By Andrew Gans
and Adam Hetrick
04 Sep 2012
At time of closing, the production will have played 718 performances and 33 previews.
“It has been our great honor and pleasure to help bring War Horse to Broadway,” said André Bishop, artistic director of Lincoln Center Theater, in a statement. "War Horse is that rare play that brings joy to everyone it touches- from the most avid theatergoers to children, seeing their first Broadway show. There are few theatrical experiences that can be categorized as truly magical and everyone at LCT is thrilled to have been a part of this one.”
“From its earliest days at the National Theatre workshop, War Horse has been a very special and unique project,” added Nick Starr, executive director of the National Theatre of Great Britain. “Its journey from a rehearsal space to the National Theatre stage to Tony Award-winning play and international sensation has been thrilling and unprecedented. In 2013, War Horse will launch productions in Australia and Berlin, plus a UK tour, and planning is already underway for engagements in Asia and South Africa. I think it’s safe to say this show’s journey is far from over.”
“Working with these two great theatres to bring a once-in-a-generation theatrical experience to Broadway is, for me, a source of deep personal pride and a highlight in my career,” added producer Bob Boyett. "War Horse is theatre at its best: magical, moving, and invigorating. I’m so grateful to have been a part of bringing such an inspired and inspiring piece of theatre to New York.”
Lincoln Center Theater aligned with the National Theatre of Great Britain and producer Boy Boyett to import War Horse. It continues to play a celebrated West End run. The Broadway production earned five 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Direction.
War Horse features a series of life-sized equestrian puppets, which have the capability of strikingly lifelike movement. Each evocative creature (created by Handspring Puppet Company) is manipulated by an on-stage crew of three puppeteers who give life to a horse named Joey, as he grows from a skittish foal into a full-grown horse.
Here's how LCT bills the work: "At the outbreak of World War I, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Joey is soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a mission to find his horse and bring him home."
The production features designs by Rae Smith and original puppet design and construction by Adrian Kohler, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler; video designers are Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer; and songs are by John Tams. The production has music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.
War Horse began performances in October 2007 at the National's Olivier Theatre where it continued in repertory for a sold-out run through March 2009. The production transferred to the West End's New London Theatre March 28, 2009. Stephen Spielberg's film adaptation of the novel debuted in December.