David Woods

David Woods a multi-disciplinary artist, performer and organization leader (visual artist, curator, poet, playwright, storyteller, theatre director, curator, librettist, lyricist, arts event organizer, arts researcher, organization executive) who has been a prominent figure in the Nova Scotia arts scene for decades.
David Woods


David Woods began writing drama while a student at Dalhousie University (1977-1981). It was after watching a televised performance of the play For Ceremonies for Dark Old Men by Lonne Elder on PBS that Woods decided that he would try his hand at writing plays. British playwright Harold Pinter, South African Athol Fugard, and African American Ntzake Shange were early influences. His first staged play was his 1982 production For Elsie Dorrington – a play about Black teenagers growing up ‘in the projects’ in northend Halifax in the 1970’s. Since that time he has written drama for both stage and radio. He has also written dramatic sequences for film and video and librettos for musical performances.

Woods’ plays are usually explorations of African Nova Scotian community experiences both contemporary and historical. His heroes are outsiders- alienated individuals (and communities) with unresolved pasts struggling to fit into contemporary life. He produces most of his own plays through his performance company Voices Black Theatre Ensemble which he founded in 1990.

His play Part of the Deal was broadcast nationally by CBC in 1991 to great critical acclaim. Another of his
plays Once Africville Storie won the George Elliott Clarke Literary Competition (1998) his first major prize as playwright.


Uncle Joe acrylic 1992 - by David Woods

Stage Performances


For Elsie Dorrington

1984 Voices

Black Journey


The Dream Continues

1989 Dream of a Child
1992 The Detention
1993 Talk that Talk
1995 Womansongs
1995 Nova Scotia Suite
1996 Once
1997 Choices in the Skin
2002 Home
2002 The Meeting
2004 Witness


CBC Radio Drama

1991 Part of the Deal

Black Journey

2007 The Soul Speaks  Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Hfx.

Aunt Jemima Story


Follow The Prize


Once: Africville Stories

2000 Home


2004 Witness
Uncle Joe acrylic 1992 - by David Woods

Video & Film

1991 The Bet 1991
1982  Black Journey (featured in Gemini Award winning NFB documentary Speak It: From The Heart of Black Nova Scotia.
2014 Africville Black Halifax Video Series
2014 Burnley Rocky Jones Black Halifax Video Series
2020 Witness
Seaview acrylic 1996

Musical and Multi-Arts Performance

1991 Can I Get a Witness
1994 Lifting Every Voice
1994 The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Concert
1995 Nova Scotia Suite

Identity: The Calgary Black History Month Gala

2002 Gospel
Uncle Joe acrylic 1992 - by David Woods

Prizes, Awards & Achievements

1995 Created Nova Scotia Suite for presentation during Halifax G7 Conference
1996  Play Black Journey featured in Gemini Award winning NFB documentary Speak It: From The Heart of Black Nova Scotia
1998 1st place prize George Elliott Clarke Literary Competition for Once: Africville Stories 

Atlantic Fringe Festival – Best Original Script, Best Drama Award, Africville Stories   

2020 Atlantic Fringe Festival – Fringe Top Five Hit Award, Africville Stories, Speaking In Tongues (storytelling show)
2017 Halifax Fringe Festival – Top Five Hit Award, The Return Fringe