BELLOWS FALLS -- Sponsored by the Rockingham Arts and Museum Project, Bread & Puppet’s "Total This & That Circus" will be presented on Friday at 7 p.m., at the Middle School, 15 School St.

Bread & Puppet Theater ( is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is one of the oldest non-profit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the U.S.

"Total This & That Circus," performed last year on site in Glover, includes Burlington’s battle against the F-35 jets, the miraculous birth of a calf, a giant face trying to see who’s running back and forth between his ears, the tar sands pipeline, some very tall people with wooden legs, all kinds of animals from zebras to some very interfering turkeys, and more. The acts are accompanied by the circus band.

"We believe in puppet theater as a wholesome and powerful language that can touch men and women and children alike, and we hope that our plays are true and are saying what has to be said, and that they add to your enjoyment and enlightenment," said founder Peter Schumann.

Founded in 1963 by Schumann, a German born artist-dancer, the theater is famed for nearly a decade of performing in anti-Vietnam-War demonstrations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and other cities in the U.S., and abroad.

In 1970, Bread and Puppet moved to Vermont, and for more than 20 years, "Our Domestic Resurrection Circus," an outdoor festival of music, art, puppetry and pageantry, performed each summer drawing tens of thousands of Bread and Puppet enthusiasts. Schumann decided to end Circus in 1998, which was then succeeded by a summer program with weekly, smaller scaled performances.

In this new format, Bread and Puppet continues its prolific output of new shows, addressing the issues of the day -- like militarism, capitalism, and ecology -- as well as re-staging classic Bread and Puppet shows from the 1960s and 1970s.

RAMP has worked with Bread and Puppet since 1999 when it hosted Bread and Puppet Theater for a week-long town-wide residency in Bellows Falls. Over the years it has collaborated to bring other Bread and Puppet performances to downtown Bellows Falls.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. Reservations are encouraged. To reserve tickets call 802-463-3252. The middle school is wheelchair accessible; call ahead to make arrangements for access.

RAMP is supported by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.