For director Julie Taymor, creating entertainment is sort of like being on an elevator.

“You allow the audience to get off on any floor,” she said.

Ms. Taymor, the critically acclaimed director of film and theatre with credits including the Lion King, Frida, Titus and Across the Universe, lives by many mottos. But in an interview with the Gazette this week, Ms. Taymor emphasized the need to make theatre and film accessible for all.

Her latest project is a filmed production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play was performed at the Theatre for a New Audience in New York and filmed over the course of four live performances. On Thursday, August 20, Ms. Taymor will screen and discuss the film at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.

“There’s a level for people who know this play very well and they will get every single nuance because they know the language, but if you’re a child of age six or seven, you will get it as well,” she said sitting outside the Chilmark Community Center on Sunday morning.

The community center holds a special place in her Vineyard memory. Ms. Taymor has been coming to the Island for 60 years, and in high school she taught drama and mask making at the community center’s summer day camp. Her family now convenes up-Island for a week every August.

“Vineyard is peace, it’s beautiful,” Ms. Taymor said.

Much of the music for Midsummer Night’s Dream was created on the Island, composed by her partner Elliot Goldenthal.

“When you’re sitting here at night, listening to the crickets and the ocean, I’m sure the magic of that was instrumental in Elliot’s composition,” Ms. Taymor said. “He loved composing here. You can’t rehearse here so I do more reading and planning here. I remember when I was doing Across the Universe, I was in Gay Head on the phone with the lawyers and I was just dying to go to the kayaks.”

Ms. Taymor is best known for her stage adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King, but throughout her career she has returned to Shakespeare again and again.

Simply put: “He’s the best writer in the English language,” she said. “He writes the most challenging, multi-leveled characters, his protagonists don’t stand out as good guys.

Ms. Taymor took on Titus, The Tempest and other Shakespeare plays, many of which became film adaptations, but stayed away from Midsummer for years.

“It was too unnatural for me,” she said. “Until I could nail [down] how I wanted to do the fairy world and Puck, I wasn’t going to sign on.”

But then the Theatre for a New Audience began building a new theatre in Brooklyn and asked Ms. Taymor to be the inaugural director. She read four or five plays, including Twelfth Night and Macbeth.

“But that’s not a good play to open a theatre unless you want to burn it down,” she said.

And then the idea for Midsummer Night’s Dream came up.

“Midsummer was created for a wedding originally they say, and it feels that inaugurating a new theatre is a marriage between an audience and the theatre itself, the actors and the designers,” Ms. Taymor said. “It felt like the right thing to do as a blessing on the house.”

Ms. Taymor used set dressers, prop masters and stage managers in the performance to create more depth and interaction for the audience. For the fairy world, she turned to 18 children, or what she called “rude elementals” to create a world without order. They would be the fairies, the woods, the serpents, the creepy creatures in Puck’s world. And Puck would be played by the 58 year old veteran actress Kathryn Hunter.

Part of the magic of the play was due in part to the verticality of the space, with a large white canopy used to transition between worlds. Translating that to the medium of film would be difficult, but in the end cameras could go places the audience members never could.

“I actually like the film better and I’ll tell you why,” Ms. Taymor admitted. “You can put cameras where the audience never is. We caught four live performances so the audience is in the best seat of the house for every scene.”

A speech by Titania to Oberon, for example, is now able to pick up on the subtleties of Oberon’s reaction.

“We’re getting a double whammy through the language but also through the people listening,” she said. “That is a revelation in making theatre better, making it clearer, much more comprehensible.”

By filming a theatrical performance, Ms. Taymor hopes to make theatre more accessible.

“I think young people are told to be frightened [of theatre] and then they come and see something like this and it’s a revelation, again, they cannot believe it,” she said.

Ms. Taymor is working on several projects these days, including an adaptation of the Flying Dutchman set in modern day Newport, R.I. and New Bedford, and Transposed Heads where the worlds of contemporary New York, contemporary India and mythological India meet. And The Lion King continues as strong as ever, now in its 20th year of theatrical production in nearly 20 countries around the world.

“It’s the most successful entertainment in the history of the world, so why is that? Because it transcends culture and touches you in the way only theatre can,” Ms. Taymor said. Ms. Taymor said she’ll likely film the musical eventually.

“People will probably say the theatre experience is greater because theatre experiences are greater than film,” Ms. Taymor said. “You’re there, it’s live. It has the possibility for change and the danger for mistakes. You feel that ephemeralness. You feel the wind as the sheet goes up in the air, the tactile nature of it.”

And although she works in both worlds, Ms. Taymor’s love of theatre, particularly at this moment, shines through. Film, it seems, is more a conduit to get people to the theatre.

People are too emerged in their phones with their heads down and eyes narrowed, she said. “And then you go to the theatre and they look up and it’s, holy [smokes]. If you can show them good theatre on film so they’re turned on to it, it’ll invite them in.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Julie Taymor will screen at 7:30 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven. Bob Brustein will interview Ms. Taymor after the show.