Join us in remembering Paul Owen (1935–2021), prolific scenic designer and dedicated mentor.

Actors Theatre of Louisville Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming shared,

On behalf of the staff and artists of Actors Theatre of Louisville, past and present, it is with heavy hearts but with a great pride we offer our fond remembrances and gratitude for Paul Owen's dedication and service to Actors Theatre.
From our Old Louisville production design and storage facility bearing his name to the beloved Dracula set which has delighted Louisville audiences for over 20 years, Paul’s contribution and impact has been an indelible one. Our condolences and prayers are with his family and the countless folks to whom he was a friend and mentor.”

Owen joined the staff of Actors Theatre as resident designer in 1971. During those 38 years, he designed approximately 1,500 productions, including all of the state, national and international tours, as well as a number of guest designs for other regional theatres. He continued in that capacity until semi-retiring in 2009.

Prior to joining Actors Theatre, Owen served as resident designer for Nina Vance’s Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, designing sets, lights and costumes for the majority of the productions.

Owen was honored in 1993 with The Kentucky Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement. In 2005 he received the Eddy Award from Entertainment Design Magazine on behalf of Actors Theatre, and in 2010 he was awarded the Hanover College Medal for Excellence in the Arts.

His commitment and service to the Kentuckiana arts community was honored with the 2019 Arts-Louisville/BroadwayWorld Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2017 The Ronda Gordon Foundation Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the Fund for the Arts.

In 2015, Owen generously donated his archive of sketches, scrapbooks and models to the University of Louisville. The Paul Owen Archive of Theatre Design archive opened in 2016 with a permanent exhibit of his work in the Kain Gallery in the University’s Ekstrom Library.