The Science of Disconnection by David Belke

Cathy Derkach in The Science of Disconnection, Shadow Theatre, Edmonton

Drama/ 1 character, 1 Woman/ One Act

Synopsis: A play for solo performance based on the life of physicist Lise Meitner, a shy and withdrawn woman from Vienna, with a genius for mathematics and a passion for science, whose discoveries literally changed the world.

1938. The Nazis have invaded Austria, and Lise is forced to flee for her life. While living in exile, she secretly continues to collaborate with her research partner, Otto Hahn. Together, they discover nuclear fission, and ultimately, the science to create the atomic bomb. But you’ve probably never heard of her. There’s a reason for that.

The play follows Lise in the last few moments of her life as she relives the past and struggles to come to terms with the hearbreaking betrayal of Otto, her colleague and collaborator of over 40 years.

The Science of Disconnection is a story of quiet triumph and achievement in the face of discrimination, danger, and crushing betrayal.

“Belke skilfully builds his story, maintaining his theme of connection and disconnection, both personally and scientifically.”
– Edmonton Sun

“[Belke’s] careful to present Meitner as a flesh and blood figure, and does a lovely job of showcasing, in particular, the little human ticks she frequently lets slip — her geeked-up over-excitement of watching an Einstein lecture, the stone-faced, sombre panic of giving her first lecture of her own. As a whole it compiles a very lifelike image of a woman whose incredible contributions to physics were stolen by or credited to her male counterparts, but who pushed on undaunted.”
– Vue Weekly

“A remarkable piece of theatre showcasing human interaction’s capacity for great creation and destruction, as well as the interplay between a single human narrative and the mysteries of the universe.”
– Paririe Groundling

Winner of the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
David Belke
10037 84 Avenue
Edmonton Alberta
T6E 2G6
phone (780) 437-7507
Contact form:

About the Playwright: David Belke was born in Winnipeg, Canada but was raised and continues to flourish in Edmonton, Alberta. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Ed. and where he also studied stage design. He fills many different roles in the theatre: performer, producer, designer, teacher, and award-winning playwright. His plays have been performed across Canada as well as in the United States, England and Northern Ireland. His first full length play was produced for the 1990 Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival, the largest theatre festival in North America. Since then, he has written a new play for each subsequent year becoming one of the Fringe’s mainstays and one of the city’s favorite playwrights. David currently works as resident playwright and designer with Edmonton’s Shadow Theatre where he is also an artistic associate. Shadow Theatre usually produces one of David’s plays a year, either a premiere or a remount. A multiple Sterling Award winner, David also received prestigious Samuel French Inc.’s Canadian Playwrights Award for 2000 and they have since published two of his plays. In addition, he is a cast member of Edmonton’s long-running comedy institution Die-Nasty, the live improvised soap opera. He also serves as a member of the Varscona Theatre Alliance Board and The Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards Committee.

The Science Of Disconnection was originally produced by Shadow Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta in March, 2010