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Winter People, Boston Playwrights' Theatre


"Kayla Lian and Britt Harris - who play not only Bess and Beth (respectively) but also all of the members of their families and the people on the boat, while also constantly renovating the space to create different settings...Especially since the pace is fast and the actors move quickly between characters, it's an impressive exercise in timing.

Lian and Harris perform the dance very well... Lian is adept at making you laugh at the smallest things... They're both a pleasure to watch.

Krista Garver, www.broadwayworld.comJanuary 17, 2018

"...the two performers advance the story crisply and cleanly and energetically...the sheer bravura of the performances..."

Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch, January 15, 2018

Davita's Harp, Jewish Theatre Collaborative

"Kayla Lian plays W, the woman who enters the picture and turns Jon’s head “right round, like that girl in The Exorcist.” She’s not a foil, but the feminine motif upon which the others respond. Lian is a subtle actress who uses her physical movements and timpani of a voice to great effect."

Christa Morletti McIntyre, Oregon ArtsWatch, Nov 6, 2015

Twelfth Night, Portland Shakespeare Project

***Drammy nomination for best actress


"Kayla Lian’s Davita is simply beautiful: with her hair tumbled at the temples, she captures the engrossed nod of a young girl living inside books; the delicate and unsure junior hands that sing out in determination, despite their lack of practice; the glossy-eyed look of fleeting attention that holds a power in a child’s eyes."

Oregon ArtsWatch, Christa Morletti Mcintyre, March 22, 2016

Cock, defunkt theatre

"“Barful”? We glide over this archaic word (which means something like “full of impediments”) and the odd (to our ears) construction, because Lian’s Viola has already established herself as a character whose circumstances we understand and sympathize with. And we are amazed by this declaration. I was amazed even though I’ve seen Twelfth Night many times: This is what happens when the actor’s approach is immediate, direct and true. Multiply that many, many more times, and a play you think you’ve taken the measure of becomes fresh.


Nause and Lian are pitch-perfect through this, by the way."

Barry Johnson, Oregon ArtsWatch, July 13, 2015

The Children's Hour, Arouet

"But the play is really about the relationship and the journey of these two women who may or may not be what this young girl says they are and Lian and Evans are quite powerful in the roles. Lian's journey from strong to broken is lovely and heartbreaking and never goes over the top….And both women keep their characters very honest and real to the period and to each other."

Jay Irwin,, may 18, 2015


"Ms. Evans and Ms. Lian are truly actresses of the first degree. As Martha and Karen, respectively, they kept the entire production moving and one could not help but keep their eyes on them when they were on stage. …  The two actresses together on stage were fascinating to watch and is worth the price of admission alone."

Seattle Gay News, May 22, 2105

Tribes, Artists Repertory Theatre

"Kayla Lian skillfully draws out the insecurities plaguing Ruth, who laments her failure to have a career as a singer and her inability to find a lover."

Richard Watternberg, The Oregonian, Feb 8, 2015


"Lian schleps through her romantic depression with un-self-conscious surrender."

A. L. Adams, Oregon ArtsWatch, March 3, 2015

One Flea Spare, Shaking the Tree

"Lian is feverishly exquisite: her nimble movement and enraptured face are ethereal pleasures in an otherwise dark tableau."

A.L. Adams, Oregon ArtsWatch, March 12, 2014

Crooked, Coho

***Drammy nomination for best actress


"Kayla Lian, as Laney, fully embodies the excruciating awkwardness of being a fourteen-year-old—a gifted fourteen-year-old, no less—with her quavering voice and ever-fearful gaze…"

Jonathan Frochtzwajg, Portland Monthly, May 27, 2013

"Kayla Lian. As Elise’s daughter, Laney, she’s utterly believable as a young teen using an active imagination to cope with a sudden loss of family stability and social identity."

Marty Hughley, The Oregonian, May 20, 2013


"Actress Kayla Lian is superb as Laney, playing her in a general state of joy and embarrassment, which turns, when she’s hurt, into an almost theatrical, righteous cruelty."

Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly, May 28, 2013

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