Artists, musicians, dancers, actors, activists and other adventurous spirits 18 and over are invited to join Middletown-based theater company ARTFARM and Vermont’s iconic Bread and Puppet Theater for a unique workshop in Middletown.
“Arse-Kicking Puppetry, Ding Dongs and the Radical Farming of Art” will engage participants in the creative techniques used by each company while offering tangible tools for creating new work. The emphasis will be on creating content-based new work, using theater, music, puppetry, dance and text to speak out on issues of importance to the participants.
The five-hour workshop will end with a series of original performances, created by the workshop participants, presented on Main Street in Middletown.
This workshop, open to anyone 18 and over, is the culmination of a two month collaboration between these two socially-engaged theater companies. During the month of September, five core ARTFARM performers spent four days working with the Bread and Puppet Company in northern Vermont.
Bread and Puppet will be visiting ARTFARM from Oct. 24-27, and this workshop and performance will be the final outcome of this exchange of artistic practices. The Exchange is made possible by a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters, the national coalition of Ensemble Theaters.
2013 is the 50th Anniversary of The Bread and Puppet Theater. At the heart of the Company is the work of founder and visionary Peter Schumann. Now 78, Schumann is an historic figure in 20th century theater, puppetry and politics. B&P has a long history of creating spectacle and pageantry around the world, combining puppetry, activism, poetry and music to create a theater like no other. While ARTFARM is only in its 12th season, ARTFARM founders and ensemble members have been committed over the last 30 years to creating work of value -- high-caliber theater rich in social commentary and reflection on the human condition.
“Bread and Puppet and ARTFARM share a commitment to simple living as a way of life, to community leadership, and to art as an active political statement,” says ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge, “but we work in very different styles. Participants in the workshop will have a truly unique opportunity to see from the inside how these companies work together to create new work.
"The final product will depend on who comes to the workshop and what we all bring to the room. If you are a poet, bring your words. If you are a musician, bring your instrument. If you are an activist, bring your passion.”
"Arse Kicking Puppetry, Ding Dongs and the Radical Farming of Art" will be held from noon to 5 pm on Oct. 27 in The Barn at Prout Hill, 64 Prout Hill Road in Middletown.
Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Fee for the workshop is $50. Contact ARTFARM at email@example.com or call (860)346-4390 for more information or to register.
Bread and Puppet Theater will also be offering a free performance at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford on Friday, October 25 at 7:30 pm.
This collaboration between ARTFARM and Bread and Puppet Theater is partially funded by a NET/TEN Exchange Grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters. “Ensemble practice is built on relationships,” says Mark Valdez, Executive Director of NET, “and this program provides artists with support to both build and deepen partnerships.”