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Lily Janiak

Lily Janiak studied theater at Yale and San Francisco State University, where she wrote her master’s thesis on Young Jean Lee. She writes about theater for SF Weekly and Theatre Bay Area and about film for The Village Voice. At SF State, she teaches the course “Writing About Theatre.” She’s also a playwright, director, dramaturg, blogger (lilyjaniak.blogspot.com), and guinea pig for makeup artists. In her spare time, she cooks a mean gumbo and rides slowly but with dignity on bike tours. @LilyJaniak

American Morrow
Essay

American Morrow

Jonathan Moscone and Lily Janiak in Conversation

18 May 2014

Lily Janiak and Artistic Director of Cal Shakes Jon Moscone talk about the impact of Janiak’s criticism of the play American Night at California Shakespeare Theater and the controversy it stirred.

A Man at Diva Fest
Essay

A Man at Diva Fest

Stuart Bousel Adapts Kristin Hersh’s Rat Girl

8 May 2014

Lily Janiak discusses the world premiere of Stuart Eugene Bousel's adaptation of Rat Girl, a memior by Kristin Hersh, lead singer of Throwing Muses.

The Theater Was Ours
Essay

The Theater Was Ours

Next Gen Nights and Hir at the Magic Theatre

21 March 2014

 looks at how Magic Theatre's initative for young theatre-goes went beyond a discount, and how the premiere of Taylor Mac's Hir at the Magic complemented their earlier production of Buried Child.

Drowning Ophelia
Essay

Drowning Ophelia

A Metaphor for Female Pain

9 January 2014

Lily Janiak reviews the Repurposed Theatre production of Rachel Luann Strayer’s Drowning Ophelia.

A Life in Theater with Buried Child
Essay

A Life in Theater with Buried Child

12 November 2013

Lily Janiak reviews Buried Child at the Magic Theater, and writes about the ways in which living in a world where the nuclear family has imploded sets new stakes for this play about familiar dysfunction.

Our Own Best Judges
Essay

Our Own Best Judges

Young Female Characters On Stage

17 October 2013

Lily Janiak dissects various productions in San Fransisco with the critical question: Do their female characters represent as wide a range of the human experience as their males?

A Drama of Two Cities
Essay

A Drama of Two Cities

Dublin and San Francisco

10 September 2013

Lily Janiak writes about Terminus at San Francisco's Magic Theatre, and how the tale of a night in Dublin centered around a construction crane, reverberates with the construction boom in the Bay Area.

Dark Play, or Stories for Boys
Essay

Dark Play, or Stories for Boys

15 August 2013

A look at the idea of killer nerds: cautionary tales twice over.  First, these stories show the consequences of marginalization and then secondly probe the power of advancing technology.

Cal Shakes' American Night asks, "Whose America?" and also, "Whose theater?"
Essay

Cal Shakes' American Night asks, "Whose America?" and also, "Whose theater?"

16 July 2013

California Shakespeare Theater, under the direction of Jonathan Moscone, has changed route from classic work to new work that explores the diverse culture and artistry of the Golden State. 

Time Sensitive
Essay

Time Sensitive

3 July 2013

Ragged Wing Ensemble explores the concept of time with the centerpiece of an ice sculpture in Time Sensitive.

The Slow, Cold Burn of the Aurora Theatre’s The Arsonists
Essay

The Slow, Cold Burn of the Aurora Theatre’s The Arsonists

11 June 2013

The Arsonists acts as a chilling critique of blinding following norms and devotions while simultaneously being a rally cry to trust gut intuition.

Gender Disparity, Self-Reporting, and Theatre Rhino's A Lady and A Woman
Essay

Gender Disparity, Self-Reporting, and Theatre Rhino's A Lady and A Woman

7 May 2013

Lily Janiak talks about Theatre Rhino’s A Lady and A Woman and examines her role as a theatre critic.

Preaching to the Unconverted
Essay

Preaching to the Unconverted

5 April 2013

Lily Janiak takes a look at San Franisco-based Mugwumpin’s The Great Big Also as it explores the new frontier: what that meant to the first American settlers, and what the frontier means now.