Bread and Puppet Theatre tackles World War I

On Friday June 27 the Bread and Puppet Theatre in Glover will present two theatrical performances centered on social responses to World War I.  The first centers on the writings and resistance of Scott Nearing, the second on cross-generational conversation and the female anti-war perspective.

Gregy Joly, an independent scholar who lives in Jamaica, Vermont, will present “Plutocratic Patriotism and the Liquidation of Troublesome Minorities: Scott Nearing Exercise in Free Speech and Prosecution for it during the Great War”.  The presentation quotes liberally from the anti-war writings of Scott Nearing.  Nearing’s anti-war pamphlet, The Great Madness, took aim at the profiteering captains of finance and industry by disclosing the links between government contracts and plutocratic enrichment. From “armed neutrality” to the drive for “preparedness”, Nearing makes clear how media-inflamed patriotism actually served as a cover for a realignment of money and power in the United States and abroad.  In response to his writings, the federal government raided his home. He was charged with sedition for causing men to refuse the draft, yet throughout his indictment he fought on through the courts and in public speeches.

Joly is the co-chair of the Board at The Good Life Center in Harborside, Maine, the last stone homestead of Scott & Helen Nearing. Joly is also variously a carpenter, stone mason, gardener, musical architect and sometime letterpress printer at his Bull thistle Press.
Following Joly’s presentation, Robin Lloyd and Charlotte Dennet of Burlington Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will present “Talking with our Grandmothers”, a performance that employs dialogue, letters, and images to evoke conversation across generations.  The composition recreates the efforts of women on both sides of World War I to meet and propose initiatives to stop the war.  A conversation with Charlotte’s grandmother Elizabeth Redfern, who worked in Turkey as a teacher missionary before the war, leads to an understanding that competition among male national leaders for access to resources was a major factor in keeping the war going.

For more information contact Erin Bell at 525-4515 or  More information can also be found at