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Denee Benton, Julie Taymor Among 2017 Lilly Award Honorees; Presenters Announced!

The 8th Annual Lilly Awards Ceremony, which celebrates women of distinction in the American Theater, announced today that Julie Taymor, Denée Benton, Micki Grant,Toni-Leslie James, Mandy Greenfield, Madison Ferris, and Beanie Feldstein are this year's honorees. Stephen Schwartz will be this year's Miss Lilly. Additionally, Cynthia Nixon, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and David Henry Hwang are set to be presenters at the ceremony.

The Lilly Awards are presented by The Lilly Awards Foundation along with the generous support of The Dramatists Guild. This year, the show will be hosted by Tony Award-winning playwright Sarah Jones on Monday, May 22, at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd St) with an after party sponsored by Dramatists Play Service. Year after year, the Lilly Awards honors the extraordinary contributions made to the American Theater by women.

The Lilly Awards will also be awarding grants to a select few women making an impact on American Theater. The grants being awarded will include The New York Women's Foundation Directing Apprenticeship Award, The Leah Ryan Prize and the Harper Lee Award, which will be presented by Joy Brown, who gifted Harper Lee the money she lived on while writing To Kill A Mockingbird. The Stacey Mindich 'Go Write a Play' Award will be presented by Stacey Mindich and Daryl Roth will present The Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, which is dedicated to apprenticeship for women in tech or design. Winners will be presented with their grants during the ceremony.

The Lilly Awards were started in the Spring of 2010 as a way to honor the work of women in the American Theater. The founders of The Lillys are Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck. The awards are named for Lillian Hellman, a pioneering American playwright who famously said "You need to write like the devil and act like one too when necessary."

Previous winners who have received the Lilly Award include Gloria Steinem, Jessie Mueller, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o and the women of Eclipsed, Mary Rodgers, Dominique Morisseau, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Jeanine Tesori, Liesl Tommy, Kelli O'Hara, Pam MacKinnon, Leigh Silverman, Anne Kauffman, Sarah Ruhl, Kathy Najimy, 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, Lois Smith, and more.

For additional information about the Lilly Awards (including a list of all past recipients), visit

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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