Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre
The mission of the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre is to provide an excellent education, training and varied production experiences to selected students to assure them the opportunity to be artistically competitive on a national level upon graduation from the University of Oklahoma. The School is committed to the development of new musical properties, cooperating with professional producers, companies and creative leaders in the field, in addition to regularly presenting works from the musical theatre repertoire. It is a comprehensive and balanced interdisciplinary BFA degree-granting program that collaborates with other units in the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts.
Mr. Weitzenhoffer is a highly acclaimed independent producer of over 50 productions in New York and London. On Broadway, he has won two Tony Awards for producing the Will Rogers Follies and Dracula. He was awarded the 2001 Olivier Award (England’s equivalency of the Tony) for producing Defending the Caveman, (and a 2013 Olivier Award for Best Revival). Other Broadway and West End productions to his credit include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song & Dance, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Blood Knot, Burn This and Largely, New York. In London’s West End he has produced the highly-acclaimed revival of the classic Medea, which won the 2001 Evening Standard Award for both Best Actress Fiona Shaw and Best Director Deborah Warner. Additionally, he has produced the revivals of A Little Night Music with Catherine Zeta-Jones, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Christian Slater, A Moon for the Misbegotten starring Kevin Spacey, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. Also included is a new satire on the current British government called Feel Good, which won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy. Off Broadway he produced Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down, The Road to Mecca and Eating Raoul.
In the winter of 2001, Mr. Weitzenhoffer purchased the Vaudeville Theatre on London’s Strand Avenue. During the summer of 2005 he and his partner, Nica Burns, purchased four additional West End theatres in London from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber including the Apollo in 2000, the Duchess, the Lyric and the Garrick. He purchased the Palace Theatre in 2012. He is, yearly, named among the top 10 most important individuals in British theatre.
Mr. Weitzenhoffer is involved with or has served many professional organizations including Trustee of American Academy of Dramatic Arts, President of New Dramatists, Director of Theatre Works USA, an officer with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, President of Circle Repertory Company, and a member of the League of New York Theatres and Producers and the Society of London Theatres.
As a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama, Weitzenhoffer has been the largest contributor to the OU fine and performing arts. In 1998, Mr. Weitzenhoffer provided the funding to begin the Weitzenhoffer Department of Musical Theatre at OU, a program that has quickly risen to become one of the most prestigious training grounds for musical theatre artists in the country. In 2000, Mr. Weitzenhoffer bestowed the University with his late mother, Clara’s collection of twenty-two Impressionist paintings. The collection contains the work of Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh among many others. It is the largest single gift in OU history and the most important donation of French Impressionism art ever made to a public university.
Governor Brad Henry appointed Mr. Weitzenhoffer to a seven-year term as a University of Oklahoma Regent in 2003. Mr. Weitzenhoffer was reappointed for an additional term. On March 25, 2004, the Board of Regents unanimously chose to rename the College of Fine Arts, which encompasses the Schools of Drama, Dance, Art and Music and Musical Theatre, “The Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts” in honor of Mr. Weitzenhoffer’s unequaled contribution to the fine and performing arts at the University of Oklahoma. Awards from the University of Oklahoma included the 1992 Regents Alumni Award, the 1988 Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Citation and an Honorary Doctorate during the 2000 Commencement ceremonies. In 1994, Mr. Weitzenhoffer was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. He now serves on the University of Oklahoma faculty as visiting professor in Fine Arts.