The Kennedy Center presents War Horse

Sep 16, 2012
War Horse in DC

The Kennedy Center presents the National Theatre of Great Britain and Bob Boyett production of War Horse from October 23 to November 11, 2012 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Winner of five 2011 Tony Awards including Best Play and based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by Nick Stafford, the tour of War Horse is directed by Bijan Sheibani based on the original Tony Award-winning direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa. Michael Morpurgo's novel, War Horse, is also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's feature film of the same name, which earned six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

War Horse is the story of young Albert's beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving on both sides of the war before landing in no man's land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. What follows is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, filled with stirring music and songs and told with the some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

The cast includes Michael Stewart Allen, Danny Beiruti, Brooks Brantly, Laurabeth Breya, Brian Robert Burns, Jason Alan Carvell, Todd Cerveris, Michael Wyatt Cox, Grayson DeJesus, Catherine Gowl, Aaron Haskell, Mike Heslin, Jon Hoche, Mat Hostetler,Chad Jennings, Brian Keane, Nathan Koci, Jessica Krueger, Nick LaMedica, Rob Laqui, Megan Loomis, Jason Loughlin, Christopher Mai, Gregory Manley, Andrew May, John Milosich, Alex Morf, Patrick Osteen, Angela Reed, Jon Riddleberger, Lavita Shaurice, Derek Stratton, Andrew Veenstra, and Danny Yoerges.

In addition to Best Play, War Horse received Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play (Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Rae Smith), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Paule Constable), and Best Sound Design of a Play (Christopher Shutt). A Special Tony Award was given to Handspring Puppet Company for their integral work on the production.

War Horse received its world premiere in a limited engagement at the National's Olivier Theatre in London in 2007. The play returned to the National Theatre for a second run playing from in 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End's New London Theatre in spring 2009, where it continues to play an open-ended run.

War Horse began its national tour in June 2012. Seen by over two million people worldwide, War Horse is currently playing at New York's Lincoln Center Theater, in London's West End, and at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre. Future productions of War Horse are planned for Australia, Berlin, and South Africa, as well as a U.K. Tour. For the full tour schedule, please visit

The creative team includes sets, costumes, and drawing design by Rae Smith; puppet design, fabrication and direction by Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company; original lighting by Paule Constable; additional lighting and adaptation by Karen Spahn; movement direction and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick; animation and projection design by 59 Productions; with artistic associate Samuel Adamson and creative associate Mervyn Millar. War Horse features music by Adrian Sutton; songmaking by John Tams; sound by Christopher Shutt; additional sound and adaptation by John Owens; and music direction by Greg Pliska.

The lead producers of the National Tour of War Horse are Bob Boyett and the National Theatre of Great Britain.