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- fueled 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.

Proud recipient of the New Chapter grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Premiering in Calgary as part of the Festival of Animated Objects March 13-24th, 2019.


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

Director: Eric Rose

Stage Manager: Sara Turner

Assistant Stage Manager: Meredith Johnson

Dramaturg: Vicki Stroich

Puppet / Set Designer:  Robert Leveroos

Sound / Lighting Designer:  Anton deGroot

Costume Designer:  Patrick Du Wors

Fight Director / Wrestling Choreographer: Brianna Johnston

Puppet Consultant / Coach:  Peter Balkwill

Apprentice Director:  Lindsey Zess-Funk

Production Manager and Technical Director: Marc Lavallee

Puppet Builder: Stephanie Elgersma

Puppet Builder: Juanita Dawn

70’s Strut Choreographer:  Deanne Walsh

Acting Ensemble:

Jamie Tognazzini

Geneviève Paré

Jamie Konchak

Makambe Simamba

Morgan Yamada

Additional Credits for the May 2018 Workshop:

Production Manager and Technical Director: Thomas Geddes

Stage Manager:  Beth Grieve

Assistant Stage Manager: Michael Luong

Lighting Programmer / Operator / Crew:  Patrick Fitzsimmons 

GRT Artistic Intern / Graphic Design: Savanna Harvey

Puppet Builder Intern: Andy Brown

Workshop Photo’s by Tim Nguyen / Citrus Photography

Special Thanks to the Calgary Boxing Club