What do you do when you can’t go down the same way that you came up?

“Captivating, entertaining, and enthralling the entire time.”—Calgary Sun 

The Highest Step in the World is a new solo performance that integrates video projection and flying technology in a mythology about the necessity of risk. The play weaves together three storylines--the true story of Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger, who skydived to earth from the edge of space on August 16, 1960, the true story of Vesna Vulovic, the Serbian airline stewardess who fell 33,000 and survived after the plane she was on was bombed, and the mythical story of Icarus and his loving father Daedalus. You know how that one goes. 

Created in association with Alberta Theatre Projects.

Premiered:  February 20, 2010 at Alberta Theatre Projects’ Enbridge PlayRites Festival


Outstanding Production,  2015 Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards

 Outstanding Projection Design, 2015 Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards

Technical Merit Award, The Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology, 2012

Outstanding Production of a Play, 2011 Betty Mitchell Awards

Outstanding Choreography or Fight Direction, 2011 Betty Mitchell Awards

Nomination-Outstanding New Play, 2011 Betty Mitchell Awards

Nomination-Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Dramatic Role (David van Belle), 2011 Betty Mitchell Awards

Nomination-Outstanding Sound Design (Ben Chaisson), 2011 Betty Mitchell Awards

Short List-Gwen Pharis Ringwood Prize 2011 for Playwriting (David van Belle and Eric Rose)


Performed by David van Belle

Text: Eric Rose and David van Belle

Direction: Eric Rose

Dramaturgy: Vicki Stroich

Set, Costume and Lighting Design: Ami Farrow

Projection and Sound Design: Ben Chaisson

Motion Graphics Design: Court Brinsmead

Flying Direction: Adrian Young

Flying Assistance: Chris McPherson and Michael King

Vocal Coaching: Jane MacFarlane

Stage Managment: Joanne P.B. Smith

Technical Director: Wladimiro A. Woyno Rodriguez

Photgraphy: Aldona Barutowicz, Anton de Groot, Ami Farrow

Praise for the Highest Step in the world

“Exceptionally well-acted.”  Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail.

“...suffice it to say that little local theatre company Ghost River creates flight in this production that puts the most cash-infused performance of Peter Pan, Spiderman or Cirque du Soleil to shame…. The stories are unique, van Belle’s performance is strong, the writing, direction, sound, set design, graphics and video projection are all fantastic (kudos to the whole crew) and for me it was a mind-bendingly good way to spend 75 minutes of my time.” Jessica Goldman, CBC Radio Reviewer

“...a finely crafted piece of both theatre and art unlike anything I have ever seen or felt.” Craig Palmer - Avenue Magazine

“Ghost River specializes in original work. They research and create the plays from scratch, workshop them with a creative and resourceful production team, and refine the spoken language with a good dramaturg, Vicki Stroich. The results pay off with hypnotic storytelling, interesting visuals and a longstanding sense of satisfaction when the show is finished.”  Calgary Culture Blogger Simone Keiran

“The Highest Step in the World is one wonderful step for Rose and van Belle, and one giant leap for Calgary theatre ... –Drew Anderson, FFWD Magazine