November 13 – December 9, 2018
Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre
Written and Performed by Mary Lynn Owen
Directed by David de Vries
In the wee hours, a woman attempts to bake bread, determined that her mother’s incomprehensible recipe will finally work. But something is different about this night. The ingredients of time and memory keep interfering, and the bread-baking process – the kneading, rising, shaping, and baking, all in real time – becomes a journey into the unpredictability of, well, just about everything. Knead is written and performed by Atlanta favorite and Suzi Bass Award-winner, Mary Lynn Owen. Originally developed as a project from the Alliance Theatre’s 3rd Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and a semi-finalist for the 2017 O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference.
Deeply moving and transformative...a profoundly affecting experience.
The experiential nature of bread-baking…its connection to intimate, familial knowledge lies at the heart of Mary Lynn Owen’s splendid, beautiful and touching new autobiographical one-woman show Knead. Knead is a stunningly intelligent and “mature” play. I would have never guessed if I hadn’t already known, that is a “first” play. It was obviously written by someone quite comfortable with structure of theatrical writing, but with a literary flair that is uniquely her own. It’s a play that’s comfortable with its sense of quiet intimacy, with its sense of a shared, lived moment of storytelling.
Ms. Owen, the playwright, has constructed a beautiful piece of theatre, strong backbone, fleshed out digressions, and compellingly intertwined humor and pathos. Mary Lynn Owen has long proven herself an extraordinary actor, and, with Knead, she has proven herself to be an extraordinary writer.
Ms. Owen, with determination, vulnerability, and a palpable sense of time and loved ones lost, works some potent alchemy here. She has the audience in the palm of her hand. And she is funny; there is always a joy in her bubbling just beneath the surface.
Both the script and the performance are equal parts illuminating, heartbreaking and hilarious. Just like family. A mesmerizing and haunting tour de force.
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