The Play:Dreamland Saturday Nights was first produced by Shadow Theatre, Edmonton, in 1998. Read a preview article about that production, including an interview with playwright David Belke, here.
David Belke is an Alberta-based playwright, actor, producer, and designer born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 11, 1960. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Ed. where he also studied stage design.
He has written over 30 plays which have been presented across Canada, as well as in England, Northern Ireland, and the United States. His first play, Swordplay (1990) was just the first of his works to be premiered, each year, at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.
Since 1995 he has been playwright-in-residence and producer for Edmonton's Shadow Theatre. He performs with Theatresports and acts in Die-Nasty, a weekly, live soap opera which has been running for 15 years. As an actor he has appeared frequently in the Fringe Festival, and on stages in Edmonton (e.g. Tom Stoppard's Rough Crossing at the Varscona Theatre in 1999). He directs the annual Soap-a-thon which runs 52 hours at the Varscona Theatre in Edmonton. He also serves as the Edmonton Liaison for the Alberta Playwrights Network.
His plays include: Becoming Sharp (Shadow Theatre 2005, dir. Kim McCaw); Between Yourself and Me (Edmonton Fringe 2001, dir. Glenn Nelson); Ten Times Two (Edmonton Fringe 1999, dir. James
DeFelice , revived at Shadow Theatre 2006); The Minor Keys (Varscona Theatre 1999, dir. John Hudson); Dreamland Saturday Nights (Edmonton Fringe 1998, dir. Hudson, winner of the Sterling Award); That Darn Plot (Edmonton Fringe 1998, dir. de Felice, revived at Shadow Theatre 2003); The Red King's Dream (Edmonton Fringe 1996, dir. John Sproule, revived at Shadow Theatre, 1999); The Crimson Yak (with music and lyrics by Paul Morgan Donald, Shadow Theatre 1996, dir. Hudson); Another Two Hander or Two (Edmonton Fringe 1995, dir. Hudson); April in Peril (with Paul Morgan Donald, Edmonton Fringe 1994, dir. Hudson); Blackpool and Parrish (Edmonton Fringe 1993, dir. Hudson, winner of the Sterling Award for outstanding new work); The Reluctant Resurrection of Sherlock Holmes (Edmonton Fringe 1992, dir. Hudson, revived at Mayfield Dinner Theatre 2005); The Maltese Bodkin (Edmonton Fringe 1991, dir. Patricia Stiles).
The Minor Keys is published by NeWest Press (2000). Both That Darn Plot and Blackpool and Parrish are published by Samuel French. Belke was the recipient of the Samuel French Inc. Canadian Playwrights Award for That Darn Plot in 2000. In 2004 he received the City of Edmonton's Salute to Excellence Award for Artistic Achievement.
David Belke has been called by Edmonton's Vue magazine "one of the most accomplished playwrights in [the city]." His comedies sympathetically scrutinize the foibles of human nature, and often have a strong moral underpinning which informs the confusions of his characters. His familiarity with and love for Shakespeare are apparent in his satiric spoofs on the complexities and absurdities of Shakespeare's plots and characters: in The Maltese Bodkin the characters from Richard III are transplanted to a 'B-movie' private-eye scenario. Belke has written two 'apocalypse' plays: Blackpool and Parrish, in which personifications of good and evil play a game of chess to determine the fate of humanity; and Riders of the Apocalypse (The Reunion Tour), a sequel in which Death has some reservations about her profession. In Another Two Hander or Two Belke turns a rehearsal of Bernard Shaw's Village Wooing into a comedy which replicates the confusions of Shaw's characters. In That Darn Plot, a playwright is haunted by the characters he has created from his personal life as he struggles to write one more play. Ten Times Two is a moral sex fable which tracks a relationship through 500 years of encounters.