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Water Works Theatre Company Receives Royal Oak Community Spirit Award

BY BTL STAFF

ROYAL OAK – Royal Oak's own Water Works Theatre Company was recognized by the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce with its distinguished Community Spirit Award last month. The award was accepted by Water Works founder and lifetime Royal Oak resident Edward Nahhat on behalf of the company's scores of volunteers during the Chamber's annual Royal Oak Community Awards held at the Emagine Theatre/Star Lanes, 200 N. Main St. in Royal Oak.
For 15 years, the nonprofit Water Works Theatre Company has presented Michigan's premiere outdoor professional theater festival, Shakespeare Royal Oak, at Starr-Jaycee Park. Fans have recognized the high quality of its shows and its outdoor youth education programs through increased attendance every year. This year, that same spirit is being honored by the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce. The Community Spirit Award is presented to an individual or organization that has made a positive difference or contribution to the community.
"We are honored to be recognized," said executive director Ed Nahhat. "The people of Royal Oak have always appreciated local artists, so to see the crowds gather with their lawn chairs in our corner of the park in July and August makes us all feel we are making a positive difference in our community."
In early spring, local actors audition to become part of Water Works' professional acting troupe. Local artists are also hired to direct, design, build and manage the shows, which this year included the main stage production "All's Well That Ends Well" and the daylight family show "As You Like It," which starred Anna Marck, a Royal Oak High School alumna and a recent graduate of Oakland University's drama department.
"Ed Nahhat was my drama director at Royal Oak High School, and I'm thrilled that I had a chance to work with him through Water Works," Marck said. "Last summer I was the Player Queen in 'Hamlet,' and this year I was honored to play Rosalind. I was also excited to work with last year's educational programs, KidsAct! and Water Works Academy, each of which ends in a great performance."
Since 2001, Water Works has presented Shakespeare Royal Oak and other award-winning productions. Water Works enhances the quality of life in the community by offering Michigan's only outdoor professional Shakespeare event in Royal Oak's Starr Jaycee Park. Water Works' mission is to provide a place to call home for local professional actors, designers, directors, teachers and other artists in a dynamic collaboration with skilled professional volunteers and other community supporters.
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