Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Curtis Taylor (Seattle) is a writer, filmmaker and theater artist who has successfully explored the threshold between stage and film by repurposing opera, sacred song, ballet, and vaudeville traditions with a variety of devices such as puppets, shadow plays, stage magic and in-camera illusions. His work has been commissioned by the Northwest Film Forum, On the Boards, and the Portland Institute of Art. More recently, he has used film to consider themes of art, life and time. As a freelance art director and production designer, Curtis has worked with the Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, the Palestinian National Theater of Jerusalem, Robin Holcomb, Britta Johnson, and Book-It Repertory Theater of Seattle. In 2008 he received a Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs' CityArtist Projects Award.

Curtis received a 2010 GAP to pay for artists’ fees related to the production of an original evening-length performance of his play about debt, flying dreams and suicide titled A White White Day. Over the course of the story three people attack one another in fits of loneliness and come together in ballets of work, love and theft. The story will explore an inverse desire to not be alone. The portrayal of the liminal modern realms of A White White Day (recorded voices, the internet, delivery routes) will utilize elements of stage magic and an intricate light-and-sound design.

Curtis received a 2005 GAP to be used towards the creation of the production design for Hand of Bridge, a one-act opera written by Samuel Barber. Taylor’s production is to be performed by four solo voices and chamber orchestra. Depicting two couples at a game of bridge, the opera is built around the struggle of each character’s personal and private selves. “The opera is a marvel of economy that uses the game of bridge, conventions of opera and Barber’s dramatic shifts in tone and phrase to make a complex portrait of ordinary people,” says Taylor. The opera is to be performed at the Northwest Film Forum and then evolve into a short film.

Updates from the Artist: Curtis completed a residency from Jack Straw Productions' 2008 Artist Support Program.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

As a writer, filmmaker and theater artist I have successfully explored the threshold between stage and film by repurposing opera, sacred song, ballet and vaudeville traditions with a variety of devices such as puppets, shadow plays, stage magic and in-camera illusions.

In Seattle I founded a performance-storefront named Vodvil. Under that auspice I created original murder-ballad operas and ballets. I have been commissioned to make performances by the Northwest Film Forum, On the Boards, and the Portland Institute of Art. More recently I have used film to consider themes of art, life and time. My short film Bachianas No. 5 premiered in 2008 at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

As a freelance art director and production designer I have worked with the Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, the Palestinian National Theater of Jerusalem, Robin Holcomb, Britta Johnson, and Book-It Repertory Theater of Seattle, among others.

Curtis Taylor