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Julie Taymor

Director, Theatre & Film

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In this interview, director Julie Taymor shares how an upbringing steeped in culture and a four year stay in Indonesia were incredibly formative on who she would become as an artist. Proud to take the road less traveled, Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony for Best Director of a Musical for her groundbreaking production of the "The Lion King." 
Director Julie Taymor was born into theatrics. Raised outside of Boston by a family who encouraged her early independence and passion for theater, Taymor entrenched herself in performance arts whether in her backyard, at the Boston Children's Theatre, and eventually around the world. A recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Taymor traveled to Indonesia to study visual theater and experimental puppet theater. What she intended to be a three month stay wound up being four years. She now sees her time spent in Indonesia as one of the most formative periods of her life.   Julie Taymor is the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, as well as a Tony for Best Costumes, for her production of "The Lion King". She has directed four major films: "Titus", "Frida", "Across the Universe" and most recently, "The Tempest". Her opera stagings include Elliot Goldenthal's "Grendel" and, for the Metropolitan Opera, "Die Zauberflöte". Her most recent directorial production "A Midsummer's Night Dream" opened at the Theatre For A New Audience in November 2013.

More From Julie

Bystander of the Family
Director Julie Taymor reflects on growing up the youngest of three and how she watched her family experience the turmoil of the 1960s.

Proud to Have a Working Mom
Director Julie Taymor talks about how her father greatly supported her mother's ambitions outside the home and how she herself was proud to have a working mother.

Best of Times, Worst of Times
On the opening night of "The Lion King" on Broadway, director Julie Taymor's father went into the hospital and never recovered. Taymor talks about how the loss of her father affected her through the great success of "The Lion King." 

The Shadow Plays
While in Asia, director Julie Taymor discovered an appreciation for both sides of theater: the mechanics and the story. The experience would inspire her masterful use of puppets in "The Lion King."

Masks & Opera in Japan
Julie Taymor talks about directing her first opera, "Oedipus Rex," in Japan, and the larger than life mask and human figures that evolved through the process.

The Woman "Thing" in Hollywood
In this interview, director Julie Taymor talks about the gender gap in Hollywood, what she hopes for the future, and why she chooses to focus on her work in the meantime.

The Origins of Theater
Julie Taymor on the origin of the shaman as the first theater director and their role in the community as director, psychologist and politician. 

No Word for "Artist"
Director Julie Taymor reflects on how embedded the arts were in everyday life in Bali.

The Necessity of Art
Director Julie Taymor takes issue with how our culture views arts in tandem with "leisure" and not as a necessity.

Helen Mirren as Prospera
Julie Taymor talks about how she knew she wanted to bring "The Tempest" to film and the gender twist she had in mind for the traditionally male role of Prospero.

Spider-Man Unfinished
Julie Taymor talks about what she intended "Spider-Man: Turn of the Dark" to be and addresses the issues that made the process of finishing the show she had in her mind impossible.