In 1965, Bread and Puppet was two years old. It grew from founder Peter Schumann’s trailer-converted puppet-stage and street corner performances into an ensemble that was actively participating in protests of the Vietnam War, parading colossal ten to fifteen feet tall puppets through the streets of New York City. They also created a show intended for smaller spaces and more intimate performances entitled Fire, which is an hour long performance dedicated to several Americans who protested the Vietnam war by self-immolating, killing themselves by setting themselves on fire. The play, with the original masks from 1965, was performed at Reed from October 16–18.
My adventures in Portland usually include wandering around downtown, mostly lost, hoping my phone doesn’t die before I can GPS my way back to Reed. The walk I took three weekends ago was no different. Myself and two friends decided, at around ten at night, to take a stroll down to Portland State University, PSU. This happened to be the same night as the vigil for the students who passed away from the Umpqua shooting earlier that week. Thirty or so Reedies had gathered in front of Commons with a wide assortment of candles, from tea lights in plastic cups to the heavy candles in glass holders. A Reed alumnus spoke, and then the floor was left open for anyone to speak. After that, we sang together. Understandably, it was a decidedly somber night. I guess we didn’t really know where to go from there, so we decided to walk.