New Dramatists to Honor Tony Winner Julie Taymor; Helen Mirren to Present

News   New Dramatists to Honor Tony Winner Julie Taymor; Helen Mirren to Present New Dramatists will honor Tony Award-winning director-designer Julie Taymor during its 61st Annual Spring Benefit Luncheon May 18.
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The nation's oldest non-profit workshop "dedicated to the development of new playwrights" will honor Taymor with its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, who stars in Taymor's soon-to-be-released film adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," will present Taymor with her award. Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatricals serves as the Luncheon Chair.

"Julie Taymor is all artist," said Todd London, artistic director, New Dramatists, in a statement. "She's a director, designer, writer, film-maker, visual visionary. She does what our writers do — creates wonder out of nothing — and she does it majestically, with rampant imagination. We're honored to honor her, because her example of unbounded creativity sets a standard for all of us. Her art is something to marvel at. It's something to aspire to."

The annual luncheon salutes an artist who has made an "outstanding artistic contribution to the American theatre." Past honorees include Horton Foote, Edward Albee, Harvey Fierstein, Chita Rivera, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Jerry Herman, Terrence McNally, Barbara Cook, John Kander & Fred Ebb, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe and Gwen Verdon.

After Julie Taymor won the MacArthur "genius" award for her innovative work in theatre in 1991, she received two 1998 Tony Awards for her work on The Lion King, one for direction (the first woman to receive that honor) and one for costume design. Taymor's other Broadway credits include the Tony Award-nominated Lincoln Center Theater production of Juan Darien and the Drama Desk-nominated The Green Bird. Taymor's film directing credits include "Titus," "Frida" and "Across the Universe." Taymor will be represented on Broadway next season with Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark. New York Marriott Marquis is located in New York at 1535 Broadway. Tickets, priced at $300, are available by calling (212) 757-6960.

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Founded in 1949 by Michaela O'Harra in association with Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Moss Hart, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, New Dramatists has fostered the works of Paula Vogel, August Wilson, William Inge, Paddy Chayefsky, John Guare, John Patrick Shanley, Emily Mann and Suzan-Lori Parks. New Dramatists was the recipient of a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2001, and its playwrights have garnered 15 Pulitzers, 24 Tonys, 68 Obies, 17 Drama Desk Awards, 4 MacArthur Fellowships, and 12 Susan Smith Blackburn Awards.

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