Destiny Lilly

Director, Destiny Casting

2000 Alumni


Theater Studies and English, 2000
New York, NY
M.A., Theatre Practice, Central School of Speech and Drama, London
Director, Destiny Casting

Since Emory

After graduation, I lived in London for 3 years. I studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama and received an MA in Theatre Practice, and I worked as a director and sound designer on various projects. I moved to New York to continue my career as a director, and I received the New York Theatre Workshop Artist of Color Directing Fellowship in 2006, and served as a resident director at the Ensemble Studio Theatre until 2007. At EST, I started to learn about casting and I eventually parlayed my skills as a director into a career as a casting director for film, theatre, and video. Today, I own my own small business, Destiny Casting, and I work with actors and artists to develop casting strategies and facilitate the audition and casting process. I also teach young actors, and I am writing a book that explores career opportunities for actors from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.

Highlights at Emory

The best and most memorable part of my time at Emory was when I had the opportunity to direct the Tennessee Williams play Suddenly, Last Summer for my senior project. I was given space and time to develop a full production that I am still very proud of today. The student and alumni actors I worked with were some of the sharpest and most instinctively intelligent artists that I have ever worked with in any setting. Also, meeting Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka was a personal highlight.

In retrospect

The greatest skill I learned as a Theater Studies major at Emory was how to articulate my aesthetic in order to communicate with diverse artists. I also met some amazing fellow students who are still my friends and colleagues. I continue to use some of the exercises and acting techniques that I learned in classes with Tim McDonough, John Ammerman, and Elisa Carlson. The sound design class that I took with Judy Zanotti during my final year inspired me to study sound design and develop into a director/ designer. Even though I direct only occasionally now, creative sound design continues to be a hallmark of my work.


One thing I realized when I moved to New York is that there is very little time and even less money for process and exploration in the commercial and non-profit theatre. Also, a lot of the theatre here is made by the sons and daughters of extreme privilege for the sons and daughters of extreme privilege, but the skills I learned at Emory have translated well into my casting career. I have also become an advocate for diversity in casting: something that was not much of an issue in an academic setting, but is a very deep and complicated issue in commercial and non-profit film, television, and theatre today.