Mark Kaufman serves as Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and in this role is charged with identifying titles and characters from the world-renowned Warner Bros. Entertainment library that might lend themselves to the stage and developing them into theatrical productions.
The division is currently producing the highly successful musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London’s West End, with Sam Mendes directing. Theatre Ventures is also co-producing the 2013 Olivier Award Best Play winner, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, with the National Theatre for a September 2014 debut on Broadway and readying a brand-new production of the drama Misery, with Oscar-winner Bill Goldman adapting his 1990 screenplay.
Under Kaufman’s leadership, Theatre Ventures is constantly exploring production opportunities, working in various capacities with award-winning theater, film and television producers. The division’s roster of upcoming projects includes dramas, comedies and musicals based on both library titles and original concepts.
Theatre Ventures was most recently represented on Broadway with the Tony Award-winning original musical The Bridges of Madison County. Other Broadway productions include the holiday hit Elf. This original musical, based on the New Line Cinema release of the same name, was produced in both 2010 and 2012, and broke box office records at the Al Hirschfield Theatre during its initial run. The division also co-produced the original musical Secondhand Lions, at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in September 2013.
Additionally, Kaufman is responsible for the division’s licensing of third-party stage rights to the various properties held within the Studio’s vast media library, including such recent stage productions as The Wizard of Oz, The Color Purple, Hairspray, 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain, Top Hat and The Bodyguard, as well as the upcoming Diner and Honeymoon in Vegas.
Kaufman joined Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures from Unique Features and, before that, New Line Cinema. Kaufman supervised and oversaw the Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray as well as the Tony-nominated musical The Wedding Singer for New Line, and the initial stage production of Elf. Additionally, during his 16 years at New Line, Kaufman oversaw such films as Secondhand Lions and Hairspray. He served as executive producer on the hit comedies Four Christmases and 17 Again as well as My Sister’s Keeper. He is also a produced writer, having created Toothless, starring Kirstie Alley and Lynn Redgrave, for ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney and Just a Walk in the Park with George Eads and Jane Krakowski for ABC Family.