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World and West Coast Premieres and New Productions Include Pulitzer and
Nobel Prize Winning Playwrights, Acclaimed Directors and Performers:
Donald Margulies, Harold Pinter, William Friedkin, Daniel Sullivan,
Teller, Amy Brenneman and William Petersen
LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2013 — The Geffen Playhouse announces nine plays for the 2013/2014 season: three world premieres/adaptations, three West Coast premieres and two productions of familiar works from Pulitzer or Nobel Prize winning playwrights. The remaining title will be announced shortly.
Furthering its mission to introduce audiences to new plays, re-imagined classics and emerging voices, the Geffen’s schedule – encouraged by continued growth in ticket sales – is the largest in the 19 year history of the organization.
“Nothing is more crucial to our mission than producing quality plays,” says Artistic Director Randall Arney, “I am pleased we are able to announce such a prolific season. With shows of such quality and diversity we attract more artists and audiences alike.” Arney, who has served in his position for well over a decade, began when the Geffen Playhouse programmed one theater and five season productions per year. Since its 2005 renovation the Geffen has produced work in two theaters and now plans eight season productions plus a returning holiday show. “It is rewarding work to continue to add to the greater mosaic of artistry throughout the region. I am proud that the Geffen is able to set the table for such a vibrant and exciting theatrical conversation in Los Angeles.”
Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies will be represented by two plays in the season – both in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. His recent Manhattan Theatre Club commission, The Country House (June 10-July 20, 2014 opening June 18), will enjoy its world premiere in the Cates as the final play in that theater’s season. Margulies’ Coney Island Christmas (December 3-24, 2013 opening December 4), which premiered in the current season, returns to the Cates bringing a new holiday tradition to the Geffen for a limited three-week run.
The Cates season also includes the West Coast premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn (August 13-September 22, 2013 opening August 21) which gained much acclaim in its New York City debut; Amy Brenneman will be in the cast. A world premiere adaptation of Frederick Knott’s
suspenseful Wait Until Dark (October 8-November 17, 2013 opening October 16) will follow - helmed by the returning Matt Shakman who previously directed the Geffen’s successful West Coast premiere of Good People in 2011. The coming calendar year then begins with a new production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party (February 4-March 16, 2014 opening February 12) directed by Academy Award winner William Friedkin who was responsible for the filmed adaptation of the same piece over forty years ago. The remaining play (April 8-May 18, 2014 opening April 16) in the Cates season will be announced shortly.
Similar to the Cates selections, the three-play season in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse contains a bit of suspense and some new as well as “returning” work. The West Coast premiere of Teller’s Play Dead (November 5-December 15, 2013 opening November 20) will be anything but lifeless as acclaimed performer Todd Robbins wows and terrifies audiences with the creative team’s creepy, funny and sometimes gory illusions that blur the line between life, death and resurrection. Artistic Director Randall Arney will helm Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl (March 4-April 13, 2014 opening March 12) both at Steppenwolf in Chicago and its West Coast premiere in the Audrey – and will be joined by a team of regular Geffen Playhouse designers. The cast will include William Petersen who, along with Arney, is a Steppenwolf ensemble member. The world premiere of Steven Drukman’s Death of the Author (May 20-June 29, 2014 opening May 28) will close the Audrey season with a sharp and intelligent examination of love, identity and art in the post-modern world.
The Geffen Playhouse’s exclusive Signature Series enhance the theater going experience at no additional cost to Gil Cates Theater ticket-holders. Talk Back Tuesdays allow patrons to dig deeper into plot, character and themes with a post performance Q & A, Girls Night Out offers guests a festive afterparty with unique diversions sure to delight, Lounge Fridays provide a pre-performance cultural happy hour with complimentary sparkling beverages and Wine Down Sundays showcase complimentary preperformance wine samplings from boutique brands. For series dates and additional info, visit geffenplayhouse.org/signatureseries.
Subscriptions are currently available for renewal to all nine plays in both the Audrey Skirball Kenis and Gil Cates Theaters at the Geffen Playhouse or just a five-play season in the Cates. Prices range between $175 and $613 – all subscription packages include complimentary parking for each pair of subscriptions purchased. New subscribers may also purchase the season based on the availability of their desired series. Single tickets are not yet available.
Written by Gina Gionfriddo
Directed by Peter DuBois
Featuring Amy Brenneman
Additional Cast To Be Announced
August 13 – September 22, 2013; Opening August 21, 2013
West Coast Premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
Hailed as a "genius" by Variety, playwright Gina Gionfriddo's West Coast premiere tackles feminism’s foibles in what The New York Times called an, "intensely smart and immensely funny," new play. Three generations of women share their raucous and refreshing approaches to navigating work, love and family. Rock star academic Catherine envies her friend Gwen who finds her domestic responsibilities less than satisfying. Meanwhile the witty and wry student Avery wonders whether she has more in common with Catherine's aging mother than any of today's modern feminists. This new comedy takes a sharp look at how women, and men, find happiness and conquer disappointment.
Written by Frederick Knott
In a New Adaptation Directed by Matt Shakman
October 8 – November 17, 2013; Opening October 16, 2013
World Premiere Adaptation in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
Don’t let the quaint 1960s apartment of Susy and Sam Hendrix fool you; hidden within is a score for which thieves and conmen would kill. Employing disguise and deception, three newly acquainted crooks become all the more desperate and depraved, but must wait until dark to play out this classic thriller’s chilling conclusion.
Created by Todd Robbins & Teller
Featuring by Todd Robbins
November 5 – December 15, 2013; Opening November 20, 2013
West Coast Premiere in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
Invite death to come out and play in a creepy creation from Teller and performer/co-creator Todd Robbins who hosts a mesmerizing and terrorizing look at life, death and the horrific wonder between. Weaving together storytelling, illusion and telepathy proves that there is nothing more arousing than unholy resurrection and we’re never so alive as when we’re scared to death. The stories and events of this production contain some disturbing images, brief moments of nudity and a great deal of fun. Material may be inappropriate for the faint of heart – or those under 18.
Written by Donald Margulies
Based on the short story “The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
December 3 – December 24, 2013; Opening December 4, 2013
Back by Popular Demand! An Annual Holiday Event in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
“A jewel … simply hilarious!” – Variety
“Incredible enchantment!” – Los Angeles Times
Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in the Geffen Playhouse’s new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, Coney Island Christmas introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who, much to her immigrant parents' exasperation, is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. The play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays and is a perfect tradition to begin with your friends and family.
Written by Harold Pinter
Directed by William Friedkin
February 4 – March 16, 2014; Opening February 12, 2014
In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
Academy Award winner William Friedkin directs a new production of Nobel laureate Harold Pinter’s most famous and enigmatic work. Two imposing strangers arrive at an English seaside boarding house – disrupting the monotony and disturbing the puzzled Stanley - a former pianist who is out of a job and maybe out of his mind. In celebration of Stanley’s birthday, a party is planned but menace arrives and mayhem ensues. Facts twist into half-truths and the night unravels into a mix of the characters' whimsical, eccentric, clownish and ultimately darkest desires. Like seeing through a broken lens or playing an instrument out of tune, this celebrated and darkly comic work mixes the familiar with the strange and the anticipated with the offbeat for an unconventional experience that is anything but expected and nothing but extraordinary.
The Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of
Written by Greg Pierce
Directed by Randall Arney
Featuring William Petersen
March 4 – April 13, 2014; Opening March 12, 2014
When seventeen year-old Becky is shipped-off to her Uncle Sterling’s Costa Rican home – a sanctuary to which he escaped many years ago – the two lost souls navigate contrasting philosophies and a maze of regret. Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney returns to his old stomping grounds at Steppenwolf and brings home this intimate and elegant glimpse at two characters seeking forgiveness and finding each other. With sharp humor and authenticity, this West Coast premiere reminds us that escape is easy but redemption is hard.
Written by Steven Drukman
May 20 – June 29, 2014; Opening May 28, 2014
World Premiere in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
With a world of knowledge just a smart phone away, is there still such a thing as an original idea? When a young professor suspects a student of plagiarism, his inquiry sparks a chain of events affecting the lives of four people in very real terms. Drukman’s beautifully drawn characters must navigate heartbreak, blind ambition and the cutthroat competition that thrives within these ivy-covered walls. Extending beyond postmodern literature and academic rigors, this smart, funny and engrossing world premiere becomes a personal battle to decide what is right, what is wrong and what must be done.
Directed by Daniel Sullivan
June 10 – July 20, 2014; Opening June 18, 2014
World Premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen PlayhouseTony Award winner Daniel Sullivan helms a funny and poignant world premiere by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies. Gathering in their Berkshire home during the Williamstown summer theater season, a family of actors wrestles with fame, art and, as always, each other. But when the events of the weekend go off-script, secrets are spilled and bonds are broken – threatening an already fragile foundation of a home brimming with old memories, new love and discarded dreams. By special arrangement with Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Barry Grove, Executive Producer. One additional title will be announced shortly.
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ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The 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 Geffen Playhouse 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, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse 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. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.org.