Taylor Kay Phillips '11 can add Emmy award winner to her list of accomplishments. Phillips is a writer for "Last Week with John Oliver," which won Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series during the televised ceremony on Monday, Sept. 12.
At Barstow, Phillips was president of the Pretenders Club, editor of the B-Line student newspaper and a varsity basketball standout. The words used to describe Phillips on her 2011 Weathercock senior page include "theatre nerd, witty, multi-talented and playwright."
Director of Theatre Bob Kohler remembers Taylor, whose roles in Barstow productions included the sharp-tongued Kate in "The Taming of the Shrew," as a natural on stage — and off.
"Taylor has always been extremely funny — and confident. Boy, is she confident!" Kohler said. "There’s an expression on stage to 'find your light.' And it means to make sure your face is illuminated, sure, but also to take a strong position on stage as you’re telling the story. Taylor always found her light, and everyone else’s. And that’s how her humor is. Confident, bold, strong. I just laugh thinking about her. I’m so glad she’s making a name for herself. "
As a writer, English Department Chair Mark Luce recognized that she has a way with words, and didn't shy away from holding power accountable.
"That her irreverence and wicked pen would end up in the writer's room for John Oliver strikes me as hardly surprising. John Oliver relentlessly skewers bombastic fools and self-aggrandizing dolts with logic and humor. Taylor has been doing that as long as I have known her. And I couldn't be more proud of her."
Phillips attended Harvard University and graduated with a B.A. in English Language and Literature, Dramatic Arts in 2015.