lily mercer​ 

Writer, Actor, World Traveler

all about lily

          Lily Mercer attended the prestigious Playwrights Horizons Professional Theatre School in New York (for acting, directing, and playwriting) and began working extensively in the theatre as an actor, transitioning into television and film.  Soon she added director and producer to her resume, solidifying her love of storytelling from every angle.

          Years later Lily founded a small professional theatre in Arizona, The Actors Repertory Theatre of Sedona (the A.R.T.S.), while working as an adjunct professor at Northern Arizona University.  At the A.R.T.S., Lily developed ground-breaking programs including the New Growth Play Series for emerging playwrights, and the A.R.T.S. Academy, for professional training.

          In 2008 Lily embraced her secret writing hobby, graduating in 2012 from NYU/Tisch with an MFA degree in Dramatic Writing.  There, her first full-length play, “Before A Fall,” was one of five finalists for the NYU/Goldberg Award.  Soon after Lily received the Charles Pupura Award for excellence.  Other awards include Best Drama in the Screenplay Festival for FALLING INTO PLACE, which went on to be recognized by seven other competitions including the Page Awards and the Nicholl Fellowship.  

          In 2016 Lily was the recipient of the ISA Fast Track Fellowship for her TV pilot NO MORE HEROES, a script which also placed highly in the Creative World Awards, CineStory, and five other competitions.  In 2017 she won Best Screenplay at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWIFF) for her screenplay MY OLD MAN, which was also named as a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowship.  While continuing to develop a TV series, LOST WOMEN OF AMERICAN HISTORY, Lily recently completed a new pilot about Pocahontas entitled THE FIRST FIRST LADY, and is now writing another project abut a hotshot female poker player entitled THE BIG BLIND.  She is also co-founder of a female writer’s group, Bechel Babes Writing Partners.


        "After spending years as a working actor, theatre director, and producer, I became frustrated with the lack of women's voices in the business, and I wanted to change that.  So I decided to pursue a career as a writer and was accepted to the Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.  When I embraced my writing “hobby," my intent was to focus on the things I was sure of – that an authentic character was the most important element of any story, and that watching relationships unfold is the magnet that keeps the audience engaged.  Simply put, I write about ordinary people leading complicated lives.


        I was very fortunate to have been trained at Tisch. There writers learn all genres: theatre, film and television, which opened up a world of possibilities.  As a result, I have plays that have been produced in New York, California and Texas: screenplays that have been optioned; and award-winning TV pilots.

        So that's what I do now.  I write.  And I am extremely grateful that my change in careers has been rewarded.  My work has been recognized by the Page Awards, Creative World Awards, the Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Revolution, and the International Screenwriters Association - to name a few." 

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