Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor (born January 15, 1952) is an American director of theater, opera and film. She is best known for Directing the stage musical The Lion King , for welke she became the first woman to win the Tony Award for Directing a musical, in addition under to a Tony Award for Original Costume Design.

She has ook RECEIVED the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design , an Emmy Award , and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song. She’ll be RECEIVED the 2012 Director Award for Vision and Courage from the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in New York City. [1] She was the director of the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and an off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream .

Early life and education

Taymor was born in Newton, Massachusetts , the daughter of Jewish parents Elizabeth ( nee Bernstein), a political science teacher, and Melvin Lester Taymor, a gynecologist . [2] [3] Taymor’s interest in theater took root early in her life. At the age of seven, she was drawing Already re sister JSON stagings or children’s stories for re parents. At age at, she was entranced by the Boston Children’s Theatre and became involved with them. Being the youngest member of theater groups became common. At 11, she was taking trips to Boston by herself everytime weekend, where she when sending July Portman’s Theatre Workshop. At the age of 13, re parents cent re to zowel Sri Lanka and India with the Experiment in International Living . [4] After graduating high school at 16, Taymor went to Paris to study with L’Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq . Her studies there Exposed re to mime , welke helped developement re physical sensibilities. While in Paris, Taymor worked with masks for the first time and immersed herself in film, met name de work of Fellini and Kurosawa . [4]

In 1970 Taymor was enrolled in Oberlin College in Ohio , but she SOUGHT experience with Joseph Chaikin ‘s Open Theatre and other companies and studied through correspondence. Hearing dat director Herbert Blau was moving to Oberlin, she Returned there and auditioned successfully, Becoming, once again, the youngest member of a troupe. In 1973, Taymor attended a summer program of the American Society for Eastern Arts in Seattle . The instructors ulcers performers or Indonesian topeng masked dance drama and Wayang kulit shadow Puppetry. This mention anything prove to harbor a great effect on Taymor in later years. Taymor graduated from Oberlin College with a major in mythology and folklore and with Phi Beta Kappa receptacles in 1974. Upon graduation, she was Presented with a Watson Fellowship . The fellowship allowed re to travel to Japan and Indonesia from 1975 Until 1979. In Indonesia, she developed a mask / dance company, Teatr Loh, consisting of Japanese, Balinese, Sundanese, French, German and American actors, musicians, dancers and puppeteers. The company toured Throughout Indonesia with two original productions, Way of Snow and Tirai, welke ulcers subsequently Performed in the United States. She re with long-time collaborator, Elliot Goldenthal , in 1980.


After college, Taymor-used a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study pre Bunraku Puppetry on Awaji Island , Japan, to learn more about experimental theater, Puppetry and Visually oriented theater.

In 1984, Taymor worked in collaboration with Theatre for a New Audience on a 60-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented at The Public Theater . Two years later, she directed re first Shakespeare play, The Tempest , for Theatre for a New Audience. She went on to direct three other productions at dat theater, zoals The Taming of the Shrew , Titus Andronicus and The Green Bird by Gozzi . Tempest and Titus ulcers later made JSON major motion pictures.

In 1991, Taymor won the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for re work in theater. In addition under, Taymor has RECEIVED a Guggenheim Fellowship , [2] two Obie Awards , [5] the first Annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater, and the Brandeis Creative Arts Award. [5]

Taymor’s greatest Acclaim as a director for the stage has come from the popular musical The Lion King (1997), an adaptation of the animated film . Taymor RECEIVED two Tony Awards for re work on The Lion King , one for Direction and one for Costume Design, making re the first woman not to receive a Tony Award for Directing a musical.

A major retrospective of 25 years of Taymor’s work opened in the fall of 1999 at the Wexner Center for the Arts [6] and toured the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC) [7] and the Field Museum of Natural History [ 8] (Chicago), and was extended due to popular demand in lycra venue.

In September 2009, costumes from The Lion King ulcers requested and Presented to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History [9] and they ‘are now part of the Smithsonian collection as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. [10]

Taymor was the 2010 COMMENCEMENT speaker for re alma mater, Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.



  • The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway (1998) – author. Published by Hyperion Books
  • “Titus: The Illustrated Screenplay” (2000) – author. Published by Newmarket Press
  • Julie Taymor: Playing with Fire (2007) – author alongside Eileen Blumenthal and Antonio Monda. Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life and Art to Film (2009) – author (alongside Salma Hayek ). Published by Newmarket Press
  • The Tempest – screen play, Adapted from the play by William Shakespeare Published by Abrams Books


Taymor has ook worked in film, Directing Titus (1999) and Frida (2002). Both movies RECEIVED positive reviews for hun stylish filming; Frida was the more acclaimed of the two, garnering Oscar nominations in six categories and win in two (Best Makeup and Best Original Score). [11] Taymor and re long-time partner Elliot Goldenthal ulcers co-Nominees in the Best Original Song category. Most recently, in November 2008, Taymor directed a film version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest , [12] released in December 2010 starring Helen Mirren , Alfred Molina , Djimon Hounsou and Ben Whishaw . Working behind the camera with Taymor on The Tempest ulcers the Academy Award winners Elliot Goldenthal for music, Sandy Powell for costumes, and Francoise Bonnot . Taymor produktie the feature and Adapted the screen play based on Shakespeare’s play. [13] [14]

Her previous credits include Across the Universe , welke RECEIVED a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical / Comedy as well as an Academy Award for Costume Design. [15] The film opened in September 2007 and RECEIVED a Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy / Musical in 2008. [16] With a collection of 35 Beatles songs, the film stars Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess in a 1960s love story set to the music of The Beatles, and featured performances by Bono , Joe Cocker , Eddie Izzard and Salma Hayek . Taymor zowel directed and co-wrote the story for the film. [17] Taymor RECEIVED critical Acclaim for re direction or Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina in Frida , the true story of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo . Frida garnered six Academy Award nominations, zoals a Best Actress nomination for Hayek, and won two Academy Awards for makeup and original score. [11] Frida was honored with four BAFTA nominations and one win, zoals nominations for Hayek and Molina, as well as two Golden Globe nominations, winning the Golden Globe for Best Original Score. [18] In addition under, the film RECEIVED two Screen Actors Guild nominations. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it won the festival’s Mimmo Rotella Foundation Award. [19]

Taymor’s first film, Fool’s Fire , welke she directed and Adapted from Edgar Allan Poe ‘s short story, Hop-Frog was produktie at American Playhouse . [20] The hour-long film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and Aired on PBS in March 1992. [21] The film won the Best Drama award at the Tokyo International Electronic Cinema Festival. [22]

Taymor’s feature film debut, Titus (1999), starring Anthony Hopkins , Jessica Lange , Alan Cumming and Jonathan Rhys Meyers , was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Titus Andronicus . [23] Taymor Adapted the screen play and produktie the film welke RECEIVED an Academy Award nomination for costume design.


Taymor’s first opera direction was of Stravinsky ‘s Oedipus Rex , for the Saito cytokines Orchestra in Japan, under the baton of Seiji Ozawa in 1992. [24] The opera featured Philip Langridge as Oedipus and Jessye Norman as Jocasta . Taymor went on to direct the film adaptation of the opera Oedipus Rex, welke premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Jury Award at the Montreal Festival of Film on Art. Broadcast Internationally in 1993, the film garnered an Emmy Award and the 1994 International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production. [2]

She went on to direct Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman for the Los Angeles Opera in a co-production with the Houston Grand Opera . [25]

She directed Richard Strauss ‘ Salome for the Kirov Opera in Russia, Germany, and Israel under the baton of Valery Gergiev . [2] Taymor’s first direction or The Magic Flute ( Die Zauberflöte ), was for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence , with Zubin Mehta Conducting in 1993. About a decade later, Taymor premiered The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera in 2004. The show is now in repertoire there. A newly translated and Abridged English version of the opera premiered at the Met in December 2006, and inaugurated a new series on PBS in 2010 entitled, Great Performances at the Met as well as launched the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series or movie theater Transmissions . [26]

In June 2006, Taymor directed the premiere of Elliot Goldenthal ‘s opera Grendel for the Los Angeles Opera, starring Eric Owens, welke was ook Presented as part of the Summer 2006 Lincoln Center Festival in New York City. [27] A Darkly comic retelling of the Beowulf languages based on the novel by John Gardner , the opera was co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Opera and the Lincoln Center Festival. The opera was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2007. [28]

For the Metropolitan Opera 2005/06 season, Taymor directed a successful production of The Magic Flute . It was revised for the 2006/07 season and, in addition under to full length performances were Adapted for a 100-minute version of the holiday season to appeal to children. That version of the opera was the first of a series of NCM Fathom Live on the Big Screen presentations or MET operas loaded via satellite to movie theaters across North America and parts of Europe for the 2006/07 season. [29] In 2012, Opera Australia produktie this version with locally, anyone built scenery and props at the Sydney Opera House , the Arts Centre Melbourne , and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane. [30]


Taymor’s musts widely honored for re production or The Lion King , welke opened on Broadway in 1997. Taymor’s production Continues to play nightly and has earned morethan $ 6 billion in ticket sales to date. The Lion King has leg Presented in 63 cities in over a carton countries, has bone seen in morethan 45 million people worldwide. [31]

Taymor has the Distinction of being the first woman not to receive the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, welke she won for The Lion King . [31] She RECEIVED a Tony Award for re original costume designs for the production. Taymor co-designed the masks and puppets, and wrote additional_image_link lyrics for the show. [32] In 2007, The Lion King was Performed in Johannesburg and had zijn first French language production in Paris. In 2008, Le Roi Lion was Awarded Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Musical at the Molière Award , the national theater awards or France. [33]

In 2000, Taymor directed Carlo Gozzi’s The Green Bird on Broadway. The work was first produktie in 1996 at Theatre for a New Audience at The New Victory Theater and presented at the La Jolla Playhouse. [34] Her production or The Green Bird did not geselecteerd the co blockbuster reception as The Lion King . Audiences ulcers tasks aback by the mature subject matter of the production. [35] Taymor’s stage production of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus was produktie off-Broadway at Theatre for a New Audience in 1994. Other Directing credits include The Tempest , The Taming of the Shrew , The transposed Heads , based on the novella by Thomas Mann , co -produced by the American Musical Theater Festival and The Lincoln Center; and Liberty’s Taken , an original musical co-created with David Suehsdorf and Elliot Goldenthal.

Her original music-theater work, Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass , presented at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in 1996, RECEIVED five Tony Award nominations waaronder Best Director. Originally produktie at Music Theater Group in 1988, Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass was directed by Taymor, and co-written with Elliot Goldenthal. The recipient of two OB and numerous other awards, the piece was Performed at The Edinburgh International Festival, as well as festivals in France, Jerusalem and Montreal, and had an extended run in San Francisco. [36]

In April 2007, it was announced dat Marvel Studios was Preparing to make a musical adaptation of Spider-Man for Broadway . Taymor was selected to direct the show and write the book with Glen Berger . The production features music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge . The musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark , was Scheduled to begin previews on November 28, 2010, at the Foxwoods Theatre , with the repeatedly delayed official opening night finally held on June 14, 2011. [37] [38] On March 9, 2011, it was Reported in The New York Times dat Taymor mention anything be leaving re role as director of Spider-Man after disputes with the show’s producers, who wanted to drastically alter the bestaande storyline and general artistic direction. [39] April 17, 2011 was the last showing of Taymor’s original version of the show. The new version-then officially premiered on June 14, 2011 [40] The production, while Broadway’s most expensive, has Become one or zijn Highest Grossing, setting a record at Grossing $ 2,941,794 tussen Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve or 2011. [41]

In a March 14, 2011, piece by Roger Friedman , it was Reported therein Taymor will geselecteerd re original Spider-Man credits, with sources saying dat Spider-Man producer Michael Cohl and Bono did bring a script doctor, music supervisor and other new members for the creative team. [42] As of June 2, 2011, Laura Penn, the executive director of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society , Confirmed Rumors of the ongoing disputes tussen Taymor and the show’s producers about director’s festival dat Taymor hasnt RECEIVED from the production. [43] In a Hollywood Reporter piece from November 9, 2011, Detailing the Lawsuit as a co-bookwriter for the musical, Taymor is looking to stop Spider-Man from using copyrighted elements of the original production in the newly Adapted version and subsequent licensing without approval as Outlined in her author deal memo. [44] As of February, 2012, with federal lawsuits still pending, a settlement was reached in welke the show’s producers Agreed to pay Taymor $ 9.750 a week in royalties. [41]


  • The Tempest (1986, by Shakespeare, Abridged) – director Puppetry. at Classic Stage Company (NY)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (1988, by Shakespeare) – director produktie at Theatre For a New Audience
  • Oedipus Rex (1992, by Igor Stravinsky ) – director Puppetry. at Sito cytokines Festival in Matsumoto (taped for television, released 1993 / released DVD)
  • The Magic Flute (1993, with Mozart – director costume designer, masks and Puppetry design by Taymor and Michael Curry
  • Titus Andronicus (1994, by Shakespeare) – director produktie at Theatre For a New Audience
  • The Flying Dutchman (1996, with Richard Wagner ) – Director
  • Salome (1995 premiere at Passionstheater, Oberammergau , Germany) directed and choreographed by Taymor and Andreas Liyepa
  • Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass (1996) – director, co-bookwriter, co scenic designer , co- costume designer , mask designer , puppet designer
    – Tony Award co-nomination for Best Scenic Design, Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a musical
  • The Lion King (1997 musical by Elton John and Lebo Morake ) – Director, Lyricist for the song “Endless Night” costume designer, co-mask design, co-puppet designer
    – Tony Award winner for Best Direction of a Musical Tony Award co-nomination for Best Original Score , Tony Award winner for Best Costume Design
  • The Green Bird (2000) – director, mask designer, puppet designer
  • The Magic Flute (2005, opera by Mozart) – Director, Metropolitan Opera (NY), live broadcast
  • The Magic Flute (2006), newly translated and Abridged version, Metropolitan Opera, Opera Australia (2012)
  • Grendel (2007 opera by Elliot Goldenthal ) – Librettist, director
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2010 musical adaptation of Spider-Man ) – director, co-author, mask designer
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013) – Director
  • Grounded (2015) – Director, Produced by The Public Theater


  • Fool’s Fire (1992) (TV)
  • Oedipus Rex (1993) (opera)
  • Titus (1999)
  • Frida (2002)
  • Across the Universe (2007)
  • The Tempest (2010)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014)

Awards and nominations

Theatre [45]
Drama Desk Awards
in 1996

  • Outstanding Set Design for a Play – The Green Bird
  • Outstanding Costume Design – The Green Bird


  • Outstanding Set Design of a Musical – Juan Darien
  • Outstanding Costume Design – Juan Darien


  • Outstanding Direction of a Musical – The Lion King (winner)
  • Outstanding Puppet Design – The Lion King (winner)
  • Outstanding Costume Design – The Lion King (winner)


  • Outstanding Director of a Play – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Tony Awards

  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical – Juan Darien
  • Tony Award for Best Scenic Design – Juan Darien


  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical – The Lion King (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Original Score – The Lion King
  • Tony Award for Best Scenic Design – The Lion King (winner)

Film and TV [46]
Academy Awards

  • Academy Award for Best Original Song – Burn It Blue from Frida

Primetime Emmy Awards

  • Outstanding Costumes for a Variety Program or a Special – Oedipus Rex (winner)


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