Randall Arney has been a theater professional for over 30 years and has served as Artistic Director of the Geffen Playhouse since 1999. In addition to his artistic programming and oversight at the Geffen, Arney has helmed many productions for the theater, most recently Outside Mullingar, The Night Alive, Reasons to Be Pretty, Slowgirl, American Buffalo, Superior Donuts, The Female of the Species, The Seafarer, Speed-the-Plow and All My Sons. Arney is an ensemble member and former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre where his directing credits include: Slowgirl, The Seafarer, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Death and the Maiden, Curse of the Starving Class, Killers and The Geography of Luck, among others. Arney also directed Steppenwolf’s world premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, as well as the subsequent national and international acclaimed productions. Mr. Arney’s acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday, Ghost in the Machine, The Homecoming, Frank’s Wild Years, You Can’t Take it with You, Fool for Love, True West, Balm in Gilead and Coyote Ugly. As the Artistic Director for Steppenwolf from 1987 to 1995, he oversaw the creation of a new state-of-the-art theater which is Steppenwolf’s current home. Broadway transfers under his leadership include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations) and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play). Mr. Arney has an M.F.A. degree in Acting from Illinois State University and has taught master classes and workshops at UCLA, Steppenwolf, around the U.S. and in Tokyo.
GIL CATES, JR.
Gil Cates, Jr. has proudly served on the Geffen Playhouse Board since 2012 and has years of producing and directing experience in theater, film and television. Gil’s theater credits include the award-winning Names (Matrix Theatre) starring Dixie Carter and Greg Mullavey, The Night I Knocked Out Joe Frazer and Lost 90 Pounds (Gardner Stage Theater), as well as Three Sisters and David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre (both at Syracuse Stage). Gil’s film credits include The Surface (starring Sean Astin and Geffen Playhouse alumnus Chris Mulkey), Jobs (starring Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, as well as Geffen Playhouse alumni Matthew Modine and Ron Eldard) and the 2011 feature film Lucky (starring Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Ann-Margret and Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor). In addition, Gil produced and directed the critically acclaimed Life After Tomorrow, featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, which won best documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival and later had its premiere Christmas Eve on Showtime. His other films include Deal (starring Burt Reynolds, Bret Harrison and Charles Durning), The Mesmerist (starring Geffen Playhouse alumnus Neil Patrick Harris), and the critically acclaimed independent film Order of Chaos. Gil also made his television directorial debut with an episode of the NBC comedy, Joey, starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc. He studied at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut, and holds a B.F.A. in Drama from Syracuse University in 1991.
Chief Development Officer
Regina has been a development professional for over 18 years, working with non-profit institutions, foundations and corporations on strategy, analysis and fundraising. She has worked for Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Clinton Foundation, Ben Affleck’s Eastern Congo Initiative, Hank Azaria’s Determined to Succeed, Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project, Water.org, Codenow.org among others. Prior to the Geffen, Regina served as the Director of Partnerships for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire where she led strategic planning and development while executing policies that advanced the organization’s visibility and growth. Regina also has a strong passion for teaching. After graduating from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she taught in preschools and kindergartens in New York. From the age of 13, Regina worked as a professional dancer on Broadway as well as with a number of prominent modern dance ensembles. Fusing two of her interests, she created a highly successful program which incorporated dance therapy and creative movement into an early childhood curriculum as well as wrote and produced a television show based on this concept. In addition to being a published author and photographer with Tallfellow Press and Prometheus Books, Regina has taught and lectured at numerous schools in New York, Los Angeles and abroad.
Chief Financial Officer
Behnaz Ataee is a financial professional with more than 25 years of experience in for-profit and nonprofit financial management and auditing. Behnaz joined the Geffen Playhouse in 1999 and this marks her ninth season as the theater’s Chief Financial Officer. She began her career in the Bay Area as a partner in a small family start-up before joining FBS Management where she acted as Director of Accounting, overseeing the finances of more than 25 non-profit organizations. Behnaz continued her work with non-profits as an auditor for Trump and Van Sloten CPA and then returned to the for-profit sector at Ultratech, before ultimately landing at the Geffen Playhouse. Behnaz has a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University.