Skip to Content (Press Enter)
Shows & Tickets
MORGAN FREEMAN AND JEFF SKOLLHONORED AT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE ANNUAL FUNDRAISER
Star-Studded, Sell-Out BACKSTAGE AT THE GEFFEN Raises More Than $1.4 MillionBenefitting Arts and Education Programs and New Play Development
LOS ANGELES, May 23, 2016 – Sunday’s (May 22) Backstage at the Geffen, star-studded fundraiser at the Geffen Playhouse and the pre-show host committee dinner grossed over $1.4 million for the Geffen Playhouse’s education, outreach and artistic initiatives. Norman Lear presented the Distinction in Service Award to social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn presented the Distinction in Theater Award to Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.
Actress Dana Delany, a Geffen Playhouse alum, served as Master of Ceremonies for the by-invitation-only fundraiser that gathers superstars from the worlds of stage and screen to share often irreverent, behind-the-curtain stories of the struggles and surprises that memorably shaped their lives and careers.
This year’s 14th annual fundraiser featured “backstage” memories by Rainn Wilson, Aaron Sorkin, Garry Marshall, Kristin Davis, Amy Landecker and Jaeden Lieberher with musical performances by Ellis Hall, Frenchie Davis and Jon Boogz & Lil’ Buck.
“The lovely thing about theater, film and television,” said Delany in welcoming the more than 500 guests, “is that they attract people crazy enough to build lives around them, and if you spent your life in this community, you’ve seen enough drama on and off stage to think, ‘If these walls could talk,’ but tonight they don’t have to…our storytellers will do that for them”
David Geffen served as Honorary Chair of the 20th Anniversary event. Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Co-Chair the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors. The evening was beautifully produced by Gil Cates, Jr. and Kevin S. Bright and directed by Randall Arney.
Funds raised are earmarked for a host of Geffen Playhouse endeavors including new play development, playwright commissions, second productions and artistic risks, as well as the theater’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, which help bring the excitement of live theater to more than 15,000 disadvantaged youth, seniors, veteran and community members annually.
Backstage at the Geffen title sponsor City National Bank, returning for the seventh year, was joined by presenting sponsors Audi of America, returning for the 11th year, Apollo Jets, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Participant Media, with special thanks to UCLA and CAA.
ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
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. 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. Following a strong 2014/2015 season during which five productions extended, the company’s 20th anniversary season has featured eight productions (two world premieres and three West Coast premieres) featuring some of the nation’s leading playwrights and directors. For more information, please visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
# # #
Katy Sweet/Pam Giangregorio
Katy Sweet & Associates, Inc.