How do you become the eighth wonder of the world?



“There is no more a problem of truth in wrestling than in the theater.” ROLAND BARTHES: From “The World of Wrestling” (1957)

From the minds behind The Highest Step in the World, Tomorrow’s Child and The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst comes a new show of epic proportions.  GIANT tells the amazing story of professional wrestler Andre the Giant, one of the most recognizable and beloved public figures ever.

Packed with captivating and surprising theatrical imagery, GIANT unfolds as a boisterous alternative to the bio-pic.  Creators David van Belle and Eric Rose have chosen to stage an unstageable protagonist—7’4” and 520 pounds—by creating the show with a cast of five women, in which theatrical scale becomes the language with which to express a the extraordinary life of a man of extraordinary size.  

The play makes full use of the inherent theatricality of professional wrestling, bringing an audience ringside to experience the raw physicality of a match, while they simultaneously discover the details of Andre’s giant sized life. Created for a city with deep roots in the culture of professional wrestling (Stampede Wrestling, the Hart family), GIANT is a show designed to engage both wrestling aficionados and those who knew him only as the beloved giant Fezzik in Rob Reiner’s classic film, The Princess Bride.  The show tracks his discovery in France by Quebecois promoter Frank Valois, his early days at Montreal’s Forum and his rise to superstardom in the coke-and-cable-tv-fuelled early days of the World Wrestling Federation.

Oh, and there’s also the true story of him being driven to school as a boy by Samuel Beckett.

Recipient of the New Chapter grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. In development during the 17/18 season.

Premiering March 2019 in Calgary.


Co-Creators / Playwrights: David van Belle and Eric Rose

Director: Eric Rose

Dramaturg: Vicki Stroich

Puppet / Set Designer:  Robert Leveroos

Sound / Lighting Designer:  Anton deGroot

Costume Designer:  Patrick Du Wors

Puppet Consultant / Coach:  Peter Balkwill

Fight Director / Wrestling Choreographer Brianna Johnston 

Apprentice Director  Lindsey Zess-Funk

Intern Puppet Builder:  Andy Brown

GRT Artistic Intern / Graphic Design: Savanna Harvey

Workshop Stage Manager:  Beth Grieve

Rehearsal / Production Stage Manager: Sara Turner

Acting Ensemble:

Jamie Tognazzini

Geneviève Paré

Jamie Konchak

Makambe Simamba

Morgan Yamada