Friday, May 4, 2012

Bringing War Horse to Life

With a production called War Horse, one might imagine the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center installing a hayrack in its star dressing room and stocking up on carrots and apples for such a high-profile star as Joey.

But in fact, one of the most remarkable aspects of this story of friendship is that the main character ceases to exist until just before show time when three puppeteers take their places; one at Joey’s head, one inside his forequarters and one controlling his hind. Together, the three bring to life Handspring Puppet Company’s 120 pound breathing sculpture. Within minutes, Joey grows to eight feet high, 10 feet long and sturdy enough for an actor to ride. He’s complete with a moveable tail and ears to replicate the real animal with such accuracy even horse enthusiasts might forget he’s constructed of cane.

Yet the Tony Award®-winning puppetry is only one component of this play based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel. At the heart of this story are Joey’s relationships with his caretakers. As a foal we see him growing under the watchful eye of young Albert. When Joey is sold to the cavalry, Albert swears he will find him and bring him home. Joey, however, discovers courage and friendship on both sides of the front in a tale The New York Daily News called, “spellbinding, by turns epic and intimate.” 

The first national tour of the 2011 Tony Award-winning Best Play War Horse will stop at the Fox Cities performing Arts Center June 25-30, 2013. You can secure your tickets today as part of a Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America – Fox Cities Season Ticket Package. For more information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, visit!

Would you like a chance to win two tickets to opening night? This week, the Center’s giving away two tickets for each Broadway show. Enter the Broadway-A-Day Sweepstakes on the Center’s Facebook page for your chance to win!

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