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Julie Taymor Launches Fellowship for Young Theater Directors

Julie Taymor Launches Fellowship for Young Theater Directors

Julie Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony Award for directing a musical, has created a fellowship for young theater directors.

The Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship is designed to enable directors between the ages of 21 and 29 to travel to Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East or Asia, to expand their creative horizons in dialogue with other artists. The fellowship will reward four successful applicants with a one-year travel stipend of $30,000 to support their creative initiatives in one of these four regions.

“The Lion King” director — who also made history as the first woman director to win the Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre in 2015 — explained in a video accompanying her announcement that she was inspired by her own experience of travelling to Indonesia and Japan on a Watson Fellowship after graduating from Oberlin College.

“It wasn’t just about learning traditional Asian theater techniques,” said Taymor, “It was about absorbing how theater in other cultures is created.” “As a Westerner,” she continued, “you don’t want to go and bring an entire form, like kabuki, and put it into your own milieu … That’s a little bit colonialist, to be straightforward. What it is is techniques are there for the benefit of everybody.”

It is Taymor’s hope that her fellowship will allow a new generation of up-and-coming directors to engage in the same kind of cross-cultural exchange she did, meeting “artists who are creating theater for political reasons, for social reasons,” and getting to see “how theater works outside of our very text-based theater in the West.”

You can find out more about the fellowship — including application details — and watch Taymor’s video here

[via Broadway World]

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