Francesca Montanile Lyons is Philadelphia-based teaching artist and theatre maker who was born & raised in Puerto Rico. She graduated from Brown University in 2011 where she studied Theatre and Literary Arts & was a member of ARRR!!! (Brown University's only a capirate group). She earned a professional certificate from the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training in 2015. In 2016, she went on to complete an MFA in Devised Performance at The University of the Arts/Pig Iron School.
In 2012, she worked with SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships), in partnership with Trinity Rep, to devise an ensemble piece using participants’ writing about their experiences with domestic violence called Behind Closed Doors, for which she was awarded a Victim's Rights Award & a Justice Award by Attorney General Kilmartin. She has co-devised and performed in Antigravity Performance Project's Nellie/Nellie (2014) and Butter & Serve's Slaughter/ette (2015) for the Philly Fringe Festival. From 2015-2016, she was a member of The Hopefuls, a theatrical political/punk/grotesque band. She is a member of the Antigravity ensemble.
In addition to making devised work, she has been investigating the pedagogical power of theatre and play since co-founding Savvy Theatre Works (a process-based applied theatre program that ran from 2006-2012 in Bocas, Mexico). This interest led her to become the education intern at Trinity Repertory Company in 2011. To further explore the ways that play can deepen learning beyond a theatrically based approach, she became a MuseumCorps Educator at the Providence Children's Museum in 2012. She has worked as a teaching artist with the Antigravity Performance Project, Taller Puertorriqueño, and Buildabridge International. She strongly believes in the power of playful, process-based ensemble work with theatre artists and nonprofessionals alike. She is currently teaching at the Children's Community School in West Philadelphia.