Director Julie Taymor, credited with some of the most storied stage productions of our time, will receive the 2018 “Mr. Abbott” Award. The prize, which is the top laurel from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the not-for-profit foundation of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, honors “outstanding artistry and creativity over the course of her career.”
The award is named for the late legendary writer, director, producer and centurion – OK, centenarian – George Abbott, and will be presented at the Foundation’s annual gala next April 2 in New York. Last year’s winner was Kenny Leon, director of NBC’s live telecasts of Hairspray and The Wiz!.
Taymor’s work ranges from her long-running Broadway adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King and the spectacular misfire of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark to Mozart’s The Magic Flute for the Metropolitan Opera, from the intimate Grounded, with Anne Hathaway at the Public Theater, to her revival of David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, which is about to open on Broadway with Clive Owen. Her films include the Beatles fantasia Across the Universe, the Shakespeare nightmare Titus Andronicus and a matriarchal take on The Tempest with Helen Mirren as “Prospera.”
“SDC Foundation’s continued stewardship of Mr. Abbott’s legacy through this award warms the heart,” said his indomitable widow, Joy Abbott. “George and I met Julie about 25 years ago in Philadelphia, and even then he recognized her creative talent, her originality, and vision. I think that George would have been deeply moved to know Julie is being honored with his namesake award. She is truly a renaissance woman of the theater, cut from a similar mold as Mr. Abbott.”