The seventh annual Lilly Awards took place last night at the Signature Theatre, celebrating women of distinction in American theatre. Eclipsed playwright Danai Gurira, Martha Plimpton, Kate Whoriskey, Mia Katigbak, Jessie Mueller, Kathy Najimy, Genne Murphy, Candis Jones, Rehana Lew Mirza and the women of Waking the Feminists werehonored at the event.
Presenting the awards to the honorees were writer, political activist and feminist Gloria Steinem, Oscar winner and Tony Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o and the women of Eclipsed.
The awards ceremony features special performances by Rebecca Naomi Jones, Amanda Green and Georgia Stitt; as well as the announcement of the recipients of the $25,000 Stacey Mindich Prize and the Leah Ryan Prize, towards the development of new works.
Norbert Leo Butz and his organization, The Angel Band Project, are also being recognized. Other presenters include Lloyd Suh, Russell G. Jones, Rachel Chavkin and Neena Beeber.
The Lilly Awards were founded by Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck, and were named after playwright Lillian Hellman.
Previous winners include Mary Rodgers, Dominique Morisseau, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Jeanine Tesori, Liesl Tommy, Kelli O’Hara, Pam MacKinnon, Leigh Silverman, Anne Kauffman, Sarah Ruhl, Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Baker, Susan Stroman, Lynn Ahrens, Tina Fallon, Amy Herzog, Nina Arianda, Diane Paulus, Katori Hall, Tina Howe, Estelle Parsons, Lynne Meadow, Ntozake Shange, Jessica Hecht and Lois Smith.