Bread and Puppet Museum opens June 7

File photo, taken at the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover.

File photo, taken at the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover.

As they have each spring for the past 40 years, the double doors of the old Dopp Farm in Glover will swing open at 2 p.m. on June 7 to mark the opening of the 2015 season of the Bread and Puppet Museum.

Burt Porter, a musician and poet, will welcome guests to the farm on Route 122 in Glover as he did for the museum’s inaugural season in 1975. Mr. Porter has had a long association with Bread and Puppet, performing in many circuses and pageants and writing texts and lyrics for shows including The Same Boat: The Passion of Chico Mendes (1989); The City of Brotherly Love (1998); Crows and Angels: Christmas Sonnets (1993); and, for this summer’s pageant, The Comet.

In addition to Mr. Porter’s music, the day’s activities, which will last until 5 p.m., will include Sacred Harp songs from the early American shape note tradition, short shows by local artists including poet Meredith Holch, Clare Dolan, founder and director of the Museum of Everyday Life in Glover, the Modern Times Theater, Adam Cook and Hayley Lewis, and Tom Azarian.

As always, puppeteer and baker Peter Schumann will provide plenty of fresh sourdough rye bread topped with aioli, a pungent garlic spread.

At 4 p.m. the touring company of the Bread and Puppet Theater, fresh from a two-week Northeast tour, will give a performance of the most recent version of Public Access Center for the Obvious in the Dirt Floor Theater.

All events are free to the public, although donations are always welcome.

Those who wish to know more about Bread and Puppet’s summer activities and opportunities to participate in them can stay for an informational meeting at 5 p.m.

What is now a puppet museum crammed from floor to ceiling with a mysterious multitude of figures and faces, was once a working barn. Where once sturdy workhorses hauled wagons piled high with hay, today stand puppets of all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Bread and Puppet moved to the farm in 1974 after four productive years as theater-in-residence at Goddard College in Plainfield. The transformation of the barn involved raking and sweeping a hundred years’ worth of chaff and debris from its 100-foot by 45- foot main floor into a huge stack near the entrance.

Once the barn was cleaned, puppeteers arranged puppets, masks, and painted curtains into scenes conveying themes and stories to visitors.

During the winter the museum is closed while the company works on new shows and tours. But each spring the museum undergoes its annual spiff-up in preparation for welcoming summer guests.

The museum is open daily until November 1 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and after shows. It is located on Route 122 off Route 16 and Interstate exits 24 and 25.

For more information please go to www.breadandpuppet.org. — from Bread and Puppet.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Chronicle jack-o’-lantern contest winners speak

A jack-o’-lantern imprisoned in its own shell won a subscription to the Chronicle for Meredith Holch.  It was one of 48 entries in the 2013 Great Chronicle Jack-o’-lantern Contest held Sunday at the Barton Memorial Building.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

A jack-o’-lantern imprisoned in its own shell won a subscription to the Chronicle for Meredith Holch. It was one of 48 entries in the 2013 Great Chronicle Jack-o’-lantern Contest held Sunday at the Barton Memorial Building. Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Natalie Hormilla

“You have to look at the pumpkin, and see what it tells you,” said Lila Winstead of Glover, about one of her rules of pumpkin carving.

Ms. Winstead is usually a winner at the Chronicle’s annual jack-o’-lantern contest, and 2013 was no exception.

She was one of three winners in the adult category this year.  She won with a smaller pumpkin that featured an intricately carved face.

“That’s my fallback,” she said.  “Every year, I think, it should be a face.”

There was also the matter of practicality in coming up with her idea.

“I was tired, and I couldn’t think of a big project, and I do indeed have rules — I’m a classicist.”

The jack-o’-lantern face is meant to sit by the front door of a house to keep away gremlins this time of year, Ms. Winstead said.

“In my heart of hearts, that’s what I really believe, that the pumpkin is a face.  Nice things should not be depicted on the face.  Sweet things — that’s not Halloween.” Continue reading

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