Ovation TV | Julie Taymor

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Ovation TV | Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s travels map her artistic innovation. As a director, costume designer and mask maker, Taymor reconciles the conventions of Western theater with folklore, rituals and myths from around the world. Born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1952, Taymor was involved in theater at an early age; she joined Boston Children’s Theater and studied in Paris at L’Ecole de mime Jacques Lecoq at age 16. She traveled to Sri Lanka and India through an educational travel program, eventually enrolling at Oberlin College. While there, she joined Herbert Blau’s experimental theater company and then went on to study theater traditions in Indonesia and Japan. Taymor lived in Indonesia for several years and formed a theater company that embodied the expressive use of masks, music, and puppetry. Upon her return to the United States, Taymor used these experiences to continue creating visual and theatrical productions that audiences had never encountered before. Successes include directing Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with conductor Seiji Ozawa, Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass for which she won a Tony Award, and The Lion King which garnered two Tony Awards, including best director of a musical. In productions such as Lion King, Taymor dissuaded Disney from backing a conventional production, opting instead to transpose puppets and actors seamlessly, using high and low tech costume design, masks and puppet manipulation to create stunning transformations. Taymor has transformed her stage visions to