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Julie Taymor briefly discussed her old stint as director of troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark at the 50th anniversary national conference of Theatre Communications in L.A. on Saturday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Speaking with Oberlin College professor Roger Copeland, Taymor didn’t linger on the controversies that led her to leave the musical, which include a slew of injuries, artistic disputes and constant delays. Instead, the Tony-winning director focused on what originally drew her to the project.
“Pieces that attract me have to do with outsiders,” she explained, using Harry Potter as an example of the kind of character she believes is perfect for musical theater. “Peter Parker had everything to sing about — he had yearning, he had exuberance, he had unrequited love.”
However, she said the immense pressure of working on a big Broadway show in the age of blogging and social media eventually got to her.
“It’s incredibly difficult to be under a shot-glass and a microscope like that,” Taymor said.
She also criticized the use of focus groups to finalize artistic decisions, pointing out that she aims to appeal to a wide variety of theatergoers and testing on select audiences limits her scope.
“There’s always something people don’t like,” she said.
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