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Geffen Playhouse Announces World Premiere of Live, Virtual and Interactive Theatrical Adventure For Young Audiences





LOS ANGELES (April 20, 2021) – Geffen Playhouse today announced the world premiere of The Door You Never Saw Before: A Choosical Musical, a live, virtual, and interactive theatrical adventure for young audiences, with book, music and lyrics by Geffen Playhouse Writers’ Room alumnus Matt Schatz (Untitled, The Burdens). The production is directed by Katie Lindsay (A Walk in My Neighborhood, Red Emma & the Mad Monk) and marks the seventh world premiere in the Geffen Stayhouse series.

Part musical, part adventure, this inventive new play is designed to take frustrated kids in quarantine on an outrageously fun journey. After entering a door they’ve never seen before, the kids are tasked with saving a faraway city from a villain known only as “The Stench.” Kids will receive a suitcase full of surprises to aid in their quest, and will get to choose where their Zoom story takes them. Filled with musical whimsy and quirky characters, this show is sure to delight kids and parents alike. Recommended for children ages 6 through 9 years.

“I’m thrilled to be continuing my relationship with the Geffen,” said Schatz. “Many elementary school-age kids have had an especially hard time during this pandemic, so I was inspired to create a choosical musical journey that wasn’t just for them in this time, but also about them in this time.”

“Creating theater for young audiences at the Geffen has been a longtime passion of mine,” said Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Matt Shakman. “Matt Schatz and Katie Lindsay have created an amazingly fun, entertaining and unique experience for kids that feeds their imagination and takes them on a great adventure during a time when they need it more than ever. We’re excited for the Geffen Stayhouse to launch this one-of-a-kind show and see it as a first step in presenting more live and engaging theater options for younger audiences.”

The Door You Never Saw Before will use the Zoom video conferencing platform. Each ticket is per household, which means that even though kids will be in control of the action, the entire family can watch the performance. Audience members will check-in to their show up to 30 minutes ahead of curtain, and may be asked to interact with the cast. Kids must be present to participate in the show.

Kids will be shipped a suitcase filled with puzzles and special items with which they will interact during the show. The shipping box can be opened, but the suitcase is not to be opened until instructed during the show. One suitcase is included in the ticket price, with one device (one Zoom screen) allowed per household. For households with multiple kids, additional suitcases may be purchased at a reduced price.

Grandparents (or other friends/family) in a separate household can watch the show alongside their favorite youngsters by adding a discounted viewing-only, non-participation ticket. These tickets must be purchased alongside a family household ticket and a limited number are available for each performance.

The Geffen Stayhouse banner originally launched in March 2020 with free, short-form content in response to the Geffen temporarily closing as a result of COVID-19. Geffen Stayhouse went on to develop and produce its first full-length effort The Present, a live, virtual, and interactive experience from magician, illusionist and storyteller Helder Guimarães, which made its world premiere in April 2020. The 250+ performance sold-out run was extended three times before closing with a global, livestreamed grand finale with more than 6,000 viewers.

Additional Geffen Stayhouse productions have so far included The Future, also from Guimarães, as well as Inside the Box, Citizen Detective and Bollywood Kitchen. The latest production, Jared Mezzocchi’s Someone Else’s House, will make its world premiere on April 23, 2021.


Book, Music and Lyrics by Matt Schatz
Directed by Katie Lindsay
Featuring Michael Faulkner, Shyla Lefner and Gabrielle Maiden

Music Director Scott Anthony
Visual Designer Yee Eun Nam
Costume Design Consultant Alexis Chaney
Sound Designer Andrea Allmond
Puzzle Designer Dave Shukan
Dramaturg Rachel Wiegardt-Egel
Casting Director Phyllis Schuringa, CSA

Previews: Friday, May 14 – Friday, May 21
Opening Night: Saturday, May 22
Closing Night: Sunday, June 27

Monday No performance
Tuesday 3:00 p.m. PT
Wednesday 3:00 p.m. PT
Thursday 3:00 p.m. PT
Friday 3:00 p.m. PT
Saturday 11:00 a.m. PT and 2:00 p.m. PT
Sunday 11:00 a.m. PT and 2:00 p.m. PT

Regular tickets are currently priced at $55.00 per household. Add-on adventure suitcases may be purchased for an additional $25 each. Family/Friends viewing-only tickets for separate households are available for $30 each and must be purchased alongside a regular family household ticket. Available by phone at 310.208.2028 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply. Full buy-outs are available. Recommended for children ages 6 through 9 years.

Matt Schatz (Book, Music and Lyrics)

Matt Schatz is a writer and composer. He’s thrilled to return to the Geffen after being a member of the Geffen Playhouse Writers’ Room program in 2018-2019. He looks forward to premiering his pandemic-postponed true-crime musical A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill at the Geffen in a future production to be directed by Mike Donahue. Other plays and musicals include Untitled (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, 2021) The Burdens (The O’Neill, City Theatre, Bloomington Playwright’s Project, Play-Per View), No One Sings Like You Anymore (Seattle Rep Commission), I Battled Lenny Ross (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Georama (St. Louis Rep, Great River Shakespeare Festival, NYMF), Where Ever It May Be (CLO Spark Festival), Dunkfest ‘88 (Ars Nova), Love Trapezoid (Astoria Performing Arts Center), and The Tallest Building in the World (Luna Stage). Awards include The Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre, The ASCAP Foundation Harold Arlen Musical Theater Award, The Reva Shiner Comedy Award, the New York Musical Festival Outstanding Lyrics Award, and Broadway World Pittsburgh’s Original Script of the Decade Award. Matt has been the recipient of five Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Play Commissions; the most recent is an in-progress science musical with playwright Anna Ziegler. Non-theater work includes composing the songs for Season Three of the hit Spotify/Gimlet podcast series The Two Princes, and television and film projects developed for Fox, USA, TBS, Warner Bros, CBS, EOne, and others. Most recently, Matt wrote for Taika Waititi’s upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptation for Netflix Animation. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

Katie Lindsay (Director)
Katie Lindsay is a writer, director and producer of new plays, musicals, and theatrical experiences. During the pandemic, she created A Walk in My Neighborhood, a guided audio walk in Atwater Village, which LAist called “genius.” Directing credits include Orlando by Sarah Ruhl (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl (Getty Villa reading), Red Emma & the Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan (The Tank, New York Times Critic’s Pick), Keeping up with the Prozorovs by Lucy Gillespie (Hollywood Fringe; Encore Producers Award, Best Female Director nomination), Tom & Eliza (Echo Theater Company), Harry & The Thief by Sigrid Gilmer (The Habitat), and What Happened at the Dolphin Show by Miranda Rose Hall (Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival; Winner). Katie is the founding Artistic Director of The Habitat, a Brooklyn-based company dedicated to new works by women, and MeetCute, an evening of short plays that builds community in Los Angeles. Katie was the 2019 Bill Foeller Directing Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is an alumnae of Directors Lab West, The Habitat’s Directors Playground, a 2016 SDC Observership recipient, and a 2020 BOLD Ventures grant recipient. Proud graduate of Dartmouth College and Associate Member of SDC.

Michael Faulkner (Actor)
Michael Faulkner is pleased to be back at the Geffen Playhouse, after working with other local theaters like the Troubadour Theater Company, Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, and MainStreet, and has toured extensively as a member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. When not on stage, making movies, TV or commercials, he enjoys playing and releasing music as one-half of the music duo Mike and Mandy. He’s glad that, after unwittingly producing smells throughout his life, he is now able to make The Stench professionally.

Shyla Lefner (Actor)
Shyla Lefner is thrilled to be working with Geffen Playhouse. In the Fall of 2020, she appeared in the world premiere of New York Times Critic’s Pick Theatre for One: Here We Are, a live digital theatrical experience featuring one actor and one audience member speaking to the times we are in. Just prior to the pandemic, Shyla appeared in the East Coast premiere of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Manahatta at Yale Repertory Theatre and was in the American Revolutions world premieres Between Two Knees by the 1491s and The Way the Mountain Moved by Idris Goodwin at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other theatre credits include: Alice in Wonderland, Henry V (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Fairly Traceable, Off the Rails, The Frybread Queen (Native Voices at the Autry); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Urban Theatre Movement, Company of Angels); Ackia: The Complete Epic (Idyllwild Native Arts Festival); Ungipamsuuka: My Story, Our Voices Will Be Heard (La Jolla Playhouse/Native Voices Festival of New Plays Workshop). Some film and television credits include: Polar Sun (ImagineNATIVE), Point of Origin (Indie), Grace (Cinequest), Fashion House, Lies & Alibis, Minding the Store, Whatever It Takes, Woo.

Gabrielle Maiden (Actor)
Gabrielle Maiden is an actor, singer-songwriter/ukulele player, and snowboarder. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and caught the acting bug when she was 5 years old. Before she put full focus on her acting career, she traveled the world as a professional snowboarder. She came to prominence as the first African American woman competitive snowboarder. Gabby is delighted to be making her debut at Geffen Playhouse! Select theatrical credits include: Stranger Things (Netflix), I Love Dick (Amazon), SMILF (Showtime), Sexless (Black & Sexy TV), Under the Silver Lake (A24), It’s Not About Jimmy Keene (Sundance Film Festival 2019), Scare Package (Shudder).

City National Bank

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 underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org

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Zenon Dmytryk
Geffen Playhouse

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