Ghost River Theatre


Led by Artistic Director Eric Rose, GRT is a devised theatre company that creates, develops and mounts original productions through a significant investment in imaginative research and development. We make our work in a rigorous, supportive collaborative-creation environment that recognizes and utilizes the unique abilities of all participants, premiering our work in Calgary and then touring it nationally and internationally. Our work embraces a hybrid of high tech visual spectacle with low-fi theatrical magic. As Jessica Goldman of CBC Radio stated “…no one is better at mounting a totally unique and exquisitely creative piece of work than Ghost River Theatre.”

Over our 25 year history, our unique creation process has yielded an impressive roster of critically acclaimed productions: Mesa, Eye for an Eye, ONE, The Highest Step in the World, The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst amongst many others. GRT has created and toured some of the most thoughtful, daring, imaginative, and seemingly impossible work that this country has produced.  With a keen desire to create, to engage and to push the boundaries of live performance GRT has established itself firmly as a leader in the Calgary, Alberta, and national cultural ecologies.


Ghost River Theatre is a nationally acclaimed theatre company based in Calgary with a more than 20-year history of daring performance creation. The company began as an ad-hoc group in 1992 with a performance of Lester’s Hat at One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo and became an incorporated company in 1999.  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 WarriorMesa and An Eye for an Eye brought issues of local and national importance to the stage while garnering critical acclaim to the company; opening up both national and international touring opportunities.

When Doug stepped back from the company due to health issues in 2007, incoming Artistic Director Jason Rothery transitioned the company into a new model to lead the company into a sustainable future while continuing to present and create vital new Canadian works.

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’s vision of imaginative storytelling, provocative and challenging creation processes and a focus on strategic planning and administrative excellence would propel GRT beyond its founder.  Under their leadership, the company has embraced and reinterpreted Ghost River’s mandate for highly theatrical creation through such works as The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, ONE, Tomorrow’s Child and The Highest Step in the World.

In 2015, Eric Rose became the sole Artistic Director of Ghost River Theatre after David van Belle stepped-down as Co-Artistic Director to become GRT’s Creator in Residence.  Eric plans on continuing to expand the intellectual, physical and spiritual imagination of devised performance by exploring the full language of the theatre.


For an independent company Ghost River has consistently punched above its weight

21 Betty Mitchell awards, 64 nominations;

39 original productions since 1992;

Appearances at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, High Performance Rodeo, Canada’s National Arts Centre, the Pride of Place Festival (UK), Summerworks National Series and Montreal’s Les 20 jours du theatre a risqué;

Winning 3 Betty Mitchell Awards for Outstanding Production of a Play for The Highest Step in the World (2010), ONE (2011) and The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (2015).

Receiving the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology’s Award of Merit for The Highest Step in the World (2012).

Receiving the Calgary Critics Award for Best Technical Design for Tomorrow’s Child (2014)

Snezana Pesic’s design work for ONE (2011) was selected to represent Canada at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial.

Chosen as the first ever Company-in-Residence at the University of Calgary’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts  (2015-16)

  • These kinds of accomplishments and accolades received by Ghost River Theatre are recognition of a deep ongoing commitment for achieving the highest in artistic excellence.