Every great play starts with a fascinating idea. But that idea needs a gifted writer to make it a success. Ceille Baird Welch uses personal experiences to create her poetry, stories and plays. Writing from a young age turned into writing for TV, magazines, literary journals, and beyond. Aside from having an established writing career, Ceille holds degrees in psychology and counseling and worked in the mental health field for over 30 years. While there, she helped the chronically ill and many who were otherwise forgotten. Once Ceille's children left the nest she took a more serious approach towards writing. Particularly in The Dayporch, Ceille modeled the female characters after herself and her own life. She not only lets her readers peek into her personal life, but also her vivid imagination.
When Ceille met Larry Hembree of Camden, SC, years ago, he introduced her to an amazing pair of entertainment industry veterans: Chris Weatherhead and Clarence Felder. Thus began her relationship with Actor's Theatre of South Carolina. She recalls how "A lasting friendship blossomed. They needed more good SC poetry for the show and since then have used my poetry many times." Originally titled Dayporch at East Jesus, the play premiered at the William Redfield Theatre on West 45th Street in NYC. Upon receiving great reviews, Ceille returned to the Lowcountry where Chris and Clarence were eagerly waiting to put their spin on the play for the Actor's Theatre of SC.
Clarence Felder who is directing the current production, is excited to revive the comedy/thriller. "This play makes me laugh a lot! Because I was raised in the South, it brings back memories of my aunts and other ladies in my family as they got up in their years. Also, Ceille's gift of the language and story is exquisite and full of irony." Since the successful tour of The Dayporch, Ceille recalls, "Every single artistic experience has been packed with meaning and learning. Also, understanding the world a little bit better and imparting some of that understanding to the audiences we love to entertain. That's one of the great things about working in the theatre; you have the ability to both touch people on an emotional level while still entertaining them." That's exactly what Ceille Baird Welch does, and we can’t wait for you to see how her play The Dayporch come to life on our stage.
Ceille Baird Welch is profiled in Edwin Epps Literary South Carolina and listed on South Carolina’s Literary Map as a dramatist. She and her husband, Jim Welch, of Public Television’sNatureScene, live in a log cabin at Pinnacle Falls in Western North Carolina.
Many of Ceille Baird Welch's works can be found in anthologies:
STATE of the HEART, SC Writers on Places They Love. Edited by Aida Rogers. Forward by Pat Conroy. 2013
THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY. Edited by Stephen Gardner and William Wright. 2007
A MILLENNIAL SAMPLER of SC POETRY. Edited by Gilbert Allen and William Rogers. 2005
INHERITANCE, Selections from the SC Fiction Project. Edited by Janette Turner Hospital. 2001
Also at SC Poetry Archives, Duke Library, at Furman University, as well as the Carolina Library at USC.