Why oh why? | Bread and Puppet Theatre

Right now civilisation is busy redefining its essentials (flesh sustaining & repairing & meat packing) & we puppeteers, proud non-essentialists, are busy figuring out our next attack on that civilisation as well as the bread & butter issues of our trade. The obvious lack of appropriate funeralisation for the victims of Mother Earth’s furious revenge on our ill-behaved species requires combined insurrection & resurrection services which we have been delivering regularly in our Pine Forest Village, already full of memorials for family & friends, puppeteers & neighbours.

1. The doubts that accelerate into the why question are the mind’s urgent confrontation with the Nothing & don’t necessarily result in production, but shame the mind into acting by forcing it to understand itself not only as itself, but as member of an actors guild that aims for meaningful action.

2. In the 5th century BC when rather modest Greek forces defeated the Persian Empire’s gigantic fleet at Salamis, Aeschylus was chosen to write the victory celebration & instead produced the most heartrending lamentation for the mothers & widows of the slain Persian warriors. Why? To achieve catharsis.

3. The why is answered by the puppets’ passionate response to the latest urgency at hand.

4. Mitigation. In order to contradict the wonderful inherent nonsense of puppet theatre, Bread & Puppet serves bread & aioli to the public. Sourdough keeping, dough kneading, ovenbuilding, firewood chopping, fire making, giving instead of selling, garlic planting & harvesting, rye seeding & harvesting & milling are the mitigation: the soothing of pain.

5. Woody Guthrie wrote a great why-oh-why kid’s song.

6. Ta-ta-ta-ta Tatatatatatatata Ta-ta

Bread and Puppet Theatre is an American theatre company using puppets of all sizes for the creation of political theatre. Founder Peter Schumann’s giant puppets first appeared in 1965 at political street parades in New York City, and increasingly became identified with the anti-Vietnam War movement. Their work has been featured at scores of international theatre festivals around the world.