For those who enjoy a unique and diverse range of stage productions, The Geffen House – founded by theater, film and television luminary Gil Cates – features several plays in different genres throughout the year. Whether you love comedies, romance, suspense, or musicals, this production company has it all! This season, they have quite a few interesting productions geared towards everyone’s taste.
The Geffen House has been prominent in creating standout shows in the Los Angeles area since 1995. The theater was created in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, and the organization is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr. and Board Co-Chairs Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson. In addition to putting on phenomenal productions, the Geffen Playhouse also has a groundbreaking education and outreach program that targets students, seniors and everyone in between who otherwise would not have access to live theater. Check some more fantastic features of the Geffen Playhouse, and the upcoming shows you can plan on seeing this summer.
A Community History
The Geffen Playhouse began as a Masonic center for UCLA students when it opened in 1929, and was not re-imagined as a theatre until it was taken over by two local business owners in the 1970s and re-opened to the public as a store, restaurant and as the Westwood Playhouse.
The one requirement laid down by the couple when they sold the building to UCLA in 1994 was that it would remain a theatre, and UCLA committed funding and lots of community support into developing the theatre and making it state-of-the art and ready for high-profile theatre for the community. As the theatre continued to put on world-class performances, the theatre committed to yet another upgrade in 2001, opening a gorgeous, renovated theatre again in 2005. With years of community support and investment, Geffen is an indelible part of the Los Angeles theatre world and history.
A Community Leader
Outside of its usual shows and performances, the Geffen Playhouse also invests in the future of creativity, plays and literature with its programs for youth. 10th grade students can receive tickets to a full season of shows, including pre and post-show discussions and events, through the Literacy Project. The playhouse also pairs with high schools across Los Angeles to give underserved students a season program that both allows them to experience theatre and blend it with their Language Arts learning in a hands-on program that brings the magic of writing and literature as an experience, rather than a concept, in their lives. Younger children can receive the same lessons through Story Pirates, a program showing underserved elementary students how important their words and stories are. Their Lights Up program for LA nonprofits engages members of the wider community and offers season passes.
In & Of Itself
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater
10886 Le Conte Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Written and performed by Derek DelGaudio, “In & Out Of Itself” portrays the story that is constructed as a metaphoric labyrinth, filled with allegorical illusions and centered around a single paradoxical truth. The production is directed by Frank Oz and produced by Glenn Kaino, with original music by Mark Mothersbaugh. Guests can catch this one on May 3 to June 26.
Gil Cates Theater
10886 Le Conte Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
In “Big Sky,” Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros and Tony Award-winning director John Rando offer a funny and poignant cautionary tale about the perils of pretense and fragility of family. Throughout the story the audience will get to see that five-star amenities and a family fallout is on the itinerary as Jack races to land a life-changing deal during an Aspen getaway; however, wide open spaces offer no place to hide as Jack’s family fails to keep the truth and elements at bay. The production starts on June 7 and runs to July 17.