Working in musicals, Shakespeare, film and opera, Julie Taymor is a wildly imaginative and provocative director and designer. She is well known for having translated the film The Lion King to Broadway, a still-running show for which she also designed costumes, masks and puppets -- and won two Tony Awards. (She was the first woman to win a Tony for directing a musical.) She has received multiple awards for her work, and given both MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships.
In 2005, she worked on a lavish production of Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, and in 2006 she co-wrote a version of the story of Beowulf, Grendel. Meanwhile, she has developed a fascinating career in the movies. She directed Across the Universe, a romp through the music of the Beatles, Titus, a 1999 adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, and the glorious Frida, the 2002 film about Frida Kahlo for which she received an Oscar nomination. More recently, and most dramatically, Taymor collaborated with musicians from U2 on a Broadway stage version of Marvel Studios' Spider-Man.