Paul Zimet is the Artistic Director of the Talking Band. Born and raised in New York City, he studied clarinet and voice at the High School of Music and Art, comparative literature at Columbia College, and medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Music-theater works that he has written and directed include: The Room Sings, The Golden Toad (with Ellen Maddow), Marcellus Shale, New Islands Archipelago, Radnevsky’s Real Magic, Imminence, Belize, The Parrot, Star Messengers, Bitterroot, Party Time, Black Milk Quartet and New Cities.
Paul has directed over thirty productions for the Talking Band, and received a 2003 Village Voice OBIE award for his direction of Painted Snake in a Painted Chair by Ellen Maddow. In 2011, he directed Taylor Mac’s The Walk Across America for Mother Earth which was named in the New York Times as of the year’s top 10 productions. In 2010, he directed The Deity, the first section of Taylor Mac’s OBIE award winning epic, The Lily’s Revenge. Paul has received three OBIE awards for his work with the Open Theater and the Winter Project, both directed by Joseph Chaikin, the John C. Lippmann “New Frontier” Award and the Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theater, a Playwrights’ Center National McKnight Fellowship, playwriting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, a New Dramatists/Children’s Theatre Playground commission, a Rockefeller/Creative Capital MAP Fund grant, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a 2008 NewYorkTheatre.Com People of the Year award.
In addition to performing with Talking Band (most recently in Fusiform Gyrus , The Peripheralsand Panic! Euphoria! Blackout both by Ellen Maddow) Paul has performed with Restless, NYC (Mallory Catlett), Otrabanda Company, The Stratford Festival of Canada, and the New York Shakespeare Festival. He has taught for many years at colleges and universities, including Princeton, Williams, NYU, and Fordham. Paul is Associate Professor Emeritus in Theatre at Smith College, and an alumnus of New Dramatists.
In addition to his theater work, Paul works with the New York Peace Institute, mediating Civil, Criminal, and Co-Parenting cases, and helps to trains NYPD officers in mediation techniques. He also holds a Sixth Degree Black Belt in Aikido and teaches at the New York Aikikai, home to Chief Instructor, Yoshimutsu Yamada Sensei, 8th Dan.