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Gil Cates, Jr. is Executive Director of Geffen Playhouse. In this role, he is responsible for managing the Geffen’s day-to-day operations; developing new, ongoing theater partnerships and leading its mission to inform, entertain and inspire diverse audiences with live theater of the highest caliber.
Prior to being named Executive Director in 2015, Cates served as Geffen Playhouse Board Vice Chairman since 2012 and served as a producer and director in theater, film and television. His theater credits include the award-winning Names (Matrix Theatre Company) and Three Sisters and David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre (both at Syracuse Stage). Cates’ 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 and Ann-Margret). In addition, Cates co-produced and co-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 Jessica Capshaw and Geffen Playhouse alumnus Neil Patrick Harris). Cates’ television directorial debut was an episode of the NBC comedy Joey, starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc. He is currently directing a documentary short chronicling the journey of one of the first refugee families to flee Ukraine and arrive in the U.S. after escaping the Russian invasion, set for release in 2023. He studied at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut, and holds a B.F.A. in Drama from Syracuse University.