From a street theater perspective, this is total nirvana. The only way there'd be more protest puppets and street theater at this convention would be if they held it on the Bread & Puppet farmstead in Glover, VT.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has been doing politically-charged puppet work in Minneapolis for 30+ years. They're a beloved community fixture, own and operate their own theatre, and have three decades of experience mobilizing and organizing the community each May Day to create a resolutely political yet spectacularly artistic parade with a built-in narrative, followed by a 40-minute pageant with giant puppets in a downtown park.
HOBT has taught so many locals how to make huge street puppets that they're not even the only group in town. The Barebones group assembles a long, moody and artsy giant puppet narrative done on the banks of the Mississippi on three nights around Halloween. This year's build schedule shows how hard-core these folks are: starting Sept 24, they're having build sessions every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday until Halloween.
Then there's Chris Lutter's Puppet Farm in northern Wisconsin. He's experienced at organizing the everything's-going-to-hell section of the May Day parade each year, and has his own operation.
A friend native to the Twin Cities claims that Minneapolis boasts the highest number of theater groups per capita of any city in the U.S. The resource pool for creative, striking protest theater at the 2008 RNC really couldn't be any deeper than this.
And then there's our little group here in Madison, a dead-easy 4-hour drive away. Time to rev up the public workshops and get all of Madison elbow-deep in papier mache!