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War Horse: Simply Tell a Story


Our team of puppeteers and crew, management and press all converged 4 days ago for a whirlwind tour of the US to promote the West End and Broadway hit War Horse. This is the third leg of a nation wide promotional campaign in which we hit a total of 27 cities to bolster sales for the US tour of the show.

The life of a Broadway performer is a challenging one. The life of touring performer is an extremely challenging one; city to city, planes, buses, hotels, venues, it is easy to get lost and forget where you are and what it is you are doing. But after days like today at the Millennium Park pavilion the answers are all too clear.

After an early morning press event at Windy City Live (the beginning of several 12 hour days of promotion), we made our way over to Millennium park for rehearsals and performance in the Chicago July sun. It is surprisingly rare that performers can take stock of their achievements and appreciate the things they have accomplished; stop and smell the roses as it were. We live in a world where it is easy to get caught up in the grind of the industry and lose touch with why it is we do what we do. Strolling around the 4000-seat amphitheatre admiring its stunning architecture, I couldn’t help but indulge in my sentimental childhood dreams of performing in such a grandiose venue representing a hit Broadway show. A dream of mine was fulfilled today, and in doing so I remembered why it is I do what I do: to connect and share a story. Our story was greeted with open arms not only by the 15.000 audience members of the pavilion, but also by the dozens of performers/directors/crew that shared a piece of their souls on the stage today. The spirit and vitality of the storyteller/audience relationship was palpable in Chicago, and as I sit in my 6-hour bus ride to Columbus to do it all over again (perhaps with a few less than 15.000), I am grateful for the reminder that I had today at the Millennium Park Pavilion: To simply tell a story.

Ariel Heller
Joey Head Puppeteer for WAR HORSE