YYScene, by Lori Montgomery:
“This is everything I love about theatre…”
“Ghost River Theatre’s Giant (is) a poignant, passionate and energetic look at larger-than-life actor and wrestler Andre the Giant.”
“…the concept is executed with passion and energy that makes it impossible to look away.”
Jonathan Love, on CBC Radio’s Eye Opener (Calgary)
“…what I appreciated was the creators’ ability to give it the time and the space that it needed, and the full force of the entire team’s creativity to find the right way to tell the story.”
by Louis. B. Hobson, Calgary Herald
"From concept to execution, Ghost River Theatre’s Giant is an awe-inspiring achievement."
MARCH 12th - 24TH 2019
How do you become the eighth wonder of the world?
Giant by David van Belle and Eric Rose. Puppets, Set and Props by Robert Leveroos. Costumes by Patrick Du Wors. Lights and Sound by Anton De Groot. Ensemble featured in photos: Jamie Konchak, Geneviève Paré, Makambe K Simamba, Jamie Tognazzini and Morgan Yamada. Photos by Tim Ngyuen Citrus Photography.
Check out our Show Program HERE
“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 is the amazing story of professional wrestler André the Giant, one of the most recognizable and beloved public figures ever, told from the perspective of the one person he left behind.
Packed with captivating imagery, animated objects, and the raw spectacle of a wrestling match, GIANT unfolds as a boisterous alternative to the traditional bio-pic. A cast of five women tells the story with a raucous high theatricality that bodyslams professional wrestling’s hyper-masculine culture. Ghost River’s trademark collaborative approach to theatre means that design, direction, script and performance all work together to stage an unstageable protagonist (7’4” and 520 pounds!), using the language of theatrical scale to express the extraordinary life of a person of extraordinary size.
GIANT makes full use of the inherent theatricality of professional wrestling, bringing an audience ringside while they simultaneously discover the details of André’s giant-sized life. The show traces his discovery in France by Québécois promoter Frank Valois, his early days at the Montréal Forum and his rise to superstardom in the coke-and-cable-tv-fuelled early days of the World Wrestling Federation. It also examines his struggles with acromegaly—a form of gigantism that made him a spectacle, destroyed his body, and drove him to alcoholism and an early death.
Created in a city with deep roots in the culture of professional wrestling, 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.
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 at the Grand Theatre as part of the Festival of Animated Objects March 12-24th, 2019.
Information on content/experience warnings is available in advance of the show. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org obtain an email copy of applicable warnings for GIANT, or refer to the information physically posted at the box office and entrance of the venue.
Co-Creators / Playwrights: David van Belle and Eric Rose
Director: Eric Rose
Puppets, Sets & Props Designed by: Robert Leveroos
Costumes Designed by: Patrick Du Wors
Lights & Sound Designed By: Anton deGroot
Fight Director / Wrestling Choreographer: Brianna Johnston
Stage Manager: Sara Turner
Assistant Stage Manager: Meredith Johnson
Dramaturg: Vicki Stroich
Puppet Consultant / Coach: Peter Balkwill
Assistant Director: Lindsey Zess
Co-Technical Director: Mark Eugster
Co-Technical Director: Kathryn Smith
Puppet Builder: Stephanie Elgersma
Puppet Builder: Juanita Dawn
70’s Strut Choreographer: Deanne Walsh
Production Assistant: Michael Luong
Acting Ensemble (in alphabetical order):
Makambe K Simamba
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 Cameron Clowe, Pamela Lang, Calgary Boxing Club, Cody Stadel, Marc Lavalee, Long Grass Studios, Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Christie Offer, Ian La Couvee, The Festival of Animated Objects, Pete Balkwill, Stone Cook, Gwen Murray, Kelly Phelan, Cimmeron Myer, Loft 112, George Wowk, Vanessa Sabourin , Saori Daiju, Danijel Margetic, Vertigo Theatre, CYPT, Green Fools Theatre, West Village Theatre, Norcal Group, UofC / SCPA, "The Weirdo Hero" Randy Myers, Catherine Power, Lindsey Miller,Dylan Miller, Mike Kovac, Louise Casemore, Savannah Harvey, Doug Curtis, Lisa Roberts (UofC), Laura Anderson, Antoine Pare-Poirier, Lauren Acheson, Harry X. Lin, Jamie Tognazzini, The Calgary Boxing Club