Julie Taymor

Director, Librettist, Puppeteer
One of the most cerebral and experimental of theatrical directors and designers, whose fusion of folklore, puppetry and intellectually demanding themes made her a favorite of those with a taste for the cutting edge ... Read more »
Born: 12/15/1952 in Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Director (7)

A Midsummer Night's Dream 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

The Tempest 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

Across the Universe 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

Frida 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Titus 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Oedipus Rex 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Director

Fool's Fire (TV Show)

Director
Actor (5)

Kurosawa's Way 2010 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Broadway '99: Launching the Tony Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Performer

Broadway 98: Launching the Tony Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Interviewee

Broadway '97: Launching the Tonys 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Interviewee

The Music Center 25th Anniversary 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer
Writer (3)

The Tempest 2010 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Across the Universe 2007 (Movie)

(Story By)

Titus 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (2)

The Tempest 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)

Titus 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)
Music (1)

Frida 2002 (Movie)

("Burn It Blue") (Lyrics)

Biography

One of the most cerebral and experimental of theatrical directors and designers, whose fusion of folklore, puppetry and intellectually demanding themes made her a favorite of those with a taste for the cutting edge, Julie Taymor worked almost exclusively in the world of the not-for-profit theater before bringing her downtown sensibility uptown as director of "The Lion King" (1997), Disney's remarkable marriage of art and commerce at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theater. The media giant's deep pockets enabled her to experiment with new kinds of puppetry - to sculpt, to build and to test - resulting in what The New York Times called "the most memorable, moving and original theatrical extravaganza in years." Disney did not compromise Taymor's distinctive Indonesian-influenced minimalist style of mixing live actors, puppets, shadows and masks, which earned her two Tony Awards (for directing and costumes) and her first exposure to mainstream audiences, drawing comparisons to such legends as Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett and Harold Prince.

Relationships

Elliot Goldenthal Music

Companion
First met c. 1980 have worked together on a number of productions, including "Frida" (2002) for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score

Melvin Taymor

Father

Elizabeth Taymor

Mother
Worked at Boston College as a political science teacher

Michael Taymor

Brother
Born c. 1945

Laurie Taymor

Sister
Born c. 1947 worked as program director at Massachusetts Dept. of Social Services

EDUCATION

Oberlin College

Oberlin , Ohio 1974
Graduated with a major in mythology and folklore

Newton High School

Newton , Massachusetts 1969
Graduated at age 16

L'Ecole Mimet Theatre

Paris
Studied mime with Jacques LeCoq

Julia Portman's Theatre Workshop

Boston , Massachusetts

HB Studio

New York , New York
Attended for one year during college

Milestones

2011

Directed the musical adaptation of Spider-Man for Broadway, titled "Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark"; also wrote the book with Glen Berger; stepped down as director after several weeks of previews and numerous problems

2010

Directed a film version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

2007

Directed third feature, "Across the Universe," a 1960s love story set to the music of the Beatles

2006

Directed the opera "Grendel" for the Los Angeles Opera

2005

Directed a production of "The Magic Flute" for the Metropolitan Opera

2002

Directed second feature, "Frida," a biopic of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, starring Salma Hayek

1999

Made feature directorial debut with "Titus," an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus"

1997

Designed and staged the Broadway version of Disney's "The Lion King"; also contributed to the book and score; show received 11 Tony nominations including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score and Best Director

1996

Directed the Broadway production of "Juan Darien"; was also the co-writer, co-scenic designer and co-costume designer; earned Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Director and Best Scenic Designer

1995

Had off-Broadway success with "The Green Bird"; created in collaboration with Goldenthal

1994

Directed Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" at the Theatre for a New Audience

1993

Staged Mozart's "The Magic Flute" in Florence, Italy

1992

Made TV debut as director, producer and writer with the PBS production, "Fool's Fire," an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's "Hopfrog"

1992

Directed Stravinsky's opera "Oedipus Rex" in Japan; production recreated for PBS in 1993

1988

Designed, directed and co-created (with Goldenthal) the off-Broadway show, "Juan Darien, A Carnival Mass"

1986

Directed "The Transposed Heads," a collaboration with Goldenthal at the American Musical Theater Festival

1986

Staged production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," with the character of Ariel represented by a Japanese bunraku puppet; recreated staging in 1987 and 1992

1985

Directed and co-wrote (with Eliot Goldenthal) "Liberty's Taken," an irreverent look at the American Revolution

1984

Provided visual concept and designed puppets for the American Repertory Theatre's staging of "The King Stag"

1980

Received acclaim in NYC for her designs for "The Haggadah"

1979

Designed first US stage production, "The Odyssey"

1976

First interdisciplinary stage production, "Way of Snow"; combined elements of Eskimo, Indonesian and American culture

1974

Received a Watson Traveling Fellowship to study in Asia

Performed as a child with the Boston Children's Theatre

Joined Herbert Blau's experimental theater company Kraken at Oberlin

Acted with several theater companies in NYC including the Open Theatre and Bread and Puppet Theater

Bonus Trivia

.

Taymor received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990 and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1991.

.

Her production of Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex" won 1992's International Classical Music Award for best opera prodution.

.

Taymor received an honorary degree from Columbia University in 1999.

SIMILAR ARTICLES