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Daniel Beaty's "Emergency" Returns to the Geffen Playhouse for a Limited Engagement



LOS ANGELES (December 1, 2017) – Daniel Beaty, the award-winning actor and poet, is returning to the Geffen Playhouse with his critically acclaimed solo show, Emergency, for two encore performances on Thursday, January 11 and Friday, January 12 in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend.

In this solo tour de force, a slave ship emerges in front of the Statue of Liberty, sending New York City into a whirlwind of emotion and exploration. Featuring slam poetry, multi-character transformation and song, Daniel Beaty portrays a cast of 40 characters, including a homeless man, a scientist, a Republican business executive, a street vendor and an 11-year-old boy from the projects. Through the characters’ individual responses to this surreal happening and their varied testimonies on identity and personal freedom, Emergency weaves together stirring commentary on what it is to be human and the longing to be free.

Tickets are on sale now and can be reserved by phone at 310.208.2028 or online at

Emergency was first produced at the Public Theater in New York in 2006. It debuted in Los Angeles at the Geffen in 2008, and returned in October 2017 for four special performances for the adults and young people the Geffen serves through its education and community engagement programming.

Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer and community activist. He is the co-writer and lead actor of the feature film Chapter & Verse with Loretta Devine and Omari Hardwick about a man who re-integrates into society after eight years in prison. He is currently developing a show with Alicia Keys and Vin Diesel for USA Network inspired by his teaching. His critically acclaimed plays Through the Night, Emergency, Mr. Joy, Breath & Imagination and The Tallest Tree in the Forest – Paul Robeson have been produced at leading theaters across the nation and venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the White House, garnering numerous awards, including an Obie Award for writing and performance and three NAACP Theatre Awards.

In 2012, Beaty created I Dream, a nationally recognized social justice initiative that uses the tools of the arts, immersive group exercises and trauma recovery to support young people to rewrite the story of race and class inequity in America and create social justice projects to make that new story reality. I Dream has reached more than 2,000 young people in three cities across the nation, Watts, CA; Omaha, NE; and Boston, MA.

A graduate of Yale University (BA) and American Conservatory Theatre (MFA), Beaty has developed original television shows for Showtime and Fox/Imagine and recently completed a documentary about the impact of mass incarceration on children and families called Behind the Glass. A child of an incarcerated parent himself, his poem Knock Knock is an internet sensation, receiving millions of views and has been made into a children’s book published by Little Brown Books. Penguin-Random House published his empowerment book Transforming Pain to Power in 2014.

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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 Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Artistic Director Matt Shakman and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts.

Ashley Bodul, Geffen Playhouse