The Bible in two hours
The Big Picture has generation X approach

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald, February 4, 2012

The Bible in two hours? An ambitious project and Calgary’s Fire Exit Theatre is bringing the production to the city.

The Big Picture, written by Toronto playwright Dennis Hassell, is an epic drama that tells the story of God’s relationship to humankind. It follows God’s promises from creation to the gospels to Revelation.

“The Big Picture is almost apocalyptic. It has a strong generation X overtone, portraying people with an urban-tribe approach to life,” says Val Lieske, the artistic director for Fire Exit Theatre.

The production is taking place Wednesday to Feb. 12 at the Engineered Air Theatre at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, with nightly performances at 7: 30 p.m. and a Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale by e-mailing or online at

Lieske says that in 2002 the production of The Big Picture toured across Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Bible Society, in 26 cities with 31 performances.

Lieske co-ordinated the tour when it came across Alberta, which brought its biggest crowds. “People love this show,” she says. “There is something very raw and authentic of the way these Bible stories are told. It’s a fastmoving show and for me, it really connected the dots.

“I saw the Bible as not just a series of stories, but one big narrative. It’s powerful to take a step back and look at the Bible as a love story. It’s the story of the Creator pursuing His creation. We can miss that when we only see snippets of scripture on PowerPoint every Sunday or when we simply read paragraphs at a time. It’s all connected; one beautiful story.

“This is a fresh, new production of the show, powered by my friends at The Arts Engine. I can’t wait to get them back on my stage. These are performers that take their craft and their calling very seriously.”

Lieske says The Arts Engine powers professional Christian artists and arts projects into action, connecting artists with communities to inspire, challenge and encourage the world around them through meaningful arts experiences.

For more info contact Tom Carson at or 416-937-6102.