“War Horse” partners with Liberty Memorial in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The World War I Museum announced a special collaboration on Wednesday with the hit Broadway play “War Horse.” The show is coming to Kansas City next year during the 100th anniversary of World War I.

A massive horse puppet was used to announce the special partnership between the play and the Liberty Memorial on Wednesday. It's a unique creation, made in South Africa and created out of cane, fabric and resin.  It takes three people – two inside the puppet and one on the outside o- to make Joey, the star of the show War Horse, seem so real.

"It is absolutely unique and what’s amazing about it is what these actors breathe into this puppet to bring it to life," said Scott Tucker, War Horse representative.

The assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 sparked World War I, and it didn’t end until 1919. Millions died, along with thousands of horses. The play War Horse tells the story of the Great War from the eyes of a horse, as both sides use him to further their cause.

"I think Joey is a symbol," said Dr. Mary Cohen, WWI board of trustees. "Joey is more than just a horse, a puppet, a Tony award winner, it’s more than that. I think Joey represents the nine million people who didn’t come home from World War I, whom we are the keeper of their souls."

War Horse began as a book and the play won five Tony Awards in 2011.  The show comes to Kansas City next year during the centennial of the Great War. With no one who fought in that war alive today, Museum officials are glad War Horse, like the museum, continues to tell the story of what happened back then.

"Joey represents the decisions that were made as a result of the war, but Joey also represents hope, and hope for the future, and that’s what we’re all about here," Cohen said.

War Horse will be in Kansas City in April and between now and then, staff at the WWI Museum hope it continues to drum up interest in the history of the war and the importance of the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

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