Street theatre has a long history of use for activism. Street Theatre often uses the element of surprise to engage the public. Arete Living Arts employed street theatre techniques for their protest performance art piece titled Our Daily Bread.
Confused businessmen look at the bread
Performers Isabelle, Lilah, and Ora Noble on Wall Street
Pink communicates with an angry police officer
The Our Daily Bread performance was presented in the area of the New York Stock
Exchange. "Our Daily Bread" is a comedic social experiment exploring
the issues of materialism and liberty in the modern corporate world.
In the piece, elaborately masked and costumed actors
ceremoniously placed loaves of fresh white bread along the sidewalks
of the financial district. Each loaf of bread had a letter from Satan attached that
offered to buy the reader's souls in exchange for the material
possessions won through climbing the corporate ladder.
When faced with the spectacle, the busy executives looked bewildered.
Soon police were called in and bomb sniffing police dogs were put to
the task of inspecting the harmless loaves of bread. When passers by
asked what the event was all about, the performers dryly replied that
they were 'distributing food to the rich.'
Although reactions to the performance ranged from laughter to anger,
by the end of the day tourists were lined up to take pictures with the performers
in front of the statue of George Washington (a loaf of
bread was, of course, placed strategically at George's feet,) and the
gray facade of Wall Street was enlivened by the colorful presence of the performance.