Loving Julie Taymor and the Lion King

“A whole new vocabulary of images made its way to Broadway thanks to Julie Taymor’s [Lion King].” (The New York Times, 1997)

This summer Broadway’s most financially successful and critically acclaimed show The Lion King will come to Vancouver. As you prepare to go to see The Lion King at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre- and hopefully you will – you can inform yourself about the creative visions and passion behind the show by learning more about creative director, designer and director Julie Taymor. As she inspires you, you in turn will feel inspired to share your new understanding with your children.

Taymor believes  that The Lion King is unique as a theatrical experience as the show tells a non human story through the oldest means of theatre – very sophisticated puppetry and music.  The story, emotions and music come through.  The roots of the show are in Africa and Asia but are put together as a piece of drama that transcends cultural boundaries musically and theatrically in a completely unique way.

While watching Julie Taymor in interviews it is immediately evident that she is a talented and confident director and designer. There are numerous highly talented women operating in North America, and sometimes – sometimes – we read about them in the mass media. Julie Taymor is a particularly high functioning woman in the creative and entertainment industries.  Her biography makes for an interesting read and mentions that her early education included studying Bunraku puppetry in Japan, masked dance drama and traditional shadow puppetry in Indonesia.

Taymor says she “does what she is passionate about, period.”  She believes that “everyone has the power” and explains that complacency is everyone’s worst enemy.  Comfort is also dangerous.  Youth can change the world around them and everybody has the ability to transform themselves and the world in which they live.   Even if their influence is a “teeny bit” it is still worth doing.  Taking responsibility does not have to be a chore.  Each of us can find our own way to effect change, whether by engaging in anything from puppetry to politics.

Image: Julie Taymor Playing With Fire (Hardcover)

Julie Taymor speaks with Rosie O’Donnell about The Lion King

Julie Taymor speaks about The Lion King in a Women in Broadway episode (28:30 – 33:40)

In the following video see how dance and movement is incorporated into the stage production of The Lion King.”

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