MacArthur Fellows Program

Julie Taymor

Theater Director and Costume Designer | Class of 1991

Title
Theater Director and Costume Designer
Location
New York, New York
Age
39 at time of award
Area of Focus
Theatrical Arts

Julie Taymor is a director and writer for the theater, opera, and film, and a designer of costumes, sets, puppets, and masks.

Taymor’s work is distinct in her artful combination of folklore, mythology, puppetry, and intellectually complex themes to create vivid, visual spectacles.  During four years of study in Indonesia, she founded and developed a mask-dance troupe, Teatr Loh.  Influenced by various forms of international theater and storytelling, her productions feature a mixed cast of live actors, puppets, shadows, and masks.  The theater works she has written and/or designed and directed include Liberty’s Taken (1985), The Tempest (1986), Titus Andronicus (1994), and Juan Darien (1996).  Taymor has directed opera productions of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex in Japan, Mozart’s Magic Flute in Florence, Strauss’s Salome at the Kirov Opera, and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman for the Los Angeles Opera.

Taymor’s screen directing credits include Fool’s Fire (1992), Titus (1999), and Frida (2002), the biography of artist Frida Kahlo.  She also directed and designed a visually rich, theatrical production of Disney’s The Lion King (1997), reworking the animated film into a set filled with puppets and innovative masks that obscures the line between actor and costume.

Taymor received a B.A. (1974) from Oberlin College and studied acting at the HB Studio in New York.

Last updated January 1, 2005

News About This Fellow
September 1, 2015
"Julie Taymor, Before and After 'Lion King' "
WNYC
Julie Taymor , 1991 MacArthur Fellow
August 17, 2015
"From Lions to Fairies, Julie Taymor Embraces Both Stage and Screen"
Vineyard Gazette
Julie Taymor , 1991 MacArthur Fellow
June 22, 2015
"Q&A with Julie Taymor on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'"
Blouin Artinfo
Julie Taymor , 1991 MacArthur Fellow
November 3, 2013
"When the Sky Is No Limit"
The New York Times
Julie Taymor, 1991 MacArthur Fellow
View all news
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