Once a year at the Geffen Playhouse, a dream ensemble cast meets for a once-in-a-lifetime event that unleashes unforgettable, unscripted stories and performances from some of the world’s most talented individuals.
“Backstage at the Geffen,” fundraiser gathers superstars from the worlds of stage and screen to share irreverent, behind-the-curtain stories of the struggles and surprises that memorably shaped their lives and careers. Always a sold-out show, the event has raised millions to support education and the arts. David Geffen will serve as 20th Anniversary Honorary Chair.
The 14th annual fundraiser, marking the 20th anniversary of the Geffen Playhouse, is slated for May 22, 2016 in the Gil Cates Theater and will honor Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman with the Distinction in Theater Award and social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll with the Distinction in Service Award. The evening includes a pre-show dinner for the Host Committee and Honorees. City National Bank continues as Title Sponsor and Audi of America returns as a Presenting Sponsor.
Morgan Freeman and Jeff Skoll join an elite group of past honorees including: Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Kristin Chenoweth, Helen Mirren, Billy Crystal, Rita Wilson, Bruce Ramer, Jim Gianopulos, Creative Artists Agency, Alan Horn, Barry Meyer, Leslie Moonves, Herb Gelfand, Annette Bening, Robert Iger, and Colin Callender.
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. For more info, visit www.geffenplayhouse.com/backstage.