Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures
Mark Kaufman serves as Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. In this role, Kaufman is charged with identifying titles and characters from the world-renowned Warner Bros. Entertainment library that would lend themselves to the stage and developing them into theatrical productions.
Kaufman produced the West End, Broadway, and First National Tour of the Olivier Award-winning musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Broadway stage adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery by William Goldman and starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, as well as the Tony Award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway.
The division is currently readying the world premiere of the musical version of the cult classic Beetlejuice, directed by Alex Timbers, at the National Theatre in Washington, DC, in advance of its Broadway bow in Spring 2019. Kaufman also recently completed a successful summer run of the musical version of Dave, directed by Tina Landau, at the Arena Theatre in Washington, DC. Recent and upcoming projects include a musical adaptation of 17 Again, premiering at NAMT in Fall 2018, a dramatic version of Dog Day Afternoon, adapted by Stephen Adley Guirgis, and a stage version of the classic movie musical A Star is Born, directed by Bill Condon.
Under Kaufman’s leadership, Theatre Ventures is constantly exploring production opportunities and 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 recently represented on Broadway and on tour 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, 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain, Top Hat, The Bodyguard, Diner, Honeymoon in Vegas, and A Christmas Story, as well as the upcoming Magic Mike and August Rush.
Kaufman joined Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures from Unique Features and, before that, New Line Cinema. Kaufman supervised and oversaw both Broadway productions of the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray and the Tony-nominated musical The Wedding Singer for New Line, as well as 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 My Sister’s Keeper, and the hit comedies Four Christmases and 17 Again. 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.