Behind the scenes

The illusion of Joey

Hanging motionless backstage, the puppet star of “War Horse” looks vaguely equine, like framework on which someone plans to build an animal. But the preening, snorting, galloping Joey that bursts onstage is, without question, a horse. “I think part of what’s special about puppets is that you’re working with a thing that is dead, and you have to struggle every second on the stage to make it live,” said Basil Jones, executive producer of Handspring Puppet Co., which created all the show’s puppets. “You’ve got to be convinced in the beginning, and that’s the hard part,” said Adrian Kohler, Handspring’s artistic director and Jones’s partner of 41 years. Here is a look at Joey and the puppeteers who bring him to life.

Here’s the interactive graphic, and the first and second print spreads.

Also see Alberto Cuadra’s sketches in this gallery.

The illusion of Joey
Hanging motionless backstage, the puppet star of “War Horse” looks vaguely equine, like framework on which someone plans to build an animal. But the preening, snorting, galloping Joey that bursts onstage is, without question, a horse. “I think part of what’s special about puppets is that you’re working with a thing that is dead, and you have to struggle every second on the stage to make it live,” said Basil Jones, executive producer of Handspring Puppet Co., which created all the show’s puppets. “You’ve got to be convinced in the beginning, and that’s the hard part,” said Adrian Kohler, Handspring’s artistic director and Jones’s partner of 41 years. Here is a look at Joey and the puppeteers who bring him to life.
Here’s the interactive graphic, and the first and second print spreads.
Also see Alberto Cuadra’s sketches in this gallery.