Lily Padilla

How to Defend Yourself


Lily Padilla makes plays about sex, intersectional communities and what it means to heal in a violent world. Their play How to Defend Yourself won the 2019 Yale Drama Series Prize and is a 2018-19 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist. Lily’s work has been developed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Victory Gardens Theater, INTAR Theatre and San Diego Repertory Theatre. They facilitate playwriting workshops with the La Jolla Playhouse/TCG Veterans & Theatre Institute and teach playwriting and devised theatre at the University of San Diego and the University of California, San Diego. M.F.A., UC San Diego, B.F.A., New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Padilla is currently commissioned to make new plays with the National New Play Network, Colt Coeur, and South Coast Repertory. They are also a director, actor and community builder who looks at rehearsal as a laboratory for how we might be together. For more information, please visit