonight, don’t worry: La MaMa, which recently hosted a puppet slam, has plenty more puppetry in store. From Nov. 21 to 24, Italian company La Capra Ballerina presents “Dorme,” in which a child puppet dances through a dream world involving everything from fish with human faces to the death of her cat.