Broken Watch Renames Shurin Theatre After Michael Weller

Broken Watch Theatre Company will rename the Sande Shurin Theatre after playwright and mentor Michael Weller. For the past 16 months, Broken Watch has been the resident company at the theatre, which is located at West 43rd Street (6th Floor); as of July 1st, the company has made the space its new home. There will be a special ribbon cutting ceremony before the performance of the company's current play, Christopher Kyle's The Safety Net, on Sunday, September 18th at 7 PM.

"Michael Weller creates the type of work that speaks to the masses...By naming our theatre after Mr. Weller, we not only honor his tremendous achievements in the theatre community at large; we also acknowledge and celebrate what he's meant and continues to mean to Broken Watch. Acting as counselor and matchmaker, Michael has been a great patron of our company, providing us with a theater company's most precious resource: talented young playwrights," commented Broken Watch in a press statement. "What pleases me, and amazes me most about this honor is having my name associated with a space devoted exclusively to encouraging new plays and new writers for the theatre," stated Weller.

Weller is co-founder (along with Angelina Fiordellisi and Susann Brinkley) and current Supervising Mentor for the Mentor Project at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. His vast body of work has garnered a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and an Academy Award nomination, as well as an NAACP Annual award for outstanding contributions. Among his best-known plays are Moonchildren, Loose Ends, Buying Time and Spoils of War (for which he also wrote the Hallmark teleplay) and What the Night is For. His other films include Hair, Ragtime (for Milos Forman), and Lost Angels (for Hugh Hudson). He was a writer/producer on the series "Once & Again," and developed two pilots ("Our Life" and "Just Like Home") with director Michael Pressman, with whom he is currently developing a new series called "Nassau County."

Approaching Moomtaj, his play about a Brooklyn Everyman caught in a virtual Arabian fairy tale shortly after 9/11, had its world premiere last September at the New Rep in Boston under the direction of Rick Lombardo. Zhivago, His Broadway-bound musical of Boris Pasternak's novel (music by Lucy Simon, and lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers), will open on the La Jolla main stage and will be directed by Des McAnuff. He is currently writing the book for musical using songs from the legendary rock band, Fleetwood Mac. His play What the Night is For (the first of a trilogy) premiered in London's West End and the Laguna Playhouse last season. The second play of this series, 50 Words will be produced next spring, and a film based on the entire trilogy is currently in development starring Annette Bening.

Since first presenting Howard Korder's This Boys Life in its initial season, "Broken Watch has continued to present first-rate productions which include Weller's Split and the world premieres of Edward Allan Baker's American Storage and Hunt Holman's The Kidney. Broken Watch Theatre Company's 2005-2006 Season came out of their BrokenWorkshop series, which in the past has developed a multitude of new works.

Broken Watch will present The Safety Net (directed by Martha Banta) from September 16th through October 2nd, James Christy, J. Holtham, Kendra Levin and Robert Vaughan's A Broken Christmas Carol (directed by Drew DeCorleto) in December, and Christy's Never Tell (directed by DeCorleto) in February 2006.

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