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She has long been one of the area’s finest actresses, but this might be a new high. One moment she is a fierce, commanding presence — talking down to those around her — and then minutes later she is broken, physically and emotionally, sitting limp in a wheelchair.  She is even able to bring out a warmth to the character that isn’t always evident. I’ve seen lots of Vivian Bearings (including Cynthia Nixon in the 2012 maiden Broadway version), and Owen is as memorable as any.   


ArtsATL, Jim Farmer

As Vivian Bearing, a stern college professor of metaphysical poetry who’s facing a losing battle with stage 4 ovarian cancer, Owen essentially has us at “Hi,” her opening line.  In retelling and reliving Vivian’s story directly to the audience, she creates a deeply thoughtful and heartfelt rapport with us…Owen bears her soul with an extraordinary bravery and grace.    


Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bert Osborne

First and foremost, this play belongs to Mary Lynn Owen, whose Dr. Bearing is a compelling composition of strict teacher, amused observer, "unreliable narrator," and obsessed academic.  She nimbly segues from scene to narration to flashback to lecturer, every word crystal clear, every emotion vibrant with complexity, every humiliation grimly borne, every agony indelibly sketched in blood and morphine.  I know it's only January, but I can't imagine any 2016-performance-to-be matching hers in ambition, in effect, in achievement.  To quote Aurora's Producing Artistic Director, she is a "Force of Nature."   

Atlanta Theatre Buzz, Brad Rudy



Her performance is a work of art.   


Margaret Edson, Playwright, Wit


DOWNSTAIRS requires champion actors and a sharp, confident director. Actor’s Express more than hits it out of the ballpark...The result is that you won’t find Mary Lynn Owen or Travis Smith or William S. Murphey in the basement this month. They’ve fully morphed into the mousy and defeated Irene, the rumpled and delusional Teddy and the slimy Gerry with every fiber of their beings. 


ArtsATL, Julie Bookman

This is the most intense, detailed, riveting work I’ve ever seen from Ms. Owen. She’s always good; but her Irene takes you someplace else. 


Atlanta Intown Paper, Manning Harris

Our Town

The most effective performance comes from Mary Lynn Owen as the Stage Manager, who wears street clothes. Her plain-spoken directness and her seeming belief in Wilder’s admonitions to appreciate life while we have it come across powerfully; she often seems so straight-forward, present, genuine, and heartfelt, it’s hard to label her performance as “acting” exactly.  

The Alexander Report, Andrew Alexander

Crossing Delancey
Crossing Delancey

The actress delivers a scene-stealing turn as the ebullient Bubbie.  In her brightest moment here, simply watching Owen unwrap a package is “pure gold,” indeed.   

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bert Osborne



Owen’s timing is precise, and she nails every scene. She’s wise and caring but also smarter than she lets on. The actress’s ability to submerge into a character is very much on display here. 


ArtsATL, Jim Farmer



Bubbie is here played splendidly by Atlanta actor Mary Lynn Owen…a comic delight.

Atlanta Intown Paper, Manning Harris

Owen creates a beautiful, stubborn, and heartfelt character in Bubbie, and the dialogue written by Sandler is delivered by Owen as if she is making it up on the spot.

Broadway World, Sarah Fitts

The Glass Menagerie
The Glass MenageriE

Owen inhabits it all like a second skin… Her voice changes into a syrupy Southern drawl; her giggles become awkwardly nervous paroxysms, desperate and pathetic. Owen isn’t just another dependable Atlanta trouper. She’s the crème de la crème, a superb comedian with a very poignant edge. If this isn’t a performance of a lifetime, I don’t know what is.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Wendell Brock

Six Degrees
Six Degrees of Separation

I would like to add my voice in praising the elegance, grace, and subtlety of Mary Lynn Owen’s performance as Ouisa. She is perfectly cast, and hers is certainly the most accomplished performance I’ve seen so far in 2014.       

Atlanta Intown, Manning Harris

4000 Miles
4,000 Miles

Mary Lynn Owen is not good at playing Vera. She is stupendous in the role of the 91 year old Vera.  


Atlanta Cultural Arts Reviews

Supremely nuanced performance from Mary Lynn Owen… she fully inhabits this role, both in comedic bits about her dentures or hearing aid and in lovely moments addressing her faltering mental faculties or her regrets in life.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bert Osborne


As Laurie, the always stellar Mary Lynn Owen forgoes her comedic impulses to deliver a shattering portrait. The scene in which Laurie struggles to explain the hurt in her heart is devastating.

ArtsATL, Wendell Brock

While the driving motor of the plot is the plagiarism story, its heart and soul is the personal journey of Dr. Jameson, brilliantly played by a Mary Lynn Owen. Ms. Owen anchors the play with her intelligence and wit, with her exasperation at the by-now cliched effects of menopause, and even with her many infuriating (but somehow endearing) flaws. She has a heart too big for the stage when playing scenes with her best friend, her youngest daughter, and her father. But when she first meets Third, her heart clangs shut so hard and fast, you can almost hear the key drop out and fall into a bottomless pit. Re-opening that lock is probably the most difficult thing she has ever had to do, and it is enthralling watching Ms. Owen make that arduous step., Brad Rudy

Little Foxes
the little foxes

The apotheosis of kindness and culture is Oscar's wife, Bertie (the wonderful Mary Lynn Owen), who was robbed of her own plantation inheritance -- not to mention her dignity -- by her mercenary and abusive husband. Bertie's tenderness and tipsy revelations are the grace notes of this withering drama.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Wendell Brock

Kimberly Akimbo
kimberly akimbo

How does an actress in her 50s play a 16-year-old girl who looks 70? Ask Mary Lynn Owen, who brilliantly slips her tiny frame and teenager's voice into the magical, fragile creature who gives the play its title, Kimberly Akimbo. We laugh at the family and we hurt for them — especially Kimberly, of whom so much is asked. She must not only surf the waters of adolescence in an uncomfortable vessel, but parent her parents, modulate her combustible aunt, and try to find some peace in a lonely life that's near its end. Owen does all this with gentleness, grace, and a clear, unwavering physicality.

Backstage, Kathy Janich

A strangely beguiling performance that haunts me still.

Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wendell Brock

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