Julie Taymor: Playing with Fire: Theater, Opera, Film

Overview

In this unique book, award-winning writer Eileen Blumenthal traces Taymor's theatrical apprenticeship: in France, where she studied mime; at Oberlin College, where she worked with the experimental director Herbert Blau; in Indonesia, where she honed her directorial skills by immersing herself in traditional dance-drama, puppetry, and mask-making and formed her own theater company, Teatr Loh; and in New York, where she has further developed her art. Blumenthal then presents each of Taymor's major projects in ...
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Overview

In this unique book, award-winning writer Eileen Blumenthal traces Taymor's theatrical apprenticeship: in France, where she studied mime; at Oberlin College, where she worked with the experimental director Herbert Blau; in Indonesia, where she honed her directorial skills by immersing herself in traditional dance-drama, puppetry, and mask-making and formed her own theater company, Teatr Loh; and in New York, where she has further developed her art. Blumenthal then presents each of Taymor's major projects in theater, opera, and film. The many pictures illustrating Blumenthal's text include not only production photos but also Taymor's sketches for characters and costumes, and shots of Taymor in rehearsal and constructing puppets and masks. Following the essay, fifteen major productions, from Way of Snow to Titus Andronicus, are lavishly illustrated, mostly in color. Scores of the photographs and design renderings are published for the first time in this volume. Also featured are Taymor's own notes on each production, in which she describes how projects were conceived and carried out, plus some of the challenges encountered along the way. Altogether this sumptuous book offers a fascinating look at the creative spirit of one of today's leading directors, writers, and designers.

One of the most imaginative and provocative directors and designers working today, Taymor draws on elements from the West, Indonesia, Japan, traditional theater, Asian dance-drama, puppetry, masked dance, contemporary cinema, and other performing arts to bring her extraordinary theatrical hybrids to life. Tracing her extensive career, this volume includes 195 illustrations, 110 in color, as well as Taymor's personal production notes.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Since the first edition of this work appeared in 1995, Julie Taymor's fame as one of the world's most imaginative theatrical director/designers has expanded beyond avant-garde cognescenti to the general public with her mega-hit Broadway adaptation of Disney's The Lion King and, most recently, her first feature film, Titus, based on the bloodiest of Shakespeare's tragedies. Still in her forties, Taymor is the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant and the first woman to win a Tony Award for directing. Theater critic Blumenthal's excellent introductory essay tracing Taymor's early theatrical influences is followed by shorter, heavily illustrated production histories of her major productions, from Way of Snow (1974) through Titus (1999). This updated edition is published to coincide with a major retrospective exhibition of her design work traveling from Columbus, OH, to North Adams, MA; Washington, DC; and Chicago. It is easily the most accessible introduction to Taymor available, appropriate and recommended for all public and academic library theater collections.--Robert W. Melton, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781881390220
  • Publisher: Wexner Center for the Arts
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999

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