BAR HARBOR — Bread and Puppet Theater will perform “Faust 3,” a proletarian rumination on displacement, heaven and satisfaction in the tradition of Medieval Faust puppet shows and Goethe’s epic verse drama, in the Thomas S. Gates Community Center at College of the Atlantic on Saturday, April 29, at 8 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
As thematically and formally diverse as Goethe’s “Faust 1” and “Faust 2,” Bread and Puppet’s “Faust 3” draws its public through a dreamlike succession of scenes depicting various aspects of proletarian experience in our time: from refugee migration, to the ubiquity of the gun; from the hunger that accompanies food product diversity, to the daily experience of factory workers, the rebellion of prisoners and the adoration of the sun.
“Faust 3” is an “amazing expansive spectacle,” said John Bell, scholar of puppet theater. “This is a show about immigrants, democracy, how to deal with authoritarian powers, the demise of middle-class security and the possibilities of collective action.”
Faust 3 himself is played by a small hand puppet, darting between the hopper and the spout of a giant grain mill. A phalanx of black folding chairs menaces the masses with its resolutions of pity. The arms of a giant, blue, embracing puppet fill the stage. Lubberland choral dancers hop, wiggle and whistle. And a purple brass band arrives to jitter levity into the feet of the population.
Bread and Puppet director Peter Schumann describes “Faust 3” as follows: “After Faust 2’s contract with the devil came to an end – because the guest had been fulfilled and satisfaction had been achieved – Faust 2 died. But the demand for more light that Goethe issued at his own death requires a new model of Faust, an actor in the history of light, a conspirator who pursues the disordering of the existing order of life and sides with the Proletariat’s demand for the radicalization of leisure. Gargoyles are employed to manage the uneasy masses. Both devil and angel, disguised as undercover agents, accompany Faust 3’s journey through the mess of the modern empire all the way to the glorious final appearance of the Here.”
After the performance, Bread and Puppet will serve its famous free sourdough rye bread with aioli, and Bread and Puppet’s “Cheap Art” – books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press – will be for sale.
The Bread and Puppet Practitioners-Of-The-Pursuit-Of-What String Band will welcome the public. Visit breadandpuppet.org.