American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 55

Great Small Works

John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Roberto Rossi and Mark Sussman

Masks, stringed marionettes, hand puppets, giant effigies, toy theatre—performing objects of every kind are employed in various productions that appear under the banner of Great Small Works.

Active in various combinations since the 1960s, most of the members spent time with Peter Schumann’s Bread & Puppet Theatre and some return each summer to work with Bread and Puppet. Great Small Works grew out of a series of vegetarian pasta dinners and performances in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Individually and collectively, the venues they have played are a catalogue of the avant garde and alternate theatre venues of the last half of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first: La Mama, P.S. 122, D.U.M.B.O., Museum of the City of New York, Jim Henson Foundation’s International Festival of Puppet Theatre, Circus Amok, Circus Flora, Mabou Mines and festivals throughout Europe. Other productions have been rooted in the streets, community centers and schools of the communities they celebrate.