A theatre company by any other name... Attorney's group celebrates 10 years of performing 'Shakespeare in the Park'


By Christine L. Mobley

Legal News

Giving back to his hometown of Royal Oak was one of attorney Edward Nahhat's goals when he created Water Works Theatre Company in 2001.

Water Works produces an annual event, Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak during the summer at Starr Jaycee Park in Royal Oak. Water Works also offers a children's performing arts day camp in the summer.

Nahhat, who is with the law firm Caputo Bronsan PC in Warren, divides his time between his two passions: theatre and law. Sometimes, he finds, the two merge together rather nicely.

"Being a lawyer has allowed me to be a benefit to the artistic company," Nahhat says. "A lot of artists aren't trained in business and law (like lawyers are)."

Nahhat was able to utilize his legal skills in forming Water Works - especially in filing the necessary paperwork to obtain non-profit status for the organization.

"Being a lawyer has been really helpful to shepherding the company through growth phases and changes," he adds.

Nahhat has also been recognized by the legal community for his contributions through Water Works.

In 2006, Nahhat was honored by the Arts, Communication, Entertainment and Sports Section (ACES) of the State Bar of Michigan with the John Hensel Award for his "outstanding contribution to the arts in Michigan."

"The theatre and the creative life has never been far away from me," Nahhat, who became an attorney in 1991 after having a career as an actor, director, and event producer, notes. "All during the time I was in law school - and while I've been practicing - I've continued to keep my hands in things."

Nahhat has performed at The Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea and acts in films and television commercials when he gets the chance.

"I really wanted to start something that would allow young, emerging creative professionals a place to call home - a place to work," he said. "I chose to drive a stake in the ground of my hometown of Royal Oak.

"The community has really supported it."

Water Works has provided professional opportunities for local actors, directors and other theatre professionals.

"It's a real nice and pleasant atmosphere in the park," Nahhat notes of the summertime performances.

In marking its 10th year, Water Works Theatre Company will host a fund-raising event titled "A Mid-Winter's Tale" on Friday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market, 316 East Eleven Mile Road in Royal Oak.

The event will feature the group's original actors in scenes from Water Works Theatre Company's nine years of professional outdoor theatre in Starr Jaycee Park, as well as the official announcement of its 10th Anniversary Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak production. Tickets for the event are $25 and available online at www.waterworkstheatre.com.

Published: Tue, Feb 23, 2010


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