Bread and Puppet (B&P) Theater is one of the oldest, most influential, and well-known puppet theaters both in the United States and abroad and has been at the forefront of puppetry, performance, and political protest for more than half a century. B&P also functions as a site of tension in prefigurative political theory, between creative world building and alternative decision-making structures. B&P fosters a powerful lived experience of prefigurative politics. The political process of envisioning alternative realities took place through performance, puppets, and the shifting sense of temporality in an isolated location. At the same time, B&P operates in a state of flux, at the center of a constant stream of apprentices, volunteers, and audience members. They rely on hierarchical decision-making to facilitate order, which challenges the prefigurative ideal of a democratic community. B&P models a mediated form of prefigurative politics in which a hierarchical governance structure and creative world building exist in tension with one another. The theater has worked within this tension to survive and even flourish. B&P complicates prefigurative politics in social movement theory and practice, as the hierarchy helps preserve some sense of order but conflicts with the more egalitarian vision of the world represented in their performances. B&P's intervention in prefigurative politics offers lessons to social movements and artistic practices in the contemporary resurgence of prefigurative politics.

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