The Hausfrau is back.

Tonight and Friday in Lewiston and beginning Wednesday in Brunswick, actress Bess Welden restages “The Passion of the Hausfrau: An Illuminated Solo Comedy.” The one-woman play chronicles the misadventures of a mother riding the roller coaster of parenthood.

Welden helped create the play with writer Nicole Chaison.

In 2003, Chaison started publishing a magazine for moms called the Hausfrau muthah-zine, in which she attempted to refute the idea that motherhood doesn’t mesh with intellect and creativity. The magazine was a huge hit, and last year, Random House published Chaison’s graphic memoir, “The Passion of the Hausfrau.”

Welden was among the ‘zine’s devoted readers. She approached Chaison with the idea of turning the story into a show.

They staged an early version of their play in 2008, and the show had its official premiere a year later in the studio theater at Portland Stage Company.

The upcoming performances in Lewiston and Brunswick mark the Hausfrau’s coming-out party. Welden and Chaison hope this week’s mini-tour signals the beginning of a growing audience for “Hausfrau.”

While the show is about daily heroisms of motherhood, it’s more about the journey of self-discovery and the fulfillment of self, they said.

“These will be new audiences for us, and we’re excited to see how the play translates. Until now, its been a Portland-based piece with references to Portland and to Maine. But I trust the universality of this piece,” says Weldon, chatting over coffee. “Parents of all stripes will dig this. And people who are not parents will dig it, too.”

And despite it being a one-woman play, “Hausfrau” truly is a collaborative piece. Welden plays about 20 characters during the course of the 85-minute, one-act show. While Welden is performing, Chaison’s drawings appear overhead. Chaison illustrated her ‘zine with comics, some of which appear in the show as punctuation for the action on stage. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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