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  • Diagonals are created from the leaning power of hurt verticals," says Peter Schumann, founder and director of Bread and Puppet Theater, which will present their new play, Diagonal Man: Theory and Praxis, at Hopewell Theater on May 9th. We inhabitants of Western modernity are no strangers to verticality, from the architecture of our cities, to the "ladder(s) of success" we're asked to scale, to the incessant wakefulness required of us, postponing the horizontal pleasures of sleep. Bread and Puppet's Diagonal Man presents the diagonal as a potent and promising opposition to the dominating verticality of our culture. Puppeteers long ago realized that the most aesthetically radical movements for puppets are diagonals, because these movements are cannot be sustained by human actors or dancers for more than a moment. (Gymnasts upsidedown themselves frequently and with ease, but diagonal positions remain inaccessible without the use of puppet.) Diagonal Man brings all the bewildering, beguiling, and downright funny possibilities and implications of diagonality to life with song, dance, magic, mechanism, and stunning cardboard and paper maché puppets painted in Peter Schumann's exuberant, slapdash expressionist style. The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood. In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Bread and Puppet is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.

Bread and Puppet present Diagonal Man: Theory and Praxis