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Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s bold, experimental style in directing plays and films has led to two Tonys (including the first Best Director Tony won by a woman) and an Emmy. Taymor began studying theater at age ten, and spent time traveling Sri Lanka and India at thirteen before studying mime and performance at L’Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoc at sixteen. While enrolled at Oberlin, Taymor learned Indonesian masked dance and shadow puppetry at the American Society for Eastern Arts. All of this early training fed Taymor’s unique use of puppetry, masks, and visual pageantry in her films and plays. She then spent four years in Indonesia creating Theater Loh, culminating in directing Way of Snow in Bali in 1974. In 1986 she began directing puppetry for Shakespeare performances, leading to her film Titus in 1999. She won an Emmy for Fool’s Fire in 1992 and two Tonys for her direction and design of the 1997 Broadway adaptation of The Lion King. Unafraid to take risks and experiment, Taymor was praised for her work in 2002’s Frida and 2007’s Across the Universe, but panned for her 2010 Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. Her most recent project, as of 2013, is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Julie Taymor, TED 2011
Full image
Julie Taymor.
Courtesy of Suzie Katz for TED 2011 via Flickr
Date of Birth
December 15, 1952
Place of Birth
Newton, Massachusetts

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Julie Taymor." (Viewed on December 18, 2018) <>.


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