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World Renowned Bread Puppet Theater Company to Visit Drexel

March 24, 2008

Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design will welcome The Bread & Puppet Theater, one of the oldest non-profit theatrical companies in the U.S. Beginning Thursday, April 17 and concluding Saturday, April 19, the Bread & Puppet Theater troupe will engage students in workshops ranging from building puppets, to street theater, to performing in “The Circus Brass Band.” The company’s time in Philadelphia will culminate with a performance on Saturday, April 19 at 5 p.m. in Drexel’s main Quad (33rd Street, between Market and Chestnut). Rain location is the West Philadelphia Armory (32nd Street and Lancaster Avenue).

The Theater has been enacting its radical utopian vision in cardboard and cloth for over forty years. A built for-the-road rendering of its long-running (over 25 years) annual event, "Our Domestic Resurrection Circus" in Glover, Vermont has been created for Drexel. The Bread and Puppet Theater will mount the Divine Reality Comedy Circus with the same flair and larger-than-life puppets seen over thirty years ago at Vietnam War protests in New York City. The Theater's legendary "cheap art" will be available throughout its time at Drexel.

The Theater is now an internationally recognized company that champions a visually rich, street-theater brand of performance art. Its shows are political and spectacular, with huge puppets made of papier-maché and cardboard. The award-winning Bread and Puppet Theater with a dozen puppeteers will join with Drexel students on stage, back stage and in the circus brass band.

All Bread and Puppet Theater shows, created and designed by Peter Schumann with input from the company, use music, dance and slapstick to get their point across. Their distinctive imagery — featuring puppets (of all kinds and sizes), masks, costumes, paintings, buildings, and landscapes — seemingly breathe with Schumann's distinctive visual style of dance, expressionism, dark humor and low-culture simplicity.

The performance will be free and open to the public.

About the Antoinette Westphal College at Drexel University Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers twelve undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. The College empowers students with the knowledge, skills and techniques to succeed in highly competitive creative fields. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and a faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU) stations, the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection.

Drexel University is the premier co-op school nationally and is a top-ranked comprehensive university. Allen Sabinson is the dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. For more information about the College, visit www.drexel.edu/westphal. ###

News Media Contact: Zeek Weil, director of communication for Westphal College 215-895-2629 or zw36@drexel.edu

Niki Gianakaris, assistant director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741 or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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