Black Lillys logo against a red circle, next to a photo of Lillian Hellman

The Lillys began in the Spring of 2010 as The Lilly Awards, an outlet to honor the work of women in the American theater. 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, we have gathered our resources and conducted a national survey simply called The Count that accurately showcases which theaters are producing the work of women, and which are not. The Lillys have expanded its initiatives since its conception- celebrating, supporting, and advocating for women theater artists by promoting gender parity at all levels of theatrical production. The Lillys are dedicated to carrying on Lillian Hellman’s spirit and are proud to continue to honor the work of women in the American theater.


This organization is part of a family of six independent institutions - each with its own charge to protect, support and enhance the life of theatre writers everywhere.