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A Teacher’s Field Trip: When Charity Met War Horse’s Joey

Charity Kinneer and her son Caleb at the meet and greet for "War Horse."
Charity Kinneer and her son Caleb at the meet and greet for "War Horse."

Over the weekend our guest teacher blogger Charity Kinneer and her son, Caleb joined us for a unique and exclusive field trip: a meet and greet with the star of the show “War Horse” - "Joey" the puppet horse.

The show is coming to Atlanta in September as part of its national tour.

As Charity is a high school reading teacher and has taught literature previously we knew she would appreciate this trip since “War Horse is based on the children’s book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo. The story is about World War I told through the eyes of a horse.

“Joey” is not an ordinary sock puppet horse. He and the other horses in the show are life size handspring aluminum based puppets operated by actors inside and outside of the frame.

Take a look at the video Charity took of “Joey”.

This is an example of engineering and theater arts at its most creative. There are multiple ways to use video of the show and other resources to get students excited about engineering, history or literature. Here are some resources created by the show production.

Some War Horse Facts:

1.) Puppets are made by Britain’s Handspring Puppet company that created “Tall Horse” - a play about giraffes.

2.) It takes three puppeteers to operate the horse - one handles the tail and backside, one handles the torso and another handles the head.

3.) The puppet is made partly of aluminum, cane and wood.

4.) The puppets are made in South Africa.

5.) It takes approximately 40 minutes to assemble the horses.

6.) The puppeteers make all of the horse noises.

7.) The horse is 160 lbs and must support a human rider.

More video from the preview.

How Joey Moves

How the Puppeteers Make Joey's Sounds