Julie Taymor to Receive Stage Director and Choreographers Society's ‘Mr. Abbott’ Lifetime Achievement Award | Playbill

Benefits and Galas Julie Taymor to Receive Stage Director and Choreographers Society's ‘Mr. Abbott’ Lifetime Achievement Award Kenny Leon, Jack O'Brien, and more will pay tribute to the Tony winner at the April 2 gala.
Julie Taymor

Tony-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning artist Julie Taymor will be the 2018 recipient of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s “Mr. Abott” Award for lifetime achievement. The honor, to be presented at the annual gala April 2, acknowledges Taymor’s artistry and creativity over her decades-long career.

Established in 1985, the award is named for legendary director George Abbott; the recipient is chosen by a group of their peers, namely the members of the SDC executive board. Past honorees include Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Graciela Daniele, James Lapine, Lynne Meadow, Jerry Mitchell, and Susan Stroman.

Tony winner Bartlett Sher and Tyne Rafaeli are set to direct the gala event, which will include appearances by Joy Abbott, Daniel Ezralow (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Green Bird), Elliot Goldenthal, Donald Holder, Harry Lennis, and Kenny Leon. Tony and Abbott winner Jack O’Brien will present the honor to Taymor. There will also be a performance by the cast of The Lion King.

Taymor was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2015. She made her Broadway debut with her production of Juan Darien, which she directed, wrote, and designed. Her production of Disney’s The Lion King earned 11 Tony nominations, with Julie receiving awards for Best Director and Costume Designer (and becoming the first woman in history to receive the award for Best Direction of a Musical). The production recently celebrated its landmark 20th anniversary.


She directed and provided costume and mask design for Broadway’s The Green Bird. She provided original direction and the book for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and directed this season’s revival of M. Butterfly.


In film, Taymor was nominated for an Oscar along with her husband Elliot Goldenthal for Best Original Song for Frida, which she also directed. She also directed Across the Universe, as well as Titus starring Anthony Hopkins and The Tempest. She won an Emmy for her direction of Oedipus Rex.

Taymor also founded the Taymor World Theater Fellowship for aspiring American theatre directors to complete immersive theatre exploration in Africa, Central and South America, Asia, and/or the Middle East. For full details, click here.

Proceeds from the gala will benefit programs of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, which offers more than 30 observerships and fellowships to emerging directors and choreographers nationally.

Tickets are still available for the event. Visit SDCFoundation.org or call 212-391-1070 x243.

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