A chemical engineer based in Spring, TX, Don Pferdehirt earned degrees from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Houston. Donald Lee Pferdehirt draws on over three decades of experience as the president of ChemOps Insights LLC. The consulting firm specializes in helping companies design, staff, and operate chemical facilities. Aside from his professional endeavors, Don Pferdehirt enjoys the theater.
War Horse is one of many significant plays introduced in the 21st century. Adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s novel by playwright Nick Stafford, War Horse explores the relationship between animals and humans against the backdrop of World War I. The play opened to significant acclaim at the UK’s National Theatre in 2007 and has since been produced in 11 countries.
The play centers around Joey, a horse that was requisitioned by the British army to serve in the calvary during World War I. Much beloved by his owner Alfred, Joey is thrust into circumstances that include being captured by Germans and a devastating period of loneliness while trapped in no man’s land. Though officially too young to enlist in the army, Alfred becomes a soldier with a personal mission to find Joey.
Imaginative and inventive, War Horse allows the personality of the animals to shine. Though they don’t have an official voice, the horses become the main characters of the play as they effectively communicate emotions such as curiosity, contentment, and fear. This is made possible by talented puppeteers who operate intricate puppets developed by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company. The life size puppets, made of cane, gauze, and wire, feature glass eyes that seem to come to life under the lights of the stage.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, a special performance of War Horse was presented to an audience of servicemen and veterans at the National Theater.