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SELL/BUY/DATE's Sarah Jones to Emcee 8th Annual Lilly Awards

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SELL/BUY/DATE's Sarah Jones to Emcee 8th Annual Lilly Awards The 8th Annual Lilly Awards Ceremony, which celebrates women of distinction in the American Theater, will this year be hosted by Tony Award-winning playwright, Sarah Jones, with honorees to be announced soon.

Year after year, the Lilly Awards honors the extraordinary contributions made to the American Theater by women. This year, the Lilly Awards will be presented Monday, May 22, at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd St).

The Lilly Awards firmly believes that taking an artist's identity into consideration in casting, programming and hiring creates a more vibrant, more interesting and more valuable American theater; that taking diversity into consideration is not a step away from a meritocracy, it is a step towards one. The Lilly Awards created The National Count, the largest and only continuous study of the programming choices of non-profit theaters, that has shown that while women's work is vastly underrepresented, the work of women of color specifically is seen far less, as is that of LGBT women and women of foreign birth. The Lilly Awards intends to fill the stage this year with women we want to see more of on our stages, from early careers to established ones.

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 www.thelillyawards.org.

Sarah Jones is a Tony and Obie Award-winning playwright and performer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and humanitarian activist. Called "a master of the genre" by The New York Times, Sarah is known for her multi-character, one-person shows - including Bridge & Tunnel, which was originally produced by Oscar winner Meryl Streep, and went on to become a critically acclaimed hit on Broadway. The daughter of two physicians and the product of a multi-racial family and community, Sarah was educated at Bryn Mawr College and the United Nations International School, honing her sense of empathy for people from all backgrounds and the diverse voices that characterize her work. Sarah's performances have included multiple shows at The White House at the invitation of President and First Lady Obama, three popular "TEDtalks" which have millions of views, and an historic performance at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland where she was honored to be the first artist to perform on a stage normally reserved for Heads of State and captains of industry. Sarah's new one-woman show, Sell/Buy/Date, had its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club this fall to critical claim. Visit www.sarahjonesonline.com for more.


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