Visiting Assistant Professor Bess Welden’s new play Death Wings was workshopped with Fresh Ink Theatre this past fall culminating in a reading at the Boston Center for the Arts. The play has also been named a semi-finalist for the 2020 O’Neill Theater Center’s New Play Conference, chosen from over 1,500 submissions. Bess’ play Refuge Malja, which premiered at Portland Stage in 2018, is now one of seven finalists for the 2020 National Jewish Playwriting Contest and Tour produced by The Jewish Plays Project ( Her theater for young audiences script Mergirl Saves the Waves received a developmental grant from the Maine Arts Commission. A Company of Girls will present a staged reading of this environmentalist adaptation of The Little Mermaid with three original songs at The Portland Ballet Studio Theater in March 2020. Bess has also been selected for the National Winter Playwrights Retreat in Grand Lake, CO where she’ll be working on a full-length version of her play Madeleines.