bess Welden

Bess Welden  has been performing professionally for over 25 years. After earning an MFA from the National Theater Conservatory her primary creative focus became solo performance. She has toured original work nationwide and has performed with established companies in a variety of contemporary and classical roles. Recent favorites include Halvard Solness in Ibsen’s The Master Builder and Corryn in Johnna Adams’ Gidion’s Knot. She premiered her live storytelling event with original music and illusatrion , Legbala is a River (2017), and appeared in Dramatic Repertory Company's productions of False Flag by Walt McGough (2018) and Fabuloso by John Kolvenbach (2019). In the Fall of 2020, she co-wrote/adapted, performed, and produced seven episodes of Hausfrau: The Webseries. newest play with songs, Death Wings, recently won the 2020 Maine State prize of the Clauder Competition for New England
Playwrights. The script was also a semi-finalist for the 2020 O’Neill New Play
Conference and workshopped with Fresh Ink Theatre at Boston Center for the Arts. The
new full-length version of Madeleines was named a finalist for the 2021 Bay Area
Playwrights Festival, a top 20 semi-finalist in the 2021 National Jewish Plays Contest
and received workshop readings with Maine Playwrights Festival and North Shore
Readers Theater. Her play Refuge Malja, winner of the Tel Aviv Jewish Plays Contest
and a finalist in the 2020 National Jewish Playwriting Contest, was recently published by
Smith Scripts, UK. Refuge Malja premiered on Portland Stage’s mainstage and was
nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2018. In fall 2020 she co-produced
and performed Hausfrau: The Webseries on YouTube. Mergirl Saves the Waves, Bess’
feminist, environmentalist adaptation of The Little Mermaid, is in development supported
by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. Her solo comedies The Passion of the
Hausfrau (2009) and Big Mouth Thunder Thighs (2013) premiered in Portland Stage’s
Studio Theater, and her collaborative play-project with live music and illustration,
Legbala is a River, premiered at Mayo Street Arts (2017). Last spring she participated
as an invited writer at the National Winter Playwrights Retreat (HBMG Foundation) in
Grand Lake, CO and was a member of Company One Theatre (Boston) PlayLab Unit
2020 cohort. You can hear her 15-minute audio rom-coms “What I Miss Most” and
“Under My Skin” on the Meet Cute Podcast (