Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Two-Time Tony Award Winner Chita Rivera, Broadway Producer Daryl Roth, Graciela Daniele, Lisa D’Amour, Deirdre O’Connell, Shakina Nayfack, Boo Killebrew, Quincy Tyler Bernstein to be honored at the 6th Annual Lilly Awards on June 1

Chita Rivera & Cast of THE VISIT. Photo by Thom Kaine

Chita Rivera & Cast of THE VISIT. Photo by Thom Kaine

The 2015 winners of the Lilly Awards, celebrating and honoring women of distinction in American theater, were announced today by The Lilly Awards Foundation.  The winners will be celebrated at the 6th Annual Lilly Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 1, 2015 beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd Street) and hosted by double 2015 Tony Award nominee Lisa Kron (Fun Home).  The ceremony will be live-streamed on the Lilly Awards website ( and HowlRound TV ( #lillyawards #howlround

The Lilly Awards will honor two-time Tony Award-winner Chita Rivera (Chicago; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Bye, Bye, Birdie; West Side Story), currently starring on Broadway in the new Tony nominated musical, The Visit, for which she received a 2015 Tony Award nomination, with the first-ever Legendary Lilly Award presented by four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally (The Visit; Master Class; Ragtime; Love! Valor! Compassion!), and veteran Broadway producer Daryl Roth (It Shoulda Been You; Clybourne Park; August: Osage County; Kinky Boots) who will receive the Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award.

2015 Lilly Award winners include choreographer and director Graciela Daniele, playwright Lisa D’Amour (2015 Tony nominee, Airline HighwayDetroit), beloved actor Deirdre O’Connell, founding artistic director of the Musical Theatre Factory Shakina Nayfack, Boo Killebrew, Quincy Tyler Bernstein, and three surprise winners to be announced during the ceremony.

Guest presenters include Lynn Ahrens, Lynne Meadow, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jordan Roth, Cusi Cram, Zoe Sarnak, Heidi Schreck, Julia Jordan, and more.

The ceremony will include performances by FIVE PLAY, the sister group of the world-renowned all-female jazz ensemble DIVA, and a special announcement by the Ziegfeld Club. The winners of the Stacey Mindich $25,000 Go-Write-a-Play Prize and the Leah Ryan Prize will also be announced. And the presentation of the annual Miss Lilly Award, given to the man who has done the most in any given year to make the theater a better place for women, will also be announced.

The Lilly Awards are made possible by generous grants from The Dramatists Guild and The New York Women’s Foundation, and sustaining assistance from the Lilly Awards Leadership Circle.

The Lilly Awards were founded in the spring of 2010, by Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck to honor the work of women in the American Theater. The awards are named for Lillian Hellman, who famously said to be a female playwright, “You need to write like the devil and act like one too when necessary.”

The Honorees were chosen by over 100 theater professionals.  Previous winners of Lilly Awards include Mary Rogers, Dominique Morrisseau, 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, Estella Parsons, Lynne Meadow, Ntozake Shange, Jessica Hecht and Lois Smith.  Previous winners of the much-coveted Miss Lilly award, for outstanding contribution to the lives of women, include Tim Sanford, Todd London, Gary Garrison, and David Ives.

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

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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 and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other articles by Lia Chang
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee, Joycelyne Lew
Photos: Garth Kravits as a Statue of Liberty Street Performer on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie
The 2015 Broadway Cast Recording of The Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I Starring Tony Award nominees Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles, available on June 2; Extended Run and National Tour Announced
Photos: Edie Falco, Bryce Pinkham, Stephanie McKay, Lena Hall, Nick Blaemire, Jacob Ming-Trent, Matthew Saldívar at The 52nd Street Project’s Gala FANCY THAT
Photos and Video: Telly Leung, Yumi Kurosawa, Lei Pasifika, Soh Daiko perform at The Met’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration
Photos: Inside “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met with Wong Kar-Wai, Vivienne Tam, Wendi Murdoch, Anna Wintour and More
Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ at Atlantic Theater Company; Opens June 11
Original Cast of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE including Jose Llana, Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jay Reiss, and Sarah Saltzberg, to Reunite for 10th Anniversary Benefit Concert on July 6
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY, HAMILTON, Austin Pendleton & More Win Off Broadway Alliance Awards
HAMILTON, James Houghton, Usman Ally, Ayad Akhtar, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Douglas Thompson and Suzan-Lori Parks among 2015 Obie Award Winners
Ruthie Ann Miles, Helen Mirren, Kristin Chenoweth, Alex Sharp, Andy Karl, Annaleigh Ashford, Richard McCabe, Robert Fairchild Among 2015 Outer Critics Circle Winners; Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Leads with 5; An American in Paris wins 4, The King and I and Hamilton Each Receive 3
Hamilton Sweeps 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards with 10 Wins; Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 3
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS AND FUN HOME Lead 2015 Tony Award Nominations with 12 each; Ken Watanabe, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O’Hara, Chita Rivera, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Nighy, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan, Ruth Wilson, K. Todd Freeman, Patricia Clarkson Among the Nominees
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama 
ABC Renews “Fresh Off the Boat” and Picks up Ken Jeong’s “Dr. Ken”
Photos: Aasif Mandvi, Sheetal Sheth, Jimmy O. Yang, Raymond J. Lee, Tobias Wong and more celebrate HBO’s AAPI Heritage Month Screening of Jonathan Yi’s “East of Main Street: Taking the Lead” Documentary 
George Takei Receives Distinguished Medal of Honor at Japanese American National Museum’s 2015 Gala Dinner; JANM Acquires Japanese American Incarceration Artifacts once slated for public auction
White House Blog: Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; ‏White House Summit on AAPIs is May 12
President Barack Obama’s Proclamation for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2015
Photos: Garth Kravits, Laura Benanti, Brian Nash, Lena Hall, Erin Davie and More in “Broadway Sings Tori” Benefit Concert for RAINN
An Intimate Evening with Author Amy Tan at the New-York Historical Society 
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Photos: Inside THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE CD Release Concert with André De Shields, Kevin Mambo, Adam Chanler-Berat, Michael Friedman and More
David Henry Hwang, Laura Poitras, Amitav Ghosh, Deeyah Khan, Bill Rauch, Robert Battle, Carrie Mae Weems named among 13 Ford Foundation “Art of Change” Fellows
Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
Crafting a Career

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at


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