NEW YORK: Director Julie Taymor has been chosen to receive the 2018 “Mr. Abbott” Award by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. The award, named after late director George Abbott, is given to artists who make significant contributions to the field. Taymor was chosen for her commitment to outstanding artistry and creativity. She will be presented with the award at the foundation’s annual gala event on April 2, 2018.
Julie Taymor directed the Broadway adaption of The Lion King, where she received the Tony for best director and best costume designer. Her credits also include the play Grounded at the Public Theater and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Green Bird, and Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which earned five Tony nominations including one for her direction.
Taymor is a recipient of the 1991 MacArthur “Genius” fellowship, as well as a 2015 inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the American theatre, the recipient of the 2015 Shakespeare Theatre Company’s William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, and a 2017 Disney Legends Award honoree. She is currently directing a revival of M Butterfly on Broadway.
“Through her expansive body of work, she continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible on stage, and I am truly honored to be a part of this special night to celebrate my dear friend,” said Thomas Shumacher, co-chair of the “Mr. Abbott” Award Committee, in a statement. “SDC could not have chosen a more deserving recipient.”
Previous recipients of the award include Michael Bennett, Arvin Brown, Graciela Daniele, Gordon Davidson, Agnes de Mille, Bob Fosse, Garson Kanin, James Lapine, Kathleen & Rob Marshall, Lynne Meadow, Jerry Mitchell, Mike Nichols, Trevor Nunn, Jack O’Brien, Harold Prince, Lloyd Richards, Donald Saddler, Gene Saks, Susan Stroman, Daniel Sullivan, Tommy Tune, George C. Wolfe, Jerry Zaks, and last year’s awardee Kenny Leon.
“I think that George would have been deeply moved to know Julie is being honored with his namesake award,” said Joy Abbott, George Abbott’s wife, in a statement. “She is truly a renaissance woman of the theatre, cut from a similar mold as Mr. Abbott.”
Stage Directors and Choreographers foundation supports the creative lives of directors and choreographers and honors dedicated artists in these roles.