Bread & Puppet Theater Apprenticeship Info for Spring 2019

3 weeks: Tuesday May 28th-Tuesday June 18th


Truck drivers, farmers, musicians, students, grandmothers, activists, lovers of papier-mache tigers:

Come spend late spring in rural Vermont, performing shows and/or building puppets on a working farm with a 5 decades-old political puppet theater.


This opportunity is open to everyone who is interested in participating in Bread & Puppet style show making. We are especially interested in creating as diverse an environment as possible, and would like to make space for apprentices of a wide range of ages, ethnicities, gender identities, nationalities and backgrounds. Not having theater experience and/or not being familiar with the work of the theater is in no way bad.


Bread & Puppet Theater, one of the oldest non-commercial and self-supporting theaters in the country, has created political puppet shows with a commitment to community participation for over 55 years. At present, our shows are anti-war, anti-capitalism and anti-globalization, while simultaneously being pro-beauty-of-nature, pro-collaboration, and pro-antagonization-of-the-mind. The apprenticeship program is an intensive (and often intense) communal living and working experience with an eclectic group of people on our farm in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.


Please note that the focus of the apprenticeship program is specific to the shows being made and not a particular syllabus: We are not a school and we do not conduct classes in different styles of puppetry or puppet building. Also, we are not a summer camp for adults! Apprentices need to be self-motivated. Learning is accomplished by engaging in different aspects of Bread and Puppet show production, which may include movement and dance experimentation, mask and puppet manipulation, vocal and instrumental music or organized noise making, printmaking, singing, papier-mache, puppet making and stilt dancing. Every year’s showmaking is also the sum of its specific constituent parts: the political awareness, talents, musical instruments and interests that apprentices bring can be an important part of our show creating process.


Apprentices will work with the theater’s founder, Peter Schumann, the puppeteer company or “staff”, and local volunteers to create and perform in our weekly Sunday program. Apprentices will also help with the building and mounting of large puppets, using mostly papier-mache and sticks. We use outhouses, conserve water, compost leftovers and generally try to be thrifty. Accommodations are very simple, even rugged, and most apprentices live in tents. Apprentices must be 18 or older. Dogs, drugs, and underage drinking are not permitted. Sorry, no trailers or campers.



The 3-week spring program will run from Tuesday May 28th to Tuesday June 18th,  2019.

Apprentices will arrive on Tuesday, May 28th and work will begin on Wednesday, May 29th.  This apprenticeship will include performing in our indoor shows in the Papier Mache Cathedral as well as our Museum Opening celebration on June 2nd, 2019. Spring apprentices will depart on Tuesday, June 18th.

The fee for this program is $1500.


All meals are included in this fee and are prepared for everyone by the bread & puppet cooks, except on Mondays, our weekly day off.



ALL FEES MUST BE PAID IN US DOLLARS. If you need instruction about how to convert your fee, please contact us.


We here at Bread and Puppet understand that due to the systemic cycle of poverty perpetuated by capitalism, our fees are too high for many people who might want to apply.  We want a diverse community of voices in order to inform our creative work.  In our ongoing attempts to underthrow the oligarchs and their capitalist empire, NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FROM OUR PROGRAM FOR LACK OF FUNDSIf you are selected for the apprenticeship program, we will work with your financial situation to enable you to attend this program.  If you can afford to pay the full price, or have access to outside funding, your support helps us offer fee reductions for those who need it.



Send a physical letter of interest (no e-mails) that includes your phone number, email and mailing address to:


Esteli Kitchen

Re: Bread and Puppet Apprenticeship 

911 W. Estrada St.

Tucson, AZ



In the first sentence please tell us your age, which session you are applying for, and your email address. Then, please tell us about yourself. Talk about your childhood, your upbringing, your ideology, your artistic practice, your day job, anything that will help us get a sense of who you are. Tell anecdotes about yourself, if you can think of any good ones. If you like, tell us why you want to come to Bread & Puppet and what you think the experience of the apprenticeship is going to be like, as well as what you hope it will be like.

Puede escribir su carta en español si éste es su primer idioma.


You may apply to multiple sessions, but because we have separate coordinators, you must send SEPARATE LETTERS and inform the coordinators that you have applied to multiple sessions.


PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR LETTER! All communication after the initial letter will be done through email.




Theater or Art training is definitely not a requirement. Let us know if you play a brass instrument, woodwind instrument, or violin/viola/cello/bass. If you are able to bring it with you, even better (though this is also not a requirement).


All apprentice application letters must be submitted by April 1st, 2019. Getting your letter in sooner than this is recommended.


If the submission date has passed but you just can’t imagine not spending the spring with us, write us anyway. We can put you on the waiting list and let you know if a spot opens up.


If you are accepted, a nonrefundable deposit of $500 is due within a month of your acceptance. The remainder of the fee is due by April 30, 2019. We are sorry, but because we turn many people away from the program and it’s difficult to find last-minute replacements, the apprenticeship fee will be non-refundable two weeks before the apprenticeship starts. Please contact us to discuss payment plans if necessary.


A note on fees for college students:

Talk to your professors about the potentiality of college grant money to help cover your apprenticeship fees. Often colleges have money earmarked specifically for their students participating in apprenticeships. It is also sometimes possible for students to receive college credit for completing the Bread & Puppet apprenticeship.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email. The email for the puppeteer coordinating the apprenticeship is


[email protected]


Please remember, however, that your formal application needs to be a non-electronic letter.


Thank you for your interest and we look forward to meeting you next spring! 

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