Ghost River Theatre

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Ghost River Theatre is a Calgary-based devised creation company, founded in 1992 by Doug Curtis. Its current artistic directors are David van Belle and Eric Rose.

Poster image for the premiere production at Alberta Theatre Projects

Current Project

The company is currently creating a new signature show, The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst with Alberta Theatre Projects, which will premiere on February 28 as part of Alberta Theatre Projects' 2014-2015 season [1].

Mission Statement

Ghost River’s artistic mission is to approach performance creation in the spirit of collaboration, creating and presenting original Canadian theatre that is innovative, accessible and highly theatrical. The company's productions address challenging contemporary and topical issues and themes, while emphasizing the personal, human experience.


The company began as an ad-hoc group in 1992. In the summer of 1999, GRT was incorporated as a non-profit society, and established a Board of Directors. Under the visional leadership of its founder Doug Curtis, Ghost River quickly established itself as a social and political provocateur creating boundary-defying performance theatre in Canada. Seminal shows like The Carrot Warrior, Mesa and An Eye for an Eye brought issues of local and national importance to the stage while garnering critical acclaim for the company; opening up both national and international touring opportunities.

Curtis began a transition away from the company beginning in 2006 due to health problems. In 2007 artistic associate Jason Rothery took over as the company's second artistic director, presiding over shows such as Politiko and a co-production with Alberta Theatre Projects and The Only Animal entitled Nix. He left to join Toronto's Soulpepper Academy.

In 2009, David van Belle and Eric Rose were appointed as Co-Artistic Directors with a mandate to reinvigorate the organization and establish a clear artistic and administrative structure. Van Belle and Rose implemented an aesthetic vision of imaginative storytelling and provocative and challenging creation processes, resulting in such landmark shows as The Highest Step in the World, Reverie and Everything Is Terribly Nice Here.

Production History

  • Tomorrow's Child, Calgary, March 2014
    • Calgary remount (as part of Beakerhead), September 2014
  • Everything is Terribly Nice Here, Calgary, December 2012
  • ONE (initially produced with RedtoBlue Performance), Calgary, December 2011
    • Toronto ON, SummerWorks Festival, August 2012
    • Burnaby BC, Shadboldt Centre for the Arts, March 2013
    • Victoria BC, Belfry Theatre, March 2013
  • Reverie, Calgary, May, 2011
  • The Highest Step in the World (co-presented with Alberta Theatre Projects Calgary, February 20-March 7, 2010
    • Calgary Remount, November 2011
    • St. Albert AB, Arden Theatre, January 2012
    • Richmond BC, Gateway Theatre, October 2013
    • Saskatoon SK, Persephone Theatre, October/November 2014
  • Pack of Lies, Calgary, October 15-24, 2009
  • Something to do With Death (co-presented with Invisible Elephant Performance) Calgary, June 20-28, 2009
  • NiX (co-presented with Alberta Theatre Projects and The Only Animal) Calgary, February 6-March 8, 2009
  • Double Solo: Motel Years and Effable, Calgary, September 8-27, 2008
  • Politiko, Calgary, May 8-17, 2009
  • DOOM 2012: When Will YOU Flee?, Calgary, February 14-23, 2009
  • Double Solo: Iraq and Back and My Autopsy, Calgary, November 8-24, 2007
  • Confessions of a Paperboy, Calgary, April 1-15, 2007
    • Vancouver, The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, December 9-14, 2008
  • While My Mother Lay Dreaming, Edmonton, October 12-29, 2006 (co-production with Shadow Theatre), Calgary, February 1-17, 2007
  • Alan Parkinson’s Project, Calgary, May 10-June 26, 2006
  • Dig, Calgary, April 27-May 7, 2006
  • Sailor Boy, Calgary, Oct. 19-30, 2005
  • An Eye for an Eye, Calgary, October 17th and 18th, 2006
    • Produced and presented by CBC Radio
    • Alberta Scene/National Arts Centre, May 2005
    • Theatre Network/Edmonton, Feb. 2003
    • Edmonton Fringe Festival, August 2002
  • X-Ray, Calgary, September 8 – 26, 2004
  • I Love Mondays, Calgary, June 16 – 27, 2004
  • Picnic, Calgary, April 28 – May 9, 2004
  • Photo Double, High Performance Rodeo, Calgary, January 2001
  • Venus Rising, Calgary, June 2000
    • Edmonton Fringe Festival, 2001
  • Mesa, High Performance Rodeo, Calgary, January 2000
    • Vancouver, November, 2006, Presentation House Theatre.
    • England, March/April, 2006 International tour to the United Kingdom (The Pride of Place Festival in Ipswich and Woodridge)
    • Lethbridge, January, 2006, Showcase at the University of Lethbridge
    • Magnetic North Festival/Ottawa, June 2005
    • Ghost River Revival/Calgary, December 2004
    • Southern Ontario Tour, August 2001
  • The Carrot Warrior Seminar, Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1997
    • High Performance Rodeo, Calgary 1998
    • Eastern Front Theatre, Halifax, 1999
  • Paranormal, Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1995
    • High Performance Rodeo, Calgary 1996
    • Les 20 jours du theatre a risque, Montreal, 1996
    • Vancouver Fringe Festival, 1998
  • The Cruise, High Performance Rodeo, Calgary 1993
    • National Fringe Tour, 1994
    • Alberta Tour, 1995
    • Radio broadcast on CBC Radio, Calgary, 1993
  • Lester’s Hat, High Performance Rodeo, Calgary 1992
    • Whitehorse International Storytelling Festival, 1992
    • National Storytelling Festival, Toronto, 1992
    • Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1994