Susan  Bettmann

BREAD: Peter Schumann and Sourdough Rye Bread

Wood-fired Clay Bread Oven
Credit: Mark Dannenhauer

A 40-minute documentary directed by Susan Bettmann
Now available for screenings.
Order on DVD, $15, plus $5 shipping and handling.

In May 2012, Elka Schumann, wife of the Bread and Puppet Theater’s director, Peter Schumann, approached me with the idea of making a movie of Peter baking bread–no theater, just Peter the baker. Of course, some of the theater sneaked in there anyway.

Over the next 15 months, the film came together, as Peter baked in summer for the huge crowds that attend Bread and Puppet’s Sunday shows, and in winter, baking for friends, family, and the local food co-op.

The Bread and Puppet Theater celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2013. The Theater is world-renowned for giant, colorful outdoor pageants and darkly mysterious stage performances, for outspoken grassroots political activism, and for the sourdough rye bread puppeteers offer to audiences at the conclusion of virtually every show.

The film dives deep into the mixing trough, following Schumann from grinding rye grain to baking in wood-fired ovens and feeding the appreciative (and hungry) audiences that come to enjoy the Bread and Puppet Theater experience.

Peter Schumann


“I just watched your lovely film. Peter must have made thousands of loaves of bread by now. Do you think he’s made a million? Loved the music and the lightheartedness and the earthiness. It’s wonderful!”

Jean Cannon, painter
Burlington, VT

“I thought it was quite great.”

Dr. John Bell, puppeteer and
Director, Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

“As a child victim of war, Peter knows hunger and despair. His life, his theater and his breadmaking express his love of humanity and his unique and creative peacemaking.”

Robin Lloyd, Green Valley Media
peace activist and filmmaker, Burlington, VT

“I love your Peter & Bread film. It’s extraordinary. You’ve made something simple and profound…. Peter responds so beautifully to your gentle voice, your gentle, non-invasive questions. It occurs to me that, except for some of the masks and the early little books, he has protected his softness and gentleness from the world. You have gently unlocked the door…. In my opinionated opinion, (this is) the best film about B&P, because it touches the intimate heart and soul of you know who. He finally reveals and shares with you and with us, what was always there. The Schu as baker. Hurray. What an important film! “

Margo Sherman, actress
New York, NY!

Upcoming screenings

  • Green Mountain Film Festival
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 6 p.m.
  • Pavilion building
  • State Street, Montpelier, Vermont
  • Ballard Puppetry Institute & Museum
  • University of Connecticut
  • Storrs, Connecticut, Spring, 2014
  • B&P Museum opening
    Glover, Vermont, June 2014


Produced By

White Rock Productions
148 North Bear Swamp Road
North Middlesex, VT 05682
802 223-5124

Bread and Puppet Theater
758 Heights Road
Glover, VT 05839
802 525-3031

BREAD Banner Insert