Lecturer of Performance, Theater and Dance
Theater and Dance
- Curriculum Vitae
- [email protected]
- Runnals 202
4523 Mayflower Hill Waterville, Maine 04901-8853
|TD264A||Colby Theater Company: The Haunting Hour||A|
- Voice and Speech
- Solo Performance
- Audition Coaching
- Theater/Arts Administration
B.A., Oberlin College, Theater and Judaic/Near Eastern Studies
M.F.A., National Theater Conservatory, Acting
Bess Welden (www.besswelden.com) is a theater-maker living and working in Portland, Maine. Her creative practice focuses on playwriting, performing, and teaching. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from the National Theater Conservatory. She is a 2022 National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow.
Bess is a Lecturer in Theater at Colby College, where she has been teaching acting and playwriting, and guest directing for the past 12 years. She has previously been on the faculty at Vassar College, School for Film and Television (NYC), and University of Southern Maine, and a guest artist at UC-Santa Cruz, Kent State University, Stern College, Bowdoin College, Bates College, and several others. She has developed and facilitated independent creativity workshops for adults and adolescents exploring the theme of the inner critic, and recently created the Activist Storytelling Workshop, a combined writing and performance intensive, through Colby College.
Bess’ playwriting practice began through solo performance (she’s adapted/written and performed a half-dozen original works) and over the last decade has expanded widely to include writing scripts for multi-character casts. Her newest play with songs, Death Wings, won the 2020 Maine State prize of the Clauder Competition for New England Playwrights and will be produced in Maine by Dramatic Repertory Company, The Theater Project, and Meetinghouse Arts in spring 2023. 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. Her play Madeleines won the 2022 National Jewish Playwriting Contest, will be workshopped in New York City in December 2022, and be produced by the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington in May 2023. Her play Refuge Malja, winner of the Tel Aviv Jewish Plays Contest and a finalist in the 2020 National Jewish Playwriting Contest, premiered on Portland Stage’s mainstage and was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2018. In fall of 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). In 2020 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. You can hear her 15-minute audio rom-coms “What I Miss Most,” “Under My Skin,” “Island Time” on the Meet Cute Podcast (www.meetcute.com).