Death Wings

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. 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.

Photo Credit Lauren Kennedy

Semi-finalist, 2020 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center New Play Conference

Semi-finalist, 2016 The Bridge Initiative Playwriting Award



GRAND, the maker of Death Wings. Middle through old age. She speaks with a very slight Hungarian accent.

RACHEL 1 & 2, her granddaughter who is determined to fly, played by two actors. Rachel 1, a young actor on the cusp of womanhood - around 13. Rachel 2, mid 30s to early 40s.

CHORUS/The Fates/Girls/Birds/Reporters etc., three women of various ages, shapes, sizes, colors, who move/dance, sing, create music, tell story, and play other characters e.g. BECCA, GRAND’s daughter/RACHEL’s mother. They also help GRAND finish her wings.


Production & Development History

  • Ink Spot Festival Reading, Fresh Ink Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, November 2019

  • Studio Series Workshop Reading, Portland Stage, May 2019

  • Three-day developmental workshop, Colby College, October 2017

  • Staged reading with Real Live Theatre, Northampton, MA, March 2017

  • Reading with Dramatic Repertory Company, Portland, ME, November 2014

©2017 by Bess Welden