The Geffen is taking a moment to thank all patrons and fans who helped raised $1 Million to support programs and new play development at The Geffen.
Geffen Playhouse would like to express their immense gratitude to their incredible honorees, artists, storytellers, and sponsors, donors, and in-kind supporters for raising more than $1 million to support the education, community, and artistic programs at the Geffen.This was the Geffen’s 19th annual Backstage at the Geffen fundraiser held August 7. Lin-Manuel Miranda presented the Artistic Impact Award to National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, and Laura Dern presented the Distinction in Service Award to Hon. Nicole Avant and Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
The evening of unscripted, unannounced storytellers and performers was hosted by comedian, actor, writer and producer Tone Bell and featured personal behind-the-scenes anecdotes from a lineup of surprise celebrity guests including Kenya Barris, Jon M. Chu, Sharon Lawrence and French Stewart.
The evening opened with a performance of Nirvana’s In Bloom by 11-year-old British and Zulu drumming sensation Nandi Bushell, and also included a performance of Warren Zevon’s Splendid Isolation by French Stewart, who was accompanied on guitar by Zevon’s son Jordan Zevon. The lineup of surprise performers also featured a return to the Geffen by Kathleen Turner, who performed a monologue from Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, in which she appeared at Geffen Playhouse in 2012. Turner originated the role of Molly Ivins in 2010 for the world premiere of the production at Philadelphia Theatre Company. The evening closed with a bespoke dance choreographed exclusively for Backstage at the Geffen and performed by Los Angeles-based dance theatre ensemble Blue13 Dance Company.
Backstage at the Geffen recognizes the accomplishments of leaders in the artistic community, supports the theater’s mission to produce original, quality work and raises funds for its education and community engagement programs, which bring live theater to more than 15,000 youth, seniors and veterans in communities across Los Angeles.