Warner Bros. Launches Theatre Ventures Division; Sam Mendes to Direct CHARLIE Musical
Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros., today announced a reorganization of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, with Mark Kaufman and Raymond Wu sharing the position of Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, the Studio's live theater production operation. Kaufman, who will be based in New York, and Wu, who will be based in Burbank, will both report to Alan Horn, who is overseeing the division in his consulting role for the Studio, reporting to Meyer.
"It's great to have Alan's creative instincts and insight available to Theatre Ventures, with Ray and Mark bringing a terrific combination of experience and proven hit-making talent to our team," said Meyer. "With this new leadership structure, we can make the most of the myriad opportunities available to Theatre Ventures and take its operations to the next level."
Wu has been with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures since 2005 and previously served as Senior Vice President of Development and Head of Operations. He was one of the lead producers of the division's holiday Broadway musical hit "Elf," which broke box office records five of the nine weeks of its limited engagement in 2010-2011. Before joining Warner Bros., Wu was with Disney Theatricals, producers of the stage hits "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast."
Kaufman joins Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures from Unique Features. Kaufman supervised and oversaw the Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical "Hairspray" as well as the Tony-nominated musical "The Wedding Singer" on behalf of New Line Cinema, and was also one of the lead producers of the stage production of "Elf." Additionally, during his 16 years at New Line Cinema, Kaufman oversaw such films as "Secondhand Lions," "Take the Lead" and "Hairspray." He also served as executive producer on the hit comedies "Four Christmases" and "17 Again," as well as "My Sister's Keeper," and as associate producer on "Valentine's Day."
Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures is the live stage play division of Warner Bros. Entertainment and responsible for developing and producing musicals and other stage productions for the Studio. The division currently has various projects in development, including co-productions with award-winning Broadway, film and television producers. Among these are an adaptation of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which will be directed by Sam Mendes, acclaimed film and stage veteran. "Charlie" is planned to open in 2013 in the United Kingdom. Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures is also responsible for maintaining and licensing the stage rights to the various properties within the Studio's vast media library, including "The Wizard of Oz," "The Color Purple" and "42nd Street."
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos