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In recognition of the essential examination of systemic racism and injustices, we at Geffen Playhouse commit to continued analysis and expansion of our own institutional practices in order to be part of the solution. Our vision for the Geffen is that people of all races, faiths, sexual orientations, abilities, genders and backgrounds find it an easily accessible and highly relevant source of art that reflects the dynamic human experience and galvanizes a more equitable and vibrant community. In adopting this statement, we are amplifying our strategic and ongoing commitment to improving and increasing the cultural diversity, equity and inclusion of our audiences, staff, artists, board, and programming. Read Full Policy
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Being committed is taking action. Being committed is a willingness to learn, grow and evolve as an arts organization, embracing myriad points of view that reflect the inherent diversity in every community. One of our first action steps was the formation of a Geffen Playhouse Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in October 2020, made up of Geffen artists, staff and Board members. The Committee meets on a regular basis and provides input and insight for all facets of the theater, ranging from the art produced on our stages to individual employee programs.
Since its formation, the Committee has been responsible for the creation of our DEI statement, developing and implementing a formal, accountable company-wide Diversity and Equity Policy, as well as bringing new voices and perspectives to the Geffen family with Community and Conversations guest forums and a book club focused on relevant works.
Berenice Campos (Staff), Gil Cates, Jr. (Staff), Merle Dandridge (Artist/Board), Clay Dzygun (Staff), Ross Jackson (Artist), Tiffany Mayberry Co-Chair (Board), Alex Norkus (Staff), Jeni Pearsons Co-Chair (Staff), Holly Rice (Board), Matt Shakman (Staff), Cela Sutton (Advisory Board), Eugene Young (Artist)
Our Action Steps include, but are not limited to:
This list will be updated with new developments/actions steps as they happen.
Our work is ongoing. Our priority is to create, nurture and support a safe and inclusive space for all artists, employees and patrons. This work includes internal reflection and critical analysis of our own environment and practices in order to evolve and move forward as an arts organization for all communities. As part of our ongoing reevaluation and reexamination of the organization, we continue to conduct regular assessments with staff, our Human Resources Director, our DEI Committee and The Aspire Group to develop and implement meaningful Action Steps to support our overall commitment to inclusivity and safety in the workplace.
OCTOBER 11, 2021 — Today, we honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day while reflecting upon our own role in a complicated and often devastating history of oppression enacted upon diverse populations of Native people in Los Angeles and beyond. Geffen Playhouse acknowledges and is grateful for the sacred Indigenous lands belonging to the Kizh, Tongva and Chumash Nations upon which our playhouse sits. As an institution of art and culture, we are working towards being a space where Native voices can be uplifted, amplified, and heard.
You can also learn more about the Native land you occupy here: native-land.ca/
As a way to engage staff, board, artists and community members, two programs have been developed to continue dialogue and thought-provoking conversation.
COMMUNITY & CONVERSATIONS
In-depth conversations centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of theater-making. Geffen Playhouse has hosted four events since January 2021. Past guest speakers include Snehal Desai (Executive Director of East/West Players) and Clint Ramos (Tony Award-winning designer).
A reading initiative and speaker series for Geffen Playhouse staff, board, community partners and artists. Past guest speakers include Kamilah Forbes (award winning director & producer), the late Greg Tate (writer, musician, and producer), and Marc Bamuthi Joseph (poet, dancer, playwright & TED Fellow).
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Greg Tate was a leading voice on contemporary Black music, art, literature, film, and politics since launching his career at the Village Voice in the early 1980s. He moderated conversations around Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me for Geffen Playhouse's first Booked event, a reading initiative and speaker series for Geffen Playhouse staff, board, community partners, and artists.
Geffen Playhouse has comissioned four artists to create an original art work to be displayed in our lobby welcoming back audiences to celebrate our 25th Anniversary Season. We celebrate the diversity in our audiences and our productions, and it is our mission to create, foster and nourish an environment that is open and welcoming for all.
As a non-profit organization, Geffen Playhouse has a deep commitment to sharing outstanding theater with everyone. Our entire city benefits from thought-provoking and inspiring performances, regardless of race, faith, sexual orientation, ability, gender, background, or the ability to purchase tickets. Geffen Playhouse’s education and community programs provide long-term, in-depth access to current and next generation theatergoers and instill a love for theater that will last a lifetime. Learning experiences and theater-making opportunities are designed to deepen program participants’ meaningful connections to the plays they attend, their sense of agency as thinkers and communicators, and their sense of community — with each other, the Geffen, and Los Angeles County.
An immersive full school year program that combines theater workshops and performances with one-on-one literacy coaching for 10th graders.
A season-long program of thought-provoking plays and theater workshops for high school students across Los Angeles.
A six-week creative dramatic writing workshop for young adults (ages 18-22).
Yearlong theatergoing and meaningful dialogue for community groups throughout Los Angeles.
Community, artistic expression, and audience education through powerful storytelling.
Geffen Playhouse is proud to support artists and present works reflective of our shared experiences. By amplifying traditionally underrepresented voices in theater, we can together create art that is more vibrant, more meaningful, and more inclusive of our community.
Meet Playwright Larissa FastHorse
I AM THEATRE
Meet the Vampire Cowboys
Skeleton Crew - Center Stage with Dominique Morisseau
Spectrum News 1 SoCal: Bollywood Kitchen
Matthew Lopez and the inspiration of "Howards End"
Daniel Beaty - Emergency Clips & Interview
"Lights Out: Nat 'King' Cole" with Director Patricia McGregor
Black Super Hero Magic Mama Preview
Dulé Hill visits “The House that Nat Built”
The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona
Meet Playwright Qui Nguyen
The Legend of Georgia McBride at Geffen Playhouse
Ironbound at Geffen Playhouse
Getting to know Christian Camargo. Ironbound's "Tommy."
Getting to know Josiah Bania. Ironbound's "Maks."
Getting to know Marcel Spears. Ironbound's "Vic."
The Niceties at the Geffen Playhouse
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Contact DEI Committee