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Diane Keaton, Gloria Calderón Kellett, and Frank Mancuso to be Honored at "Backstage LIVE at the Geffen"




LOS ANGELES (July 13, 2020) – Geffen Playhouse today announced the honorees for its 18th annual Backstage LIVE at the Geffen signature fundraiser. Being recognized this year are Academy Award winner Diane Keaton, who will receive the Artistic Impact Award, and One Day at a Time co-creator, co-showrunner, executive producer and actor Gloria Calderón Kellett, who will receive the Trailblazers Award. Frank Mancuso, Chairman Emeritus of the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors, will receive the inaugural Founders Award.

This year’s Backstage LIVE at the Geffen will be held via a secure online platform and, similar to the Geffen’s live, virtual production of The Present, anyone based in the U.S. can participate.

Tony-nominated Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon, Hamilton) will serve as the evening’s host from the Geffen’s Gil Cates Theater in Los Angeles. The festivities will include unscripted, unannounced surprise performers and storytellers sharing songs and personal stories of life behind-the-scenes.

“This year marks a new chapter for Backstage with the unveiling of our inaugural Founders Award,” said Geffen Playhouse Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr. “We’re honored to have Frank Mancuso accept the award as its first recipient, in recognition of his many philanthropic contributions to the entertainment industry, and his ongoing, tireless efforts in support of Geffen Playhouse. He will be in exceptional company this year, alongside our Backstage honorees Diane Keaton and Gloria Calderón Kellett.”

Los Angeles-based audience members will have a pre-show dinner delivered to their homes from Lucques (Catering), the first restaurant opened by the duo of three-time James Beard Award winner Suzanne Goin and James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year 2018 Caroline Styne. Guests will have the opportunity to share their dinner experience with invited friends in private, virtual breakout rooms before the evening’s program begins.

Backstage LIVE at the Geffen recognizes the accomplishments of leaders in the artistic community, supports the theater’s mission to produce original, quality work and raises funds for its education and community engagement programs, which bring live theater to more than 15,000 youth, seniors and veterans in communities across Los Angeles.

City National Bank continues for the 11th consecutive year as Title Sponsor for Backstage LIVE at the Geffen. Presenting Sponsors are Audi of America, returning for its 15th year, and Jodi and Howard Tenenbaum.

Since her screen debut in Lovers and Other Strangers, Diane Keaton has proven to be an extremely versatile actress, director and producer. Her acting career spans over twenty-five movie greats, including The Godfather Trilogy, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Annie Hall, for which she received a best actress Academy Award, and the smash hits Father of the Bride and The First Wives Club. Ms. Keaton also received Academy Award nominations for her role in the film Something’s Gotta Give, Reds and for her poignant performance in Marvin’s Room. Thus, making history as the only actress to have had an Academy Award nomination once in every decade. Ms. Keaton has also received praise as a director, beginning with her work on Heaven and culminating with the critically acclaimed Unstrung Heroes. Ms. Keaton won the Golden Globe for her performance in Something’s Gotta Give, written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and co-starring, Jack Nicholson. She also received National Board of Review award for this performance. As a producer, she is proud to have worked with Gus Van Sant on his critically acclaimed film, Elephant, which won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes film festival. She has starred in and executive produced the Lifetime TV movie, On Thin Ice, which dealt with a mother’s methamphetamine addiction for which she won a Prism Award for her compelling performance. She directed and executive produced, the TV pilot Pasadena for Fox Television. She has also directed and co-starred in Hanging Up, with Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow and Walter Matthau, and contributed performances to The Other Sister, directed by Garry Marshall. She starred in Because I Said So and Mad Money opposite Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes. She edited a book which showcases her collection of amateur clown paintings, for Lookout and Powerhouse books, entitled Clown Paintings. Her fifth published book with Rizzoli is titled Casa Romantica. Shifting effortlessly from comedy to drama and back again, Diane Keaton continues to captivate and delight her audiences with every project she devotes herself to.

Gloria Calderón Kellett is the executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director and actress on the critically acclaimed sitcom One Day at a Time. A poignant reimagining of the classic 1970s sitcom from Norman Lear that has shifted its focus to now center around a Cuban-American family, the series has earned Kellett praise from critics and audiences alike for offering humor and heart, while still bravely tackling such timely topics as racism, sexism, LGBTQ issues and deportation, as well as mental health & addiction subjects like PTSD, anxiety and alcoholism. As the daughter of Cuban immigrants who came to America during Operation Peter Pan, she pulled from her own family and personal experiences in crafting the show. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University and earning a Master’s degree in Theatre from the University of London, Calderón Kellett spent her early years as a writer/producer on numerous shows including Devious Maids, Rules of Engagement, and How I Met Your Mother. Her acting credits include Jane the Virgin, Angie Tribeca, Dead to Me, How I Met Your Mother, One Day at a Time, and ABC’s upcoming United We Fall, for which she also wrote. One of her proudest moments was appearing as a narrator on Drunk History (New Orleans). As a director, Calderón Kellett has worked on episodes of One Day at a Time, Mr. Iglesias, Merry Happy Whatever, United We Fall and the Mad About You revival. Among the honors she has earned for her work are a Television Academy Honors award, Mental Health America Media Award, American Latino Media Arts Award, Imagen Award, Vanguard Award, National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award, Sentinel Award and The Voice Award, not to mention nominations from the Primetime Emmys, The Peabody Awards and the People’s Choice Awards. Calderón Kellett is an ambassador for the non-profit ReFrame and offers a “Hollywood 101” web series with BuzzFeed’s Pero Like.

Frank G. Mancuso has had a distinguished career in the entertainment and communication industries spanning four decades, culminating with his leadership of Paramount Pictures Corporation (Paramount) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) as Chairman/CEO. During his tenure at MGM, he successfully revived the renowned studio, including acquiring both Orion Pictures Corporation and Polygram Filmed Entertainment and effectively led MGM through the process of once again becoming a public company. Mr. Mancuso came to MGM from Paramount, where his career covered nearly 32 years. During his tenure at Paramount, he oversaw many memorable film triumphs and television successes. He also partnered with MCA/Universal to build USA Network into one of the most-watched cable networks in the country. He has been honored by many national and international organizations for his achievements and contributions to the entertainment industry. During his 45-year career, he has given freely of his time and talents to numerous charitable and not-for-profit industry-related organizations, including serving as Chair of the Geffen Playhouse Board for more than five years. Frank and his wife, Fay, have two children: Maria, a mother and fashion designer, and Frank, Jr., a father and independent motion picture and television producer.

Event Co-Chairs are Loretta Everett Kaufman, Adi Greenberg and Linda Bernstein Rubin.

Honorary Co-Chairs are David Geffen; Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg; Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Quincy Jones; Madeline and Bruce Ramer; Carole B. Sager and Robert A. Daly; Glorya Kaufman; Ginny Mancini, Steve Tisch; Beverly and Herb Gelfand; Ron and Victoria Mann Simms; Tina and Jerry Moss; Judy and Dr. Charles E. Young; Cindy and Alan Horn; Mellody Hobson and George Lucas; Lyn and Norman Lear; Maria Lorido and Andy Garcia; and Ann and Jim Gianopulos.

VIP packages to attend Backstage LIVE at the Geffen currently range from $7,500 - $100,000 and bespoke sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessica Brusilow Rollins at 310-208-6500 ext. 141 or via e-mail at . Additional information can be found at https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/backstage.

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 Board Chair Howard Tenenbaum. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org

With $69.1 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through locations in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Miami*. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $76.9 billion in client investment assets. City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries. For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com. *City National Bank does business in Miami and the state of Florida as CN Bank.

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Howard Tenenbaum is Vice President at the Keyes Automotive Group. Howard and Jodi Tenenbaum are longtime donors to Geffen Playhouse. Howard is Chairman of the Board of Geffen Playhouse, a member of the Board of Viewpoint School and the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Timberline Academy and The Help Group. Under his leadership at Keyes, he has created many Corporate Responsibility Programs, including Operation Thank You for Military Appreciation Month and the Keyes for Kids Toy Drive. Howard and Jodi have four children, Jeffrey, Michael, Joshua and Ella.

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Zenon Dmytryk
Geffen Playhouse


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