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The Dead Wrestler


An adaptation of the book of poems by Todd Kaneko, The Dead Wrestler follows Kal Harmon and his father, Gene: two men with a deep love of pro wrestling and a growing mutual resentment that began when Kal's mother, Gene's wife, walked out on them almost twenty years ago. Since her disappearance, the two have been searching unsuccessfully for news of the missing matriarch, and are on the verge of giving up. But when Kal comes home for Gene's birthday and announces his engagement to a woman Gene has never met, the two are forced to confront years of built up frustration and unresolved abandonment issues, all through the lens of their interactions with famous dead wrestlers.


  • A wacky, surreal tale about love, toxicity, and misguided masculinity.

  • Influences include: True West, The Baltimore Waltz, Professional Wrestling and Grunge Music.

  • Characters include fictionalized versions of real professional wrestlers: Owen Hart, Sputnik Monroe, Macho Man Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth, and others.

  • Cast requirements: Two male, and one (or more) versatile. I encourage casting female, non-binary, and/or trans actor(s) for the fluid role of The Dead Wrestler.


You can learn more about the work of Todd Kaneko at his website:


Art Credit: Mary Jackson

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