The Lilly Awards, will honor Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, Eclipsed) along with Martha Plimpton (Ruined) , director Kate Whoriskey, and National Asian American Theatre Company co-founder, artistic director and actor Mia Katigbak on May 23rd at the Signature Theater.  The Lilly Awards was established in 2010 as a way to honor the work of women in the American Theater.  The honorees will receive the $25,000 Stacey Mindich Prize, which underwrites the production of a new work by a woman  playwright.  Honorees will also receive the Leah Ryan Prize, a cash grant to an emerging woman playwright and production of  a reading of the winning play in New York City.

Gurira is a true renaissance woman who is an award-winning playwright and actress.  She began writing plays to better utilize her strengths as an actor, and to tell stories that convey ideas about strong women with whom she identifies, and wound up making history on Broadway by creating the first all-black cast and crew with Eclipsed starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.  She joined the cast of The Walking Dead in 2012, and starred in Andrew Dosunmu’s independent dramas, Restless City in 2012 and in Mother of George in 2013.  She can be seen next on the big screen in the highly anticipated TuPac biopic titled All Eyez On Me, produced and written by John Singleton, where she will portray the mother of the late rapper, Afeni Shakur.

Previous Lilly honorees include Mary Rodgers, Dominique Morisseau, 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, Estelle Parsons, Lynne Meadow, Ntozake Shange, Jessica Hecht and Lois Smith.