JulieTaymor first directed Titus Andronicus
with Theatre for a New Audience at St Clement’s Church in New York City from 3 to 27
March 1994, a staging that cemented her reputation as a leading Shakespearean director.
During an interview included on the DVD version of the film Titus (1999), Taymor
recalled that she was offered the opportunity to direct the play based upon her previous
experience in creating stylised theatrical depictions of violence; yet, she quickly realised
that such an approach would
To look at the performance history of Titus Andronicus is to confront some provocative questions such as why has this play posed severe problems for generations of readers, critics, editors, actors, directors, and playgoers. The book examines twelve major theatrical productions and one film, on the play, that appeared in the years 1989-2009. It begins with Edward Ravenscroft's version that superseded Shakespeare's script. Peter Brook chose to stylise or formalise many moments, and Deborah Warner's production worked with no cutting of the script. Every staging of Titus elicits comments about the daunting nature of the script. The book presents Irving Wardle's reactions on Trevor Nunn's 1972 rendition, and Stanley Wells's review of the Swan production. The densest concentration of such problems and anomalies, as perceived by today's directors, critics, and editors, comes in the final scene. The productions that opened in 1989, directed by Jeannette Lambermont, Daniel Mesguich, and Michael Maggio, cut and rearranged the text liberally, often in an attempt to avoid the laughter. During the period 1989-99, three major European directors, Peter Stein, Silviu Purcarete, and Gregory Doran, focused their attention on the ways in which the play can be made to comment on specific contemporary affairs. Julie Taymor's venture in 1994 combined stylization with the 'visceral reality' as a means to keep spectators off balance and continuously sensitive to the shocking brutality of the play's events. The book ends by discussing the efforts of Yukio Ninagaw, Bill Alexander, Gale Edwards, Richard Rose, and Lucy Bailey.
Frida Kahlo is probably the best known
Latin American artist and a great deal has been written about her cult
status, which began to emerge in the United States in the 1980s and has
continued to the present day. 1
There have also been a number of studies of the film Frida (2000),
directed by JulieTaymor and starring Salma Hayek. 2 However, the role of music in the film has not
been the subject
male and female forms of magic in the figures of Prospero and Sycorax. What happens, then, to the magic in the play when Prospero becomes Prospera?
I address this question by examining how magic is wielded in performance by three of the most prominent Prosperas to date, two on stage and one on screen: Blair Brown (2003, McCarter Theatre, directed by Emily Mann), Helen Mirren (2010 film directed by JulieTaymor) and Olympia Dukakis (2012, Shakespeare & Company, directed by Tony Simotes).
Stein (Rome’s Teatro Ateneo, 1989–90), Silviu Purcarete (Theatre National de
Craiova, Romania, 1993–97), Gregory Doran (Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South
Africa, 1995 ), and Richard Rose (Stratford,
Ontario, 2000 ).
However, the best known ‘political’ rendition of Titus
Andronicus is the stage production directed in 1994 by JulieTaymor, for New
York’s Theatre for a New Audience, and later made into the feature film Titus
(1999). Taymor’s version of the play not only stressed a modern preoccupation with
During the decade following the release of JulieTaymor’s film, at least one major stage production of Titus Andronicus
represented each of the four lines of descent in the play’s performance history.
Yukio Ninagawa’s Japanese production exhibited the influence of Peter Brook’s
stylised technique, while both Bill Alexander, for the RSC, and Gale Edwards, for the
Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, DC, followed the realistic example set by Jane Howell.
Richard Rose’s Stratford, Ontario production, set in
’s assumed priority in the collaborative
composition of Titus , which affects not only the editorial choices made in scholarly
editions, but also the staging decisions made in theatrical productions based on such
editions. To explore this issue, I will concentrate on the productions of three recent
directors (Gregory Doran, JulieTaymor, and Bill Alexander) who made strong performance
choices regarding Mutius, all influenced to some degree by claims about the composition of
the play in editions or other criticism that they
Representing the supernatural in film adaptations of A Midsummer
poet's imagination. In 2014, acclaimed film director, JulieTaymor made a similar claim – she held that the Dream was ‘unfilmable’.
So, rather than make a film adaptation, despite being known for her film direction, Taymor mounted a lavish and ambitious stage production of the Dream to great acclaim.
Although not produced as a film adaptation (but rather a filmed record of her stage production), Taymor's A Midsummer
self-reflexive film, which typically makes no distinction
between characters and spectators, Evans concludes that the songs in Tango provide
the occasion for performative distillations of identity and desire.
Chapter 13 shifts the focus to Mexico
with Deborah Shaw ’s exploration of the role of popular song in
the film Frida (JulieTaymor, 2000), based on the life of Mexican
artist Frida Kahlo, and co-produced by, and
aimed for a political rendition of Titus in the new
tradition inaugurated by Douglas Seale and continued by Peter Stein and Silviu Purcarete. To
the extent that Doran and Sher set in motion a lively discussion about art, violence, and
race relations in contemporary South Africa, their production was a significant achievement.
Four years later, JulieTaymor’s film version of the play, based on her New York
stage production, went two steps further by incorporating even more comprehensively all four
lines of descent in