My name is Noah Taylor. I am a theatre artist, photographer, and graphic designer working in Anderson, SC. A 2012 graduate of Anderson University, I currently work as a photo retoucher at Torque Creative, while directing for the stage, freelancing as a designer and photographer, and finding as many opportunities as possible bring the arts to life in our community. I am a firm believer in the power of art to change lives, communities, and the world for the better. I am the co-founder and artistic director of both 24 Hour Musical and The Market Theatre Company, and owner of Taylored Imaging.
Next to Normal was a remarkable, one of a kind experience. These photos are long overdue! Please excuse the photo dump, as I just couldn't narrow it down to just a few photos. There were so many wonderful moments that I was proud of as a director, and I can't thank Escobar Photography enough for capturing this show so beautifully.
Photos ©2017 Escobar Photography
(Click photos to enlarge, then use the on-screen arrows to navigate.)
I recently happened across the opportunity to rebrand and design the monthly magazine for the South Carolina Theatre Association. Just this year, I have discovered all that this amazing organization does to create and cultivate art while connecting artists and organizations like my own to the greater arts community. Publication design has always been an interest of mine, and I was excited to finally have the opportunity explore that interest. Even though this magazine is published in a digital format, it was exciting to find ways to bring large amounts of information and text to life, while incorporating tactile and textural elements that are familiar to traditional magazines. I am so looking forward to continuing to work with SCTA as a designer, theatre artist, and organizational leader – starting with the annual convention in just a few weeks!
I am having a blast designing the poster and subsequent branding for Anderson's third annual Shakespeare in the Park. This year's production is a roaring twenties-inspired Taming of the Shrew. The first opportunity I ever had to design a show poster was for the twenties-set musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, and it was so much fun to revisit this time period.
Shakespeare in the Park is presented by the City of Anderson and our very own 24 Hour Musical, Inc. Learn more about Shakespeare in the Park here.
Time for a new notebook, and I couldn't imagine a better quote to carry around with me on a daily basis. I love the visceral imagery in Tennessee Williams' words.
The 24 Hour Musical team is beyond excited to announce that we are MOVING once again! This year's 24 Hour Musical will be in the 1000-seat Henderson Auditorium at Anderson University. After 3 years of sell-out annual shows, 2017 will truly be bigger and better than ever! As always, we will bring together theatre artists and volunteers from around the Upstate to put together an entire Broadway-style musical in just 24 hours. Auditions will be held throughout the month of May via video submission. On Friday, August 11, cast and volunteers will come together, we will announce the title of the show, and work through the night to create a magical (and delirious) show! Admission is free, and for the first time, you might not have to worry about snagging a seat! All donations from the show will go directly to our 2017 charity partner, which will be announced in the coming weeks. A huge thanks to our headlining sponsor, Anderson University, who have always been so supportive and gone so far to support 24 Hour Musical's mission to better our community through theatre arts. Stay tuned for more details, and mark your calendars now for this crazy, must-see summer show!
I am thrilled to take on yet another dream project this summer with Next to Normal at The Market. This show's brilliant score is made even more important by its dynamic characters and situations. I'm excited for the opportunity to share this journey with other artists and share this story with our audiences. We all have so much to understand about mental health in ourselves, our families, and those around us – I can't wait to bring this show to our community!
By the way, there are so many other amazing things happening in Anderson in 2017. I am humbled and simply blown away by the growth and success of our efforts to give life to the arts in our little Electric City. The Market has an incredible, challenging, fun second season lined up, with something for everyone. 24 Hour Musical is back and growing more than ever – more details coming soon.
From one dream show to another! Willy Wonka opened last weekend at The Market and I couldn't be happier. Our production is imaginative, immersive, and inventive in ways that I had no clue a musical about a giant magical chocolate factory could be. Our still-new startup theatre company has once again been blessed with a phenomenal all-star cast, this time featuring both adults and kids. We have almost 40 cast members total, who utilize every inch of our tiny little "found space" venue. Another first: we staged this show in the round, with huge rewards and great feedback so far. This poster was pretty fun to design as well! Willy Wonka runs through November 20 and tickets are only $10. Hope to see you there!
Last week, I had the honor of being recognized by the Anderson Independent Mail as one of Anderson's 20 Under 40 community leaders. It was such an amazing experience and I so enjoyed the opportunity to meet the other honorees and alumni. I was truly humbled, surprised, and overwhelmed by this recognition. Not only do I love the arts and want to see art thrive, but I love this community and am passionate about seeing Anderson grow and thrive. I only hope that my progress and impact so far are the beginning of bigger and more amazing things for our community! [Read article]
© 2016 Escobar Photography
Huge thanks to Sandy Staggs for his kind words about our production of Sweeney Todd at Electric City Playhouse! See what he had to say below, and be sure to read the full review here.
"...more extraordinary is that this version of the classic customarily set in Victorian London has been modernized by director Noah Taylor and infused with a mostly young, vigorous troupe, in some non-traditional casting... his Sweeney Todd is a wholly invigorating chamber musical that is wildly entertaining and imaginative. It’s full-throttle, a bit risqué and cuts right to the bone of the social power structure and the characters’ timeless motivations ‑ love, lust and greed... The scene transitions are swift and smooth. Taylor maximizes the entire space at ECP including the aisles and the utilitarian scenic design and layout packs no less than 13 portals to peer, enter and exit with set pieces and props, including the lobby doors."
– Sandy Staggs, Carolina Curtain Call »
I have had the honor of directing a dream production, Sweeney Todd, at Electric City Playhouse over the past several months. Now, opening weekend is finally here! Sweeney Todd has always been fascinating to me. It’s macabre blend of comedy, eccentric characters, fun effects, and questions of morality make it so compelling that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I am a huge fan of Stephen Sondheim; with the wit, complexity, and poetic nature of his work, I’ve often referred to him as a contemporary Shakespeare. It was that comparison that urged me to bring freshness and relevance to this extremely well-known story, in the same way that many bring contemporary interpretations to Shakespeare’s classics.
When first cracking open the script, our team discovered a world that looks and feels far more familiar than you might expect. Recent industrial and technological advancements in Victorian London were unprecedented. Throughout this society’s warp-speed growth and urbanization, the rich became increasingly richer while the poor became poorer. This was a world of extreme classism. Self-serving politicians, royalty, and the privileged few lived in luxury while everyone else struggled to put food on the table. The political system was dominated by two parties in a stalemate, rendering government incapable of bringing about much-needed social change. Sound familiar?
In tracing this tale back to its roots, it became apparent that familiarity has always been at the core of Sweeney’s grisly nature. In fact, the “penny dreadfuls” which originated the story of Sweeney Todd felt so familiar and resonated so deeply with readers’ vulnerabilities that most contemporaries believed the murderous barber and his pie-making accomplice to be real-life residents of Fleet Street.
I hope that the story our audiences see will resonate and connect with that same degree of familiarity. At the heart of this story are characters who are not too different from you or me. Many of these characters have extreme stress, abuse, and hardship thrust upon them; some of them are fortunate enough to have extreme privilege. Either way, they face a series of opportunities to choose between selfishness and compassion. Lust, abuse of power, thirst for revenge, greedy manipulation, lies, and murder – we see all kinds of self-serving choices lead characters down a path to destruction. What makes Sweeney Todd truly frightening, beyond the murders and meat pies, is that the human nature driving these characters to do the unthinkable is the same human nature that resides within all of us. At least, in the end, there is Hope – hope that we can choose compassion, selflessness, and love, in turn finding joy and fuller life.
Tickets are on sale now at www.ecplayhouse.com. The show runs October 14-30, 2016. Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. See you there!
Original music from our production of Almost, Maine at ECP last fall is now on Soundcloud. I absolutely loved collaborating with AJ Weaver to give this story a completely original soundtrack. The music took on a life of its own, never upstaging the story, but setting a perfect tone, drawing the audience in, and propelling the story forward. It was so much fun to discover the unique sound of this show. AJ has spent the better part of this year working on our next project together, Sweeney Todd, and I'm already loving our conversations and discoveries. Be sure to check out this soundtrack and the rest of his work! (Interlude might be my favorite, but ask me again tomorrow and I'll tell you something different.)
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This was a fun one! This family shot for STOK Grills took a good deal of time and creative thinking to piece together. The photo was designed to be used as a banner on www.stokgrills.com, and required an extra-wide crop that could not be achieved in a single shot. Other lenses were considered, but would have caused extra distortion on the product, which is of course the star of this show. Our solution: The photographer captured multiple background shots to either side of the original frame. I then dropped these files into the photo and began warping, masking, and airbrushing. Perspective and lens distortion were a challenge, especially with the busy grid-like pattern on the patio. What seemed like a next-to-impossible task at the start was a welcome challenge that I enjoyed navigating. I'm really pleased with how this project came together, and can't wait to see this shot online!
Slide to see before & after:
Looking forward to getting started on my next stage project tonight! I'll be directing 9 TO 5 at The Market Theatre Company. This is our biggest undertaking yet at the new theatre, and I'm looking forward to the creative challenge of adapting this upbeat, large-scale musical to our unique venue. I love the casting process: getting to see the material that people bring to auditions, how they choose to present themselves, seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones as well, and finally putting faces with the characters that I've been studying and getting to know for so long. I can't wait to get started! For audition details, and to see the cast list when it's posted, click here.