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Board Announces Gil Cates, Jr. as Executive Director


LOS ANGELES, CA (June 12, 2015) – The Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors today announced that Vice Chair Gil Cates, Jr. will serve as the permanent Executive Director for the not-for-profit theater after leading in an interim capacity since February, 2015.
Cates has long been familiar with the organization – having seen nearly every event produced or presented by the company since his father and the founder opened the theater doors in 1995. His previous experience as a leader on the board as well as his film production and direction work complement his passion for the theater’s work.
Board Co-Chairs Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander offer praise for the newly appointed administrative leader of the organization. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are delighted to announce Gil as Executive Director. His experience in theater, film and television production and direction, combined with his passion for the Geffen, make him an ideal choice. He will also be a great partner to Artistic Director, Randall Arney, leading into our 20th anniversary season.”
Board Chairman Emeritus Frank Mancuso adds: "Gil's devotion and dedication to the theater has gone far beyond doing a good job; he embraces the work on a personal level. I have watched him use his skills as a staff and board leader, fundraiser, negotiator and strong advocate for the arts to the great benefit of the Geffen and the many artists who call it home."
Under his board and recent staff leadership, the organization launched a successful Legacy Fund and produced one of the highest grossing Backstage at the Geffen galas in the company’s history. In a few months, Cates and his team ushered in a timely announcement of the Geffen’s landmark 20th anniversary season as well as a host of special events, production extensions and new fundraising initiatives.
"It’s been a great honor these last three years to serve the board, and to help secure the future of the theater, and now to move into the Executive Director role is an even higher privilege," said Mr. Cates. “My love for this theater is deeply rooted, and as we look to the future, we will continue to build upon the foundation, culture, and legacy of giving new and emerging voices a special place to perform.”

Gil Cates, Jr. has proudly served as Geffen Playhouse Board Vice Chairman 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 recent 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 TV 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 BFA in Drama from Syracuse University in 1991.

Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts.

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