LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2012 – With only a few productions remaining in the Geffen Playhouse’s 2011/2012 season, the theater is in the midst of one of its most successful stretches in history:
- The West Coast premiere of Margaret and Allison Engel’s bioplay Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins starring Kathleen Turner and directed by David Esbjornson marked a high point in audience attendance – with a one-week extension, Red Hot Patriot garnered the most number of single tickets sold to any Geffen Playhouse season production in the past five years.
- Alan Alda’s Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan and featuring Anna Gunn in the title role played to nearly 100 percent capacity and extended an extra week, bringing in a new audience of single ticket buyers to the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. Also in the Audrey, Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls and featuring Bill Pullman, Ed Harris, Glenne Headly, Amy Madigan and Bess Rous marked one of the theater’s fastest selling runs, necessitating an extension even before opening night and is continuously playing to packed houses.
- In the first year that the Geffen Playhouse offered subscriptions to productions in its intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, the theater produced two world premieres – The Jacksonian and Radiance – that attracted attention as both critical and audience successes and just announced a third world premiere, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, which is set to open at the end of April and is already breaking pre-sale single ticket records for the Audrey. Combined with the upcoming world premiere of The Exorcist directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle in the Gil Cates Theater, this season contributed four never-before-seen works to the theatrical canon.
- Last weekend, the Geffen Playhouse produced two special events, which not only welcomed new artists and audiences to the theater, but also strengthened longtime partnerships. Friday evening, acclaimed comedian Conan O’Brien hosted a sold-out family show, performing with the Geffen Playhouse Story Pirates to raise funds for theater’s award-winning education programs. On Sunday evening, stage and screen star Peter Gallagher brought a packed house to a standing ovation for a joint fundraiser with The Actors Fund.
- As we prepare for our annual Backstage at the Geffen fundraiser, we are proud to count Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman & CEO Jim Gianopulos as well as CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger among our most ardent supporters, as our Distinction of Service honoree and gala chair, respectively. In addition, the theater’s prestigious Board of Directors is engaged and committed with their ongoing support and guidance to theater’s future well-being.
“As a non-profit theater, it’s our responsibility to create world-class productions that consistently engage our community,” said Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. “We celebrate the successes of our recent premieres as a show of support from our audiences and a continued enthusiasm for our work. As we are all still very much remembering the loss of our founder Gil Cates, I’m proud to share that the Geffen Playhouse is strong and primed to ensure his legacy.”
ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The 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 Geffen Playhouse 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, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.com.
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