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From the internationally acclaimed stage musical, The Lion King, to the Beatles-inspired screen musical, Across the Universe.

From the timeless magic of Shakespeare on screen in Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange, and The Tempest with Helen Mirren, to Shakespeare on stage, with her highly-anticipated upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Theatre for a New Audience. Julie Taymor infuses all her work with a uniquely theatrical vision. The acclaimed Tony Award-winning director of film, theatre and opera joins us to talk about her work, illustrated with clips from her productions.

Read the recent New York Times profile on Julie Taymor!

 

Can't make it to the event? Leave your questions for our guests below, and they might be used on stage during the Q&A. Keep an eye on 92Y On Demand after the event for any video clips we might share! You might see your question used on stage.

 

Bios

(Click the names below to expand info.)

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor is currently preparing for the stage a new adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, starring David Harewood, Kathryn Hunter, Tina Benko and Max Casella, as the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience's permanent new home in downtown Brooklyn, New York. Previews are set to begin October 19 in advance of a November 2 opening.

In 1998, Julie Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony® Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and won a Tony® for Best Costumes, for her production of The Lion King. The musical has gone on to become Broadway's all-time highest grossing show and the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history.

Other Broadway theatre credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which earned five Tony nominations, and The Green Bird. Off-Broadway, she has directed Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads and Liberty's Taken.

Taymor's feature films include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming; the biographical film Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, which earned six Academy Award® nominations, winning two; the Beatles-inspired Across the Universe, nominated for a Golden Globe® for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy; and her Helen Mirren-starring adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, which had its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival following a world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Beyond the theatre and screen, Taymor has directed five operas internationally, including Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, for which she earned the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production and an Emmy® for a subsequent film version; as well as Salomé, The Flying Dutchman, Die Zauberflöte (in repertory at The Met), The Magic Flute (the abridged English version, which inaugurated a PBS series entitled “Great Performances at The Met”) and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel.

Taymor is a 1991 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.

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Harry Lennix

Harry Lennix is an accomplished film, television and stage actor who currently stars as Harold Cooper, Assistant Director of Counterterrorism for the FBI on the new NBC series "The Blacklist" with James Spader. Moviegoers saw him this summer in the Warner Brothers’ blockbuster Man of Steel as General Swanwick.

Harry’s most recent film Mr. Sophistication, available on VOD September 6th, chronicles the journey of fictional stand-up comedian Ron Waters, a Richard Pryor/Lenny Bruce inspired observational comic who tries to regain the fame and success that imploded because of his own personal demons. He is also near completion of what he calls his “labor of love,” a new film version of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, entitled H4. It’s an innovative interpretation of the literary classic filmed in the theater and on the streets. Harry stars in and executive produced both films.

His film credits include State of Play (2009), Across the Universe (2007), the Oscar®-winning Ray, (2004), Barbershop 2 (2004,) The Matrix: Reloaded (2003), The Matrix: Revolutions (2003) and Love and Basketball (2000). Lennix received widespread critical acclaim and a Golden Satellite Award as Aaron in Julie Taymor’s Titus (1999) with Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange.

In 2006, Lennix starred in the Golden Globe® nominated ABC series "Commander in Chief" as Jim Gardner, the Chief of Staff to POTUS. He also starred as political activist Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in Showtime’s Keep The Faith Baby (2002) for which he won a Black Reel Award, a Golden Satellite Award and a NAACP Image Award® nomination. Other television credits include reoccurring roles on Fox’s "Dollhouse" HBO’s "Little Britain," NBC’s "ER," CW’s "Emily Owens, M.D.," "Diagnosis Murder" and the critically acclaimed "24" as Walid Al-Rezani.

Lennix made his Broadway debut in Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson’s Tony nominated Radio Golf. He has directed and appeared in stage productions across the country including the Northlight Theater Company’s Permanent Collection staged at the Greenway Arts Alliance in Los Angeles. Under his directing consultation the play was remounted at Los Angeles’ Kirk Douglas Theater. He has directed the stage version of Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats, which received three NAACP Theater Award nominations and The Glass Menagerie for Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater Company.

As a stage actor Lennix was the first distinguished recipient of an Ollie Award for his portrayal of Malcolm X at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and two Joseph Jefferson Citations for roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Caught in the Act. He also starred in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at the Mark Taper Forum. In 2001, he was part of the first American company to be invited to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the production of Cymbeline. Lennix has also been extremely active in his native Chicago community where he was an English and music teacher before becoming an actor.

In 1989, along with renowned director Chuck Smith, he founded Legacy Productions, a company dedicated to promoting significant works about the African American experience. He is also on the staff of the Goodman Theater Co. and is an internationally recognized Shakespeare practitioner, writing for various theatrical and literary journals dedicated to the Bard.

Lennix is active in various civic groups, and serves as Spokesman for NOBLE, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives as well as being an ambassador to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He is also on the Advisory Council for Northwestern University, his alma mater.

A Chicago native, Harry is married to Djena Graves Lennix, a businesswoman. They reside in Los Angeles and New York.

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