by Josh Gross
This week, Boise will host a BFD in the theater world: the touring production of the Tony Award-winning drama War Horse.
Aside from winning fancy theater awards, the show is also the most successful stage play in the history of London's National Theatre, having been seen by more than 2 million people.
“None of us ever dreamed that [War Horse] would be a show that would play at theaters all over the world,” said Chris Harper, who produced the show for the National Theatre. “It was set out to be a seasonal show that played at the National Theatre at Christmas.”
To take the show on the road, it had to be completely restaged, which was no small feat for a show with a cast of 38, including a dazzlingly realistic series of life-size horse puppets. And that restaging took place at the Morrison Center in Boise, where the cast and crew have been hard at work tweaking and reblocking the show for the last month.
The reason all that is such a BFD is that when War Horse opens for preview Wednesday, June 6, Boise will be the first audience to see the new version.
In this week's issue, Boise Weekly will look at what it took to bring the show to life, both here and in its original run. One of the people we talked to for that article was Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, who helped design the puppets.
In the below video, Kohler discusses how the evolving field of animal psychology influenced the design of the puppets and how they communicate without using words.
After watching the video, those interested in catching the show before it zooms off for its national tour should get on it quick. Though there are a few scattered singles available for the shows on Thursday, June 7, Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, The Morrison Center said those days are pretty much sold out. However, there are tickets still available for opening night, Wednesday, June 6.
Tickets run $45-$75 and are available at idahotickets.com.