Legbala Is A River

illustration by Leticia Plate

"Welden’s production weaves us close into myriad threads and strengths, a tale of many webs. The result of Legbala’s many theatrical parts is a show that’s intimate and earnest, whimsical and acute, with a holistic sense of the scope and ingredients of storymaking." --The Portland Phoenix

"a 'performance event' in which each artist pushes into new creative territory." --The Portland Press Herald/Mainetoday.com

As one of my breakout performances, this project holds a very special place in my heart. I couldn’t have worked with a better team, who provided me the support and guidance I needed to elevate my act. I’m proud to say that my performance received outstanding reviews, as did the work of the entire cast and crew.

LEBGALA IS A RIVER, an original, live storytelling event, tells the story of a woman whose doctor-husband volunteers to treat Ebola patients in Liberia, and how she, her marriage, and her family transform in his absence. It is an intimate, lyrical, and achingly honest tale about partnership, motherhood, commitment, separation, spirituality, and the tension between public service and personal sacrifice. This theatrical storytelling event features a retelling of a West African Anansi the Spider story, an immersive space/seating arrangement, as well as live music and illustration performances.


85 minutes


Two-time grant recipient from the Maine Arts Commission.



  • Actor #1: MT, an engineer in her 40s/ MT’s 10-year-old twin sons, Monkey and Mouse/Her mother. She is the primary storyteller.

  • Actor #2: The Doctor (MT’s husband), 40s-early 50s, a live vocal performance but the actor is not seen by the audience

  • Musician

  • Illustrator


Production & Development History

  • Workshop Production: Mayo Street Arts, Portland, ME, June 2017

  • Week-long New Show Incubation Residency at The Celebration Barn Theater, August 2016

  • Workshop readings with Snowlion Rep’s PlayLab program & Dramatic Repertory Company, 2015-2016

©2017 by Bess Welden