The youngest of theatergoers will find some of “War Horse” too intense. Little is left to the imagination by the original directors Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris — whose work has been re-created for the tour by Bijan Sheibani — in the sights and sounds of trench warfare, and the brutal treatment of horse and human alike. For the rest of the family, though, “War Horse” is the kind of event that can awaken the consciousness to a surprising wealth of genius in live theater, the sort that will have kids — and even some adults — dying to know what else they have been missing.
Adapted by Nick Stafford from Michael Morpurgo’s novel. Directed by Bijan Sheibani, based on original direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. Horse movement, Toby Sedgwick; puppet design, Handspring Puppet Company; sets and costumes, Rae Smith; lighting, Paule Constable; projections, 59 Productions; songs, John Tams; sound Christopher Shutt; music director, Greg Pliska. With Nathan Koci, Michael Wyatt Cox, Megan Loomis, Lavita Shaurice, Alex Morf. About 2½ hours. Through Nov. 11 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Visit www.kennedy-center.org or call 202-467-4600.