Tony-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning artist Julie Taymor will be the 2018 recipient of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s “Mr. Abott” Award for lifetime achievement. The honor, to be presented at the annual gala April 2, acknowledges Taymor’s artistry and creativity over her decades-long career.
Established in 1985, the award is named for legendary director George Abbott; the recipient is chosen by a group of their peers, namely the members of the SDC executive board. Past honorees include Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Graciela Daniele, James Lapine, Lynne Meadow, Jerry Mitchell, and Susan Stroman.
Tony winner Bartlett Sher and Tyne Rafaeli are set to direct the gala event, which will include appearances by Joy Abbott, Daniel Ezralow (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Green Bird), Elliot Goldenthal, Donald Holder, Harry Lennis, and Kenny Leon. Tony and Abbott winner Jack O’Brien will present the honor to Taymor. There will also be a performance by the cast of The Lion King.
Taymor was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2015. She made her Broadway debut with her production of Juan Darien, which she directed, wrote, and designed. Her production of Disney’s The Lion King earned 11 Tony nominations, with Julie receiving awards for Best Director and Costume Designer (and becoming the first woman in history to receive the award for Best Direction of a Musical). The production recently celebrated its landmark 20th anniversary.