Determined Performance

Acting – check. Acrobatics – yup. Puppetry – you betcha. When it comes to the world of performing arts, it seems there isn’t much Jessica Krueger can’t do. Thanks to her diverse skill-set, she earned a role in the Broadway Tour hit War Horse. A native of Canton, Mich., Krueger grew up around the arts and it didn’t take her long to realize it was something she wanted to pursue. “At the age of 4 I knew I wanted to be an actress,” Krueger said. “I used to memorize scenes from books that my parents read to me and I would recite them to my babysitters. They thought I could read, but I really couldn’t (laughs).” This desire to perform steadily increased by the time she reached high school. When deciding on what college to attend one thing was clear — she wasn’t going to stop pursuing performing arts. This stipulation led to Indiana University where she studied anthropology, and of course, theater. After graduating she took her talents to New York City. “Some people get lucky and land roles early on, but most struggle to get by when starting out …I had the stereotypical waitress job during the day to help make ends meet,” Krueger said. After learning the art of puppetry in Portland, Ore., her big break came when she was offered to be a puppeteer for War Horse. The play is set during World War I and is about a boy named Albert and his horse, Joey. Joey is sequestered into battle without Albert’s permission, and the story follows Albert as he experiences the atrocities of war while Joey tirelessly searches for him. “I was one of 12 puppeteers for the ‘big’ horses — Joey and his friend, Topthorn,” Krueger said. “It was quite a remarkable opportunity.” The tour was Krueger’s first. “Going from hotel to hotel is different,” she added. It’s very cool, though. I get to see a lot of places I’ve never seen.” Although her tour is over with War Horse, she said she is back on the search for upcoming shows. But, with an attitude like hers it probably won’t be for long. “It comes down to how passionate you are, the amount of work you put in and having the conviction to see things through. I have a strong Midwestern work ethic, and I think that has played a big part in my success.” See War Horse at the Wharton Center Dec. 5 to 9. For more info visit

Tags: performance, War Horse, wharton center

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