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Julie Taymor Completes Panel for TCG National Conference, 6/16 - 6/18

Tony® Award winner and Academy Award® nominee Julie Taymor rounds out the renowned host of keynote speakers at the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) annual National Conference in Los Angeles, June 16-18, 2011. Speaking to the largest forum for the National Theatre community, Taymor will address the central question of the conference and TCG's year-long 50th anniversary celebration: "What if...?" "What if...?" is the guiding question behind the imaginative impulse to create, to improve and to ultimately make change.

"We are all thrilled to have Julie Taymor participate in TCG's National Conference," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "She is one of the finest and most creative artists today-and we are honored that she will be with us, among her colleagues and peers."

In addition to giving the closing keynote address at the conference, Taymor will screen her latest film, The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren, FeliciTy Jones and Djimon Hounsou, which will be followed by a Q&A with members of the creative team. Taymor will also participate in the breakout session entitled A Director's Life, which will focus on how directing artists can evolve and grow artistically.

Taymor most recently served as director and co-book writer for the Broadway production, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. In 1998, Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony® Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and also won a Tony® for Best Costumes, for her landmark production of The Lion King. (Complete bio below.)

In addition to Taymor, the previously announced award-winning columnist Mona Eltahawy will be the opening keynote speaker. Eltahawy has written for and been published by periodicals in the U.S, and the Middle East, including The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and Canada's Toronto Star. Futurist David Houle and author and artistic director Todd London will speak at the large plenary sessions. Another highlight of the conference will be an artist panel, including poet-playwright Marcus Gardley, director, playwright, designer, and visual artist Nancy Keystone, designer Mimi Lien, and producer, writer, actor Tanya Selvaratnam.

LA Stage Alliance is the host of the TCG National Conference. The RADAR L.A. festival will serve as TCG's preconference, which kicks off on June 14 and runs until June 20. RADAR L.A. is an international festival of Contemporary Theatre, in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Center Theater Group, LA Stage Alliance, REDCAT, The Under the Radar Office at The Public Theater and the Los Angeles Theatre Center. TCG conference attendees have the opportunity to participate in this professional development pre-conference symposium on integrating presenting opportunities into theatre business and artistic models. They will be exposed to new and contemporary theatrical expressions from L.A. and around the globe:

For more information and registration, visit

For 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. Founded in 1961, TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; grants approximately $2 million per year to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level and serves as the US Center of the InterNational Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community.

TCG is the nation's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 11 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on our booklist; it also publishes the award-winning AMERICAN THEATRE magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.

In 1998, Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony® Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and also won a Tony® for Best Costumes, for her landmark production of The Lion King. The musical has won three Molière Awards including Best Musical and Best Costumes, garnered Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards for Taymor's direction, and myriad awards for her original costume, mask and puppet designs. For her latest Broadway production, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Taymor served as director and co-book writer. Taymor made her Broadway debut in 1996 with Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, nominated for five Tony® Awards. Other theatre work includes The Green Bird, Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads and Liberty's Taken. Taymor's feature film directorial debut, Titus, starred Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming. In 2002, her biographical film Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, earned six Academy Award® nominations, winning two. She took on the music of the Beatles, and earned a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, in Across the Universe. Julie's most recent film, The Tempest, had its North American premiere at the 48th New York Film Festival in October 2010, following a world premiere at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. Taymor's adaptation of the William Shakespeare play features an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou and Alfred Molina. 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. A subsequent film version premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won her an Emmy® award. Taymor also directed Salome´, The Flying Dutchman, Die Zauberflöte (which has been in repertory at The Met for six years), The Magic Flute (the abridgEd English version of Die Zauberflöte, which inaugurated a new PBS series entitled "Great Performances at The Met") and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel. Taymor is a 1991 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.



Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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