Alumni Profiles

Isn’t It Romantic?

Midori Francis
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for South by Southwest

A feel-good escape from the pandemic came during the holidays when Netflix released Dash & Lily, starring alumna Midori Francis as the effervescent Lily, who, imbued with the spirit of the season, initiates what becomes a romantic relationship with the cynical Dash. The high school students exchange their dreams and desires by sharing entries in a red notebook that is left in unlikely locations throughout New York City for the other to discover and add to the exchange of thoughts. Francis MGSA’14—raised in a Rumson, New Jersey, family for whom Christmas was an especially festive occasion—has appeared in feature films such as Good Boys and Ocean’s 8. She caught the attention of Dash & Lily’s producers, however, because of her off-Broadway theatrical work, for which she won Drama Desk and Obie Awards in 2017 for ensemble work in The Wolves and was nominated for a 2019 Drama Desk Award for outstanding actress in Usual Girls. “Lily is a character who has a very particular way of talking,” series creator Joe Tracz told the website Decider. “She talks really fast—her mouth and her brain work a million miles per hour. Midori just nailed that with the perfect training of a theater actress. She spoke that fast, she got the words, and she brought so much heart and personality to it.” Fans eager for more of Midori and her uplifting persona are hopeful for a second season of Dash & Lily.