Welcome and hello!
I'm Lillian. I'm a playwright, actor, and advocate.
I create documentary theatre based on interviews I conduct with people around a certain topic, usually motivated by something I’m trying to understand more deeply. Documentary theatre isn't the most well-known of art forms, and yet it's still surprisingly one of the first theatrical experiences I ever had.
I grew up in the Bronx and went to High School of American Studies, where I first took a drama class. One day our drama teacher asked a group of us to turn personal writing he'd found from anonymous homeless teens into monologues. I adapted the writing of a homeless teenage poet who'd ended up 'in the system'. We went on to perform the monologues we wrote to a large audience at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. I so clearly remember standing up on that stage facing out at the audience with a sense of purpose and power. I felt that it was both an honor and a responsibility to channel this tough homeless teen and to share her story with others. I was hooked.
Years later, I graduated from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Theatre. Soon after that I got commissioned, along with a group of others, by the Metropolitan Playhouse in NYC to create a short interview-based piece for their upcoming Spring festival. We had to find an East Village, NYC regular to be interviewed for the project and that's when Jonas Mekas, the founder of Anthology Film Archives entered into my life. Jonas is also a famous documentary filmmaker known as the 'Godfather of Avant-garde Cinema'. I was delighted that he would allow me to interview him and surprised by how he was wildly supportive of the final show, That's How Angels Arranged.
Jonas wound up inviting a NY Times writer to see the show with him, John Leland. A couple of years later John wrote about both the play and the performance he'd seen in his NY Times Bestselling book Happiness is a Choice You Make. Jonas emailed me right away and said 'Lillian, go get John's book! He wrote about you.' It can be challenging to know where your artistry and voice fits in and is needed, but I remember walking out of a West Village bookshop later that day, clutching Leland's book in hand, pretty sure I was on the right path.
By that time I was already working on my first full length documentary play. I was creating it as a response to the #MeToo movement and exploring sexuality from a positive perspective. The play, How We Love/F*ck, was inspired by my interviews with 28 different female-identifying individuals. I got to act with an ensemble of amazing women in its World Premiere at Cherry Lane Theatre for two weeks from Sept 2019 - Oct 2019.
I'm honored to volunteer on the Board of Directors for the National PKU Alliance, a national non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of those with Phenylketonuria (PKU) which I also have.
Stay connected with me on Instagram.