Julie Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony for directing a musical, recently spoke out about the invaluable effect that women winning awards can have.
When The Stage asked Taymor if female directors get enough opportunities, she observed how few women are ever hired to direct Broadway productions. “[W]hen women are honored with awards,” she added, “we become role models. We open it up for a whole new generation.”
Judging by what she said next, Taymor is asked about this issue often. “I am sick of talking about it, but it doesn’t end. You don’t want to keep harping on, just do it. There’s a lot of fear of women in positions of power. I think it has to do with this terror of a mother who you just don’t want to be around.”
We’re glad that the former “Lion King” visionary and “Frida” filmmaker continues to address gender inequality in theatre. She may be sick of talking about it, but, like she says, she’s an inspiration to others. Having a heavyweight like Taymor acknowledge discriminatory hiring practices and sexist misconceptions in the industry keeps this important conversation going. Women in theatre need established women like her — role models — to help keep up the fight.
Taymor’s production of “A Mightsummer Night’s Dream,” which was filmed live in Brooklyn in 2014, hits select US theaters tonight, June 22, at 7pm.