Glover, Vermont: Bread and Puppet Theater Museum

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In keeping with the Halloween theme, I’d like to share a really amazing/creepy place with you that I discovered in the wilds of Vermont.  Actually, it’s not the only cool museum in the tiny town of Glover, but the other will have to wait for a future post….

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The Bread and Puppet Theater seems to be a sort of art collective that puts on occasional performances in an old barn/paper mache theater.  Next to this is yet another barn where all the puppets from past shows are stored, and it is simply incredible.  Admission is free, and although someone clearly lives in the house attached to it, you’re left completely to your own devices to turn the lights on and off, and purchase things from the shop (donation bins all on the honour system, so don’t be a jerk!). It’s open from 10-6, June-November, and off-season by appointment.

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Wandering through an unheated, dimly lit barn full of giant (and I mean giant!) puppets is definitely quite a unique/scary experience, perhaps not for the fainthearted, but I thought it was fantastic!  I don’t think words can properly do it justice, so for the most part, I’m going to share photos with you, with minimal commentary.

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The museum is over two floors, and you don’t want to miss the top one, as I almost did, because that is where all the properly huge puppets are kept, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Ben Franklin, perfect for history nerds like me!

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There are also a few pieces of art, including one on the story of a Jewish girl living in Germany (it was during the ’40s, so you can probably guess it doesn’t end well, though it is very moving), and the recollections of the woman who lived on the farm until 1970, which are also available in book form.

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It really is a very special place, so please do stop by if you’re in the area.  The vibe borders on the anarcho/hippie, as you might expect, but given the nature of the museum, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Having the freedom to explore on your own under the prying eyes of puppets, accompanied by mysterious creaking sounds, simply enhances the experience.  4/5.

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