David van Belle

See more of David's work at davidvanbelle.com

Born in Amsterdam and raised all over Canada, David van Belle is an Alberta-based playwright, director, and performer with a passion for devised creation.  He recently completed a seven-year stint as co-Artistic Director of Ghost River Theatre, a title he shared with his pal Eric Rose, and continues with the company as its Creator-in-Residence.  He is currently the 2017 Writer-in-Residence for the Edmonton Public Library system.  David came to Calgary in 1999 to complete his MFA in directing at the University of Calgary, after completing his MA in Drama at the University of Guelph and spending three years as part of the creative ensemble of Kitchener’s Theatre & Company.  He spent seven years as part of the ensemble of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre and was a part of the creation of such works as Dream Machine, Somalia Yellow, Sylvia Plath Must Not Die, In Klezkavania, and many others.  While working for the Rabbits David toured to such theatres as Amsterdam’s Frascati Theatre, Berlin’s Hebbel Am Ufer, Glasgow's Tron Theatre and the Ponec Theatre in Prague.  David left the Rabbits in 2007 to go freelance, and served as playwright-in-residence at Alberta Theatre Projects between 2007 and 2010, a job he returned to in 2014-2015.

Recent creations include Buzz Job!  The True Story of Cal Cavendish, created with Kris Demeanor, a collective creation entitled The Invisible Project, created in a month of residency at Calgary’s largest homeless shelter, and Garden Cities of To-Morrow, created with Alberta singer/songwriter Lullaby Baxter.  All three of these projects were presented at One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo between 2008-2010.  In February 2010, The Highest Step in the World, created with Eric Rose, premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects’ PlayRites Festival.  Ghost River Theatre premiered his play Everything Is Terribly Nice Here in December 2012.  In February/March 2015 he and Rose premiered their latest creation, The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, at Alberta Theatre Projects.

In 2013-2014, David created a new show, Of Fighting Age, with Col Cseke and Christopher Duthie for Verb Theatre and the High Performance Rodeo, and taught devised creation at the University of Alberta.  His new play, Liberation Days, set in the Netherlands in the weeks following its liberation at the end of WWII, was produced at Theatre Calgary and Western Canada Theatre as part of their 2014-2015 seasons.

David has been the recipient of the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award (2007, as part of the One Yellow Rabbit Ensemble), Betty Mitchell Award nominations for best new play (2004, 2010) best actor (2010) and was awarded the Betty Mitchell for Outstanding Production of a Play for The Highest Step in the World (2010).  The Highest Step in the World was given the Award for Technical Merit in 2012 by the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology.  David has been nominated three times in the Outstanding New Play category for the 2015 Betty Mitchell Awards for Liberation DaysTomorrow's Child (with Matthew Waddell and Eric Rose) and The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (with Eric Rose), which won the award.  The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst also won the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Production of a Play.

David is currently in progress on three projects:  GIANT (with Eric Rose), a play about Andre the Giant, Easter Island (commissioned by Verb Theatre) and Velvet Revolution.

David is fascinated by people’s lives and the ways in which they live them.