Rehearsing with Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread Puppet Theater

ISBN 10: 1931498199 / ISBN 13: 9781931498197
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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.

From the Publisher: Peter Schumann and his Bread and Puppet Theater are likely the most important extant contributors to modern American drama. With immense puppets playing roles of distilled emotion, acting as culturally imbedded sculpture, Schumann has presented American theater with a standard of emotional role playing that other theater companies have since striven to reproduce.

The hoards of people attracted to Schumann’s Bread and Puppet Theater were drawn in by its other-worldly culture of enormous, larger-than-life emotions, captured in the compelling photography of Ron Simon. From the striking image of an Uncle Sam on stilts to playful photos of children in the theater, Simon’s photographs explore the human element within the grand pageantry of Bread and Puppet.

Rehearsing With Gods is a photographic and literary tribute to the majesty of the Bread and Puppet Theater. Author Marc Estrin (Insect Dreams) draws on his own decades of experience with the theater to compose dramatic essays on the book's eight themes: Death, Fiend, Beast, Human, World, Gift, Bread and Hope.

"The Bread and Puppet Theater has been so long a part of America's conscious struggle for our better selves, that it has become, paradoxically, a fixture of our subconcious. Marc's prose and Ron's photographs perform the magic of resurfacing this giant and breathing new faith into our sense of justice, art, and action" --Andre Codrescu

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Title: Rehearsing with Gods: Photographs and Essays...
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Simon, Ronald T. & Marc Estrin
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Book Description Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 2004. hardcover. Book Condition: Fine copy in fine dust jacket. Profusely illustrated (illustrator). 1st edition. Square 4to, 240 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 055315

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Simon, Ronald T. And Estrin, Marc. Forword By Grace Paley
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Book Description Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Vermont, 2004. Oversize cloth with Dustjacket. First Edition. Very handsome large pictorial book on the life and times of the famous political theater company that mostly performs outdoors and uses large scale puppets in their theatrical productions most of which have strong political messages and themes. Includes text and 140 finely printed b&w dramatic photos by Ronald T. Simon. Fine/fine. Bookseller Inventory # 009094

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Simon, Ronald T.
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Book Description White River Junction, Vt., 2004. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 240 pages, B&w photographs throughout. Light edgewear and rubbing to pictorial dust jacket, else a very nice, tight copy. Record # 450275. Bookseller Inventory # 450275

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Simon, Ronald T., Estrin, Marc
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