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Bess Welden (she/her) has been making theater in and around Portland, ME for the last 21 years. She spent 2022 as a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow – New England. Her play Madeleines won the 2022 National Jewish Playwriting Contest (Jewish Plays Project, NYC) and was a finalist for the 2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Death Wings, her play with songs, won the 2020 Maine State prize of the Clauder Competition for New England Playwrights, was a semi-finalist for the 2020 O’Neill New Play Conference, and was workshopped with Fresh Ink Theatre at Boston Center for the Arts. Her play Refuge Malja, winner of the 2020 Tel Aviv Jewish Plays Contest and a finalist in the 2020 National Jewish Playwriting Contest, premiered on Portland Stage’s mainstage in 2018. Her youth theater script, Magic in the Attic, has been produced around the country and Mergirl Saves the Waves, Bess’ feminist, environmentalist adaptation of The Little Mermaid, is in development with A Company of Girls. 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 in Grand Lake, CO and was a member of Company One Theatre (Boston) PlayLab Unit. She has been on the faculty of Colby College’s Department of Performance, Theater, and Dance since 2010.

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