Leadership

Gil Cates, Jr. - Executive Director

GIL CATES, JR.
Executive Director


As Executive Director, Gil Cates, Jr. leads the Geffen Playhouse in its mission to inform, entertain and inspire diverse audiences with live theater of the highest caliber — both within and beyond the non-profit theater’s walls. He has proudly served on the Geffen Playhouse Board since 2012. Gil’s theater credits include the award-winning Names (Matrix Theatre Company) starring Dixie Carter and Greg Mullavey and 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 premiered on Showtime. His other films include Deal (starring Burt Reynolds, Bret Harrison and Charles Durning), and The Mesmerist (starring Geffen Playhouse alumnus Neil Patrick Harris). Gil’s television directorial debut was 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.

Matt Shakman - Artistic Director

MATT SHAKMAN
Artistic Director


Matt Shakman was named Artistic Director of the Geffen Playhouse in September 2017, having previously directed three highly acclaimed productions for the theater: the West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of Wait Until Dark, and Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews. His theatrical work has also been seen at Primary Stages in New York and South Coast Repertory. Matt founded and was the artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, which was named “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles magazine. Under his leadership, the Black Dahlia garnered numerous Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and LA Stage Alliance nominations and awards. In 2011, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awarded him the Milton Katselas Award for Career Achievement in Direction. Matt is also well-regarded for his achievements in television and film. He is a director and producer for FX’s long-running show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has directed episodes of Game of ThronesMad MenFargo and The Good Wife. His feature film debut, Cut Bank, starring John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Dern, premiered at the Toronto International and Los Angeles Film Festivals and was released by A24. Shakman is a graduate of Yale University and holds a B.A. in History of Art and Theater.

Regina Miller - Chief Development Officer

REGINA MILLER
Chief Development Officer


Regina Miller has advised non-profit institutions, foundations and corporations on strategy, analysis and fundraising. She has consulted for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Eastern Congo Initiative, Charlize Theron’s Africa Outreach Project and Kershaw’s Challenge, among others. Prior to the Geffen, Regina worked for the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance, where she produced an innovative human rights exhibition that traveled to 14 international destinations around Europe, Asia and the U.S. She also 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. Additionally, Regina 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 that incorporated dance therapy and creative movement into an early childhood curriculum as well as writing and producing 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.   

Behnaz Ataee - General Manager

BEHNAZ ATAEE
Chief Financial Officer


Behnaz Ataee is a financial professional with more than 25 years of experience in for-profit and non-profit financial management and auditing. She joined the Geffen Playhouse in 1999 and became General Manager in 2002. She was named Chief Financial Officer in 2015. Ataee 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. Ataee 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. She has a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University.