How do you become the eighth wonder of the world?


About

“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 WorldTomorrow’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.


CREDITS

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

Director: Eric Rose

Puppets, Sets & Props Designed by:  Robert Leveroos

Lights & Sound Designed By:  Anton deGroot

Costumes Designed by:  Patrick Du Wors

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
 

Acting Ensemble (in alphabetical order):

Jamie Konchak

Geneviève Paré

Makambe Simamba

Jamie Tognazzini

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, Cameron Clowe, Long Grass Studios, Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Christie Offer and Magpie Exchange Arts Management, Ian La Couvee, Calgary Young Peoples Theatre, Loft 112, The Festival of Animated Objects, Gwen Murray, Kelly Phelan, Cimmeron Myers, Bob Davis, Gary Miller, West Village Theatre Society, Adam Langevin, Cody Stadel, Marc Lavalee, Ken Harder, Carmen Davis, George Wowk, Vanessa Sabourin, Sentinel Storage

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In a partnership with Inside Out Theatre's Good Host Program Ghost River Theatre is pleased to offer an AUDIO DESCRIBED and TOUCH TOUR performance of GIANT on Thursday March 21. For more information and to book your headset contact col@insideouttheatre.com.