On Sunday, I found myself, beer in hand, watching half naked kids roll down the hills of a natural amphitheater while larger than life paper-mache puppets danced around them. While it was unlike anything I have ever seen before, it was quite evident by the parked busses-turned-eccentric-homes, that the headquarters of the Bread and Puppet Theater had called this land in Glover, VT home for quite some time.
Just hours earlier, our day had started in Craftsbury, VT. Craftsbury is about 14 miles, 4 dirt roads, and 2 horrifically smelling dairy farms away from our home. In Vermont, that means it is about 40 minutes away. We threw back some beers while playing a round of disc golf at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center before heading to their lake to swim with Pup. The Outdoor Center is devoted to promoting year-round outdoor sports such as cross country skiing, running, and rowing. Their land encompasses over 50 miles of cross country skiing, running, and biking trails and over 2 miles of lake.
As though drinking and playing outside all afternoon wasn’t enough, around 4pm we decided to make our way a little farther north to check out the theater’s weekly summer show. Pulling into the theater’s grounds, we passed school bus after colorful school bus, permanently parked in the woods to house the performers for the summer. The Bread and Puppet Theater company started, not surprisingly, in the 60’s. Since then they have gone from New York City to Plainfield, VT to the current farm. Although I wasn’t able to see the animals (cow, pigs, chickens), I was able to make it to the outdoor performance area, museum, and printshop which all reside on the farm. The theater is most well-known for the gigantic paper mache puppets but, as we saw in the museum, they have done quite a variety of puppets and art. Every year the summer shows are devoted to a different cause and after every show, bread that was made during the show is handed out. The bread is a way of creating community and to show that bread and theater belong together.
On the way home, we stopped at Pete’s Greens farmstand. The farmstand had fresh greens, tomatoes, broccoli, and cheeses along with frozen dough. We loaded one pizza full of tomato, basil, and mozzarella and the other with broccoli, spinach, and a mixture of blue cheese and cheddar. I can’t imagine ending the day better.