Mike Werckle | Artistic Director
Mike Werckle received a BFA in Character Animation from California Institute of the Arts in 1992. Upon graduation, Mike worked as Assistant to the Producer of Starlight Theatre in Rockford, Illinois, and went on to found The Wrong Hands Theater Company there, serving as its Producing Director until entering the game industry in 1994.
Mike started at Viacom New Media in Chicago writing and storyboarding the animated sequences for Beavis and Butt-head: Virtual Stupidity. Mike produced and directed the opening 3D animated film for the landmark Dungeons & Dragons: Core Rules game for TSR in Madison, Wisconsin. At Raven Software, and later at Human Head Studios, Mike helped pioneer the use of 3D animation techniques in the highly acclaimed games Hexen II, Heretic II and Rune.
Mike attended The University of Texas - Austin, earning an MFA in Film Production in 2006. While there, Mike served as the Radio-TV-Film representative on the planning committee for the New Works Theater Festival, and directed Lucy Dies In Fives, a mixed media play with video which was awarded "Best in Fest" at Austin's highly regarded Fronterafest 2004.
With a mastery of animation and film, Mike entered the Film Industry as a Previsualization Animator and VFX Artist, working alongside top directors to design thrilling sequences on films such as Superman Returns, Live Free or Die Hard, I Am Legend, Tropic Thunder, Machete, and Predators. Mike helped design the dinosaur sequences for Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival, 2011) and worked with Lana and Lilly Wachowski on their sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending.
In 2013, Mike founded The West Side Show Room with the goal of making room for everyone to participate in the transformative art of theater.