Shows & Tickets
know who will show up...
Or Tell a Story...
Join us backstage for one of Los Angeles theater lovers’ favorite nights of the year as we honor artistic visionaries and enjoy behind-the-curtain tales and performances from surprise guests. You never know who will show up to tell a story, perform, or steal the show!
We created this annual celebration to serve as a vital fundraiser for the theater’s education, community engagement, and artistic initiatives. As our largest fundraiser, Backstage at the Geffen raises significant funds to support the Geffen’s ongoing commitment to bring the power and inspiration of the arts to youth and adults in communities throughout Los Angeles.
The evening is designed to bring people together with a festive, once-in-a-lifetime experience, centered around sharing stories and connecting with one another through the arts. No members of the press are allowed, and no record of the stories told remain online, making this an incredible night that you don’t want to miss!
Sarah WeinbergDirector of Development310.208.6500 x140
DISTINCTION IN THEATER AWARD
Debbie Allen, a B.F.A. graduate of Howard University in Theater and Classical Greek Studies, holds five honorary Doctorate degrees, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was named a Kennedy Center honoree, and is an award-winning director/choreographer who has choreographed the Academy Awards a record ten times. She has directed and choreographed for legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gwen Verdon, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dolly Parton, Savion Glover, and most recently Tyler Perry’s A Jazzman’s Blues.
DISTINCTION IN SERVICE AWARD
WGA, DGA, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominated writer, director, and producer, Greg Berlanti, is the force behind some of the most creative and acclaimed works in film and television. He began his career in television as a staff writer on the hit show Dawson’s Creek and became an executive producer and showrunner of the series after only one year on staff. Since then, Berlanti has served as creator, writer, and producer behind several of the most inventive and biggest hits on television, including Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Political Animals, Arrow, Blindspot, The Flash, Supergirl, You, Riverdale, Titans, Doom Patrol, All American, and The Flight Attendant. For the past few years, Berlanti Productions has had as many as 15 shows on the air at one time—a record breaking number of shows to air at one time for a TV producer and creator.
Geffen Playhouse welcomes back comedian, actor, writer and producer Tone Bell as its 2023 Backstage at the Geffen host. Tone recently co-starred opposite Golden Globe winner Andra Day in Lee Daniels' The United States vs. Billie Holiday, now streaming on Hulu. An accomplished stand-up comic who tours nationwide, Tone’s first one-hour comedy special Tone Bell: Can’t Cancel This can currently be seen on Showtime, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Tone’s comedy album, One Night in Austin, was released in 2021.
2023 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Debbie Allen and Greg Berlanti
2022 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Rita Moreno and Sherry Lansing
2021 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Amanda Gorman, Hon. Nicole Avant & Ted Sarandos
2019 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Lily Tomlin & Harry Belafonte
2018 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Dick Van Dyke & Lin-Manuel Miranda
Backstage at the Geffen Honorees
* Donors as of May 18, 2023.
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. 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.