Tonight, the Dramatists Guild of America is joining with the Dramatists Guild Foundation and the Lillys to announce their annual awards, which will be streamed across various platforms beginning at 6pm EDT. Presenters will include Lynn Nottage, Stephen Schwartz, Hallie Foote, Chisa Hutchinson, Sarah Ruhl, Kirsten Childs, Heidi Schreck, and more.
This year’s Dramatists Guild awards go to Michael R Jackson, recipient of the Hull-Warriner Award and the Frederick Loewe Award for his musical A Strange Loop; Kia Corthron, recipient of the Flora Roberts Award; Lydia Diamond, recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award; and Madhuri Shekar, recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award.
The Dramatists Guild Foundation’s awards go to Khiyon Hursey, recipient of the Stephen Schwartz Award; and Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Julia Meinwald, and Benjamin Velez, co-recipients of the Thom Thomas Award. The DGF is also presenting a new award celebrating comedy writers in the name of the beloved actress Georgia Engel. The inaugural recipient will be announced later.
The Lilly Awards will be announced on the day of the event. The awards will include the Stacey Mindich Go Write a Play Award, the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, the Williamstown Theater Festival Commission, and the Lillys Lifetime Achievement Award.
Click here to watch the acceptance speeches.
The Lillys began in the Spring of 2010 as The Lilly Awards, an outlet to honor the work of women in the American theatre. The founders are Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman, and Theresa Rebeck. The organization is named for Lillian Hellman, a pioneering American playwright who famously said “You need to write like the devil and act like one when necessary.” In partnership with the Dramatists Guild, The Lillys have gathered resources and conducted a national survey simply called The Count that accurately showcases which theatres are producing the work of women, and which are not. The Lillys have expanded their initiatives since its conception- celebrating, supporting, and advocating for women theatre artists, by promoting gender parity at all levels of theatrical production.
The Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) is a national charity that fuels the future of American theatre by supporting the writers who create it. DGF fosters playwrights, composers, lyricists, and book writers at all stages of their careers. They sponsor educational programs, provide awards, grants, and stipends, offer free space to create new works, and give emergency aid to writers in need. During the COVID-19 pandemic, DGF has given more than $500,000 in immediate financial relief to eligible writers. By supporting and nurturing the creators of today, DGF protects the stories of tomorrow.
The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theatre writers, including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists. The Guild was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work. The Guild believes that a vibrant, vital, and provocative theatre is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society, and that if such a theatre is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of the men, women, trans and non-binary artists who write for it must be cultivated and protected.
The awards presentation, which will stream on the social media channels of each organization, will be produced by The 24 Hour Plays. Coleman Ray Clark and Madelyn Paquette are the event producers.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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