Why Tiger Lily?

The name "Tiger Lily Theatre" came from a conversation in my dining room. Three of us sat around trying to give this new project a name that would say something about women, a name that would express what we wanted to be about, a name that fit. As we continued to spitball we started running through favorite women in books and movies and the name of Peter Pan's cohort Tigerlily came flying out of my mouth. She stood out in my childhood recollections as a force to be reckoned with. The accuracy of youthful impressions aside, she was what I always wanted to be; strong, loyal and brave.

Then someone said it. "What about the tiger lily? The flower." Initially, I was unsure about naming our organization aimed at empowering women artists after a flower, but a little bit of research later we knew it was perfect. If you look around Knoxville in the springtime, or the state of Tennessee, or really just about anywhere in the south, you will see patches of tiger lilies in bloom. They are notoriously hardy, growing on mountains, along major freeways, and in my yard despite my complete inability to garden.

Tiger lilies bloom where they land, no matter the conditions. They are a flash of brilliance against a uniform backdrop of green. I can think of no better metaphor for the incredible women and artists we work with.

By the time we finished our coffee we had become Tiger Lily Theatre. A tiny little bit of princess and a whole lot of beautiful determination.


Jennifer Brown

Artistic Director