Studio series workshop: ‘Death Wings’

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 7:00am

The Portland Stage Studio Series presents a workshop of “Death Wings” by Portland Stage Affiliate Artist Bess Welden on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theater at Portland Stage. The Studio Series is presented by the affiliate artists, and hosted by Portland Stage in the Studio Theater.

Studio Series Workshops are readings of new plays, rehearsed with actors over one or more days, and developed with the playwright.

The play:  Grand is the maker of death wings. She’s interested in the fabric and fibers that make up a human life. Her granddaughter Rachel is a scientist determined to fly. Can we transcend the limitations of our bodies? How do we fashion the stories of our own lives? Full of poetry, songs, and a radical re-visioning of the Daedelus/Icarus myth, Death Wings asks us to marvel at the wonder of flight - real and metaphorical - and the mysteries of human love, connection, loss, and letting go.

Death Wings unfolds over the last 100 minutes of Grand’s life - her memories, visions, feelings, and questions that help her discover the five sentences that tell her final story. She's dedicated her life to making wings that she believes helps others die, and to raising her granddaughter Rachel, a scientist who is determined to fly.

Playwright Bess Welden began writing Death Wings over four years ago.

“It kept getting pushed to a back burner because I had several other projects that required more immediate attention. The Studio Series Workshop this May is putting me on the hook to gather all of the feedback and discoveries from previous readings of the script and funnel that information into a new draft,” Welden said. “It's also a tremendous opportunity to work with a talented and deeply experienced group of local women theater artists. From the beginning, I have envisioned the project as highly collaborative, requiring physical and vocal exploration of the material in order to really understand how the text needs to work. I am eager to co-direct with Dana Wieluns Legawiec, what I anticipate will be a highly creative and experimental, if short, rehearsal process that will lead to the public readings through which audiences can offer responses that will further impact the next phase of development.”

For more information, call 207.774.0465 or visit The theater is located at 25A Forest Avenue between Congress and Cumberland. Suggested donation $10 advance | $15 at door.

Our Affiliate Artists present and participate in a diverse range of programs each season, dedicated to exploring new theatrical works, bringing the written word to the stage, and welcoming the community into the theater. They are an artistic collective of local theater professionals who choose to devote themselves to this community. During each season, these actors, directors, and educators present and participate in a range of programs dedicated to exploring new theatrical works, bringing the written word to the stage, and welcoming the community into the theater.