If I ever travel to Vermont, my first stop will definitely be the Bread and Puppet Theater. Watching live puppet shows has been something I've loved since I was a kid, and although I've only seen videos of their performances, it seems like nothing comes close to the magic of Bread and Puppet shows.
Bread and Puppet is one of the best and oldest nonprofit puppet theaters in the United States. Here's a 6-minute video with footage of the awesome puppets, interviews about the history of the theater, and a few clips of past performances:
Lots of Bread and Puppet performances have been taped and uploaded to archive.org and Vimeo. If you happen to be in Vermont this summer, Bread and Puppet is currently performing on Saturdays and Sundays, July 10 through August 29. Tickets are available here.
From their website:
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.
More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants.
Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people.
In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets. Our Domestic Resurrection Circus, a two-day outdoor festival of puppetry shows, was presented annually through 1998.