Ava: The Secret Conversations Program

Page 1

AVA

THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS

LEVINSON

Welcome to Elizabeth McGovern’s Ava: The Secret Conversations . Inspired by the book by Peter Evans & Ava Gardner, which chronicles a series of intimate interviews between Gardner and Evans in 1988, this elegant and imaginative adaptation explores the inner life of one of Hollywood’s most famous women. The world that Elizabeth has created, complete with metatheatrical layers, asks profound questions about a woman’s place in Hollywood and how it has (and has not) changed since the golden age of movies.

Joining Elizabeth is Aaron Costa Ganis, who portrays Peter Evans, the journalist who is sent to uncover the lurid details of Ava’s multiple marriages and instead finds himself a character in a drama all their own. Rounding out this stellar cast is Ryan W. Garcia as Ed Victor, the agent responsible for pairing up Ava and Peter to tell her story. This brilliant

cast of three weaves in and out of history to create a previously-unseen portrait of Gardner’s life.

It is our great pleasure to welcome Moritz von Stuelpnagel, a director whose work we have long admired, to the Geffen for the first time. He has helmed this production with a deep sense of empathy and an expansive sense of theatricality, assembling an extraordinary team of designers to bring Ava’s home and memories to life in vivid technicolor.

We are so pleased to premiere Elizabeth’s provocative and insightful play in Los Angeles. We can think of no better place to tell the story of one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars. Enjoy the show!

WELCOME TO
ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AMY
2 PLAYBILL
PHOTO BY ISAAK BERLINER
SAVE THE DATE!
MAY 20‚ 2023 TICKET PACKAGES & MORE INFORMATION GEFFENPLAYHOUSE.ORG/BACKSTAGE TITLE SPONSOR PRESENTING SPONSORS THE ADI & JERRY GREENBERG FOUNDATION DISTINCTION IN SERVICE AWARD GREG BERLANTI DISTINCTION IN THEATER AWARD DEBBIE ALLEN HONORING
BACKSTAGE AT THE GEFFEN SATURDAY‚

BOARD CHAIR ADI GREENBERG

Welcome to Geffen Playhouse and the U.S. premiere of Ava: The Secret Conversations, written by and starring Elizabeth McGovern and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel. We are proud to present this special production with the support of the Ava Gardner Trust.

There couldn’t be a more fitting theater to present the true story of legendary actress Ava Gardner. Our local history is imbued with the glitz and glamour associated with the early days of motion pictures, thanks to the many stars who graced the silver screen. There’s always more to their stories than what we see splashed across headlines and printed in tabloids, as you will soon find out!

On behalf of the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors, thank you for being here and for your ongoing support of our artistic endeavors. Your support enables the theater to further develop our education and community engagement programs across Los Angeles. These programs seek to inspire students and community members to develop a lifelong relationship with the theater, to form a deeper sense of humanity, and to increase their sense of agency in the world.

We thank you for embracing the many exciting world and West Coast premieres we have put on our two stages this season. I hope you leave the theater with a new sense of wonder, curiosity, and passion for the performing arts.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Adi Greenberg CHAIR

Victoria Alonso

Dr. Gene D. Block

Gil Cates, Jr. Executive Director

Mary Ann Cloyd Vice Chair

Merle Dandridge

Dr. Brad Edgerton

Bonnie E. Eskenazi

Mark Fleischer

Susan Nahley Fleishman

Patricia L. Glaser

Martha Henderson

Chair Emeritus

Loretta Everett Kaufman

Carla Malden

Brian Mann

Tiffany Mayberry

Mary Osako

Danny Passman

Holly Rice

Linda Bernstein Rubin

Matt Shakman

Richard Sherman

Cynthia P. Stafford

Howard Tenenbaum

Chair Emeritus

Marc Weinstock

FOUNDING TRUSTEES

Harold A. Brown

Kirsten Combs

Robert A. Daly

David Geffen

Herbert M. Gelfand

Chair Emeritus

Quincy Jones

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Glorya Kaufman

Frank G. Mancuso

Chair Emeritus

Victoria Mann Simms

Andy Spahn

Steven Spielberg

Steve Tisch

Dr. Charles E. Young Chair Emeritus

IN MEMORIAM

Gilbert Cates Founder

Marcia Israel-Curley

Audrey Skirball Kenis

Charles Kenis

Karl Malden

Ginny Mancini

Jerry Perenchio

Edie Wasserman

Lew Wasserman

LEGAL COUNSEL

Nikki Kerman

Venable LLP

ADVISORY BOARD

John Sonego Chair

Stephanie Carson

Lori Collins

Ellyce R. Cooper

Debra Davis

Giovanna Desselle

Brenda Garcia

Ann Gianopulos

Priscila Giraldo

Eric Heer

Laura Kennedy

John McCrite

Audrey Povar

Eric Rollins

Scott Sandler

Cela Devine Sutton

With gratitude,

Ron Meyer

Jerry Moss

Bruce M. Ramer

Founding Chair

Uma Swami

Miranda Tollman

Rebecca Vail

Laurie Ziegler

4 PLAYBILL
PHOTO BY TRISH ALISON PHOTOGRAPHY
767203-02 City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. ©2022 City National Bank. All Rights Reserved. Discover The way up® at cnb.com. City National® proudly supports Geffen Playhouse. WE MAKE IT OUR BUSINESS TO BE PERSONAL. 767203-02 City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. ©2022 City National Bank. All Rights Reserved. Discover The way up® at cnb.com. City National® proudly supports Geffen Playhouse. WE MAKE IT OUR BUSINESS TO BE PERSONAL.

AVA THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS

WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH MCGOVERN

DIRECTED BY MORITZ VON STUELPNAGEL

BASED ON THE BOOK THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS BY PETER EVANS & AVA GARDNER

PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH KARL SYDOW

SCENIC DESIGNER DAVID MEYER

SOUND DESIGNER CRICKET S. MYERS

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR RHONDA KOHL

DIALECT COACH RON CARLOS

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER JULIE ANN RENFRO*

COSTUME DESIGNER TONI-LESLIE JAMES

PROJECTION DESIGNER ALEX BASCO KOCH

LIGHTING DESIGNER AMITH CHANDRASHAKER

WIG DESIGNER MATTHEW ARMENTROUT

INTIMACY DIRECTOR MIA SCHACHTER

DRAMATURG OLIVIA O’CONNOR

ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER GABRIELLE J. BRUNO*

OPENING NIGHT

CASTING DIRECTOR PHYLLIS SCHURINGA, CSA

THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2023

PRESENTING SPONSOR

Produced with the Support of the Ava Gardner Trust

6 PLAYBILL
THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTION OF

AVA THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS

CAST OF CHARACTERS

(IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

Peter Evans AARON COSTA GANIS *

Ed Victor RYAN W. GARCIA

Ava Gardner ELIZABETH M c GOVERN *

UNDERSTUDY

Peter Evans .......................................................................... RYAN W. GARCIA

*The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

TIME/SETTING

London, 1988.

RUNNING TIME

90 minutes

There will be no intermission.

PLEASE NOTE

There is no photography or filming of any kind allowed during the performance. Please turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones. Thank you!

GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 7
OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS

MUSIC CREDITS

“Stardust”

Performed by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra

Courtesy of RCA Records

By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

“Begin the Beguine”

Performed by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra

Courtesy of RCA Records

By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

“Drummer Boy”

Performed by Judy Garland

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. & Turner Entertainment Co.

“Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)”

Performed by Frank Sinatra

Courtesy of Capitol Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

“One

For My Baby”

Performed by Frank Sinatra

Courtesy of Capitol Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

“Close

To Me”

Performed by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra

Courtesy of RCA Records

By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

“There

Are Such Things”

Performed by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra

Courtesy of RCA Records

By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

8 PLAYBILL

AARON

Peter Evans

Aaron has worked theatrically on and off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, Second Stage Theater, The Public Theater, and more. He can be seen on TV in the upcoming season of Power Book III: Raising Kanan, this season of Fantasy Island, The Endgame, Bull, Almost Family, Blue Bloods, Jessica Jones, House of Cards, and more. He can be seen in the recent films Susie Searches, The Noel Diary, Lazy Eye, Monsters and Men, and Set It Up. Aaron wishes to dedicate this show to June and Rick, his mom and dad. M.F.A.: NYU Graduate Acting Program, B.A.: Brandeis University and University of Oxford.

Took a Hatchet at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the musical FOUND with IAMA Theatre Company. He was featured as Domingo on Community, Dude Calzone in Nickelodeon’s Side Hustle, and most recently as René Morales on The Lincoln Lawyer. He voices Ricardo in the animated feature Fireheart, and is currently recurring as multiple roles in the new animated Nickelodeon series Big Nate

for her work in Shakespeare. Other theatre credits include The Misanthrope at the Young Vic, Three Days of Rain at Donmar Warehouse, Time and the Conways at Roundabout Theatre Company, and the West End premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Starry Messenger with Matthew Broderick. With her band Sadie and the Hotheads, she has released five albums (including one as a solo release), and is at work on a sixth. Elizabeth would like to thank Karl Sydow.

RYAN

Ed Victor, u/s Peter Evans

Ryan has been acting professionally since he was a child in Miami, FL. He’s been on stage in LA with 30 Minute Musicals, Ravenswood Manor at Celebration Theatre, Lottie Platchett

Elizabeth McGovern’s career spans theatre, film, television, and music. She recently starred as Lady Cora in the feature film adaptation of Downton Abbey, a role for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy, and won a SAG Award. Elizabeth recently played Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Royal Bath, and produced her first feature, The Chaperone, in which she starred. Previous film credits include Ragtime, for which she received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations; Sergio Leone’s classic Once Upon a Time in America with Robert De Niro; Curtis Hanson’s The Bedroom Window; and John Hughes’ She’s Having a Baby Elizabeth has performed in the theatre in America and the UK, winning the 2013 Will Award

MORITZ VON STUELPNAGEL (he/him)

Director

Broadway: Theresa Rebeck’s Bernhardt/Hamlet starring Janet McTeer (two Tony nominations); Noël Coward’s Present Laughter starring Kevin Kline (three Tony nominations including Best Revival of a Play); Robert Askins’ Hand to God (five Tony nominations including Best New Play and Best Director). London’s West End: Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House starring David Harbour and Bill Pullman; Hand to God (Olivier nomination).

Off-Broadway: Theresa Rebeck’s Seared (MCC Theater); Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons); Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi Theater Company/The Public Theater); Nick Jones’ Important Hats of the Twentieth Century

COSTA GANIS (he/him) W. GARCIA (he/him) ELIZABETH M c GOVERN Playwright, as Ava Gardner
PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 9

(Manhattan Theatre Club); Nick Jones’ Verité (Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3); Mike Lew’s Bike America (Ma-Yi Theater Company); Nick Jones’ Trevor (Lesser America); Robert Askins’ Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Mel & El: Show and Tell (Ars Nova); Michael Mitnick’s Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman (Studio 42); and Adam Szymkowicz’s My Base and Scurvy Heart (Studio 42). Regional: Alliance Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, and more. Upcoming: Michael Shayan’s avaaz (South Coast Repertory). Moritz is the former artistic director of Studio 42, NYC’s producer of “unproducible” plays. www.moritzvs.com

KARL SYDOW Producer

Karl Sydow produced Sting’s The Last Ship at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco in 2020, at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto in 2019, following a 2018 tour of the UK and Ireland. Recent theatre includes Noises Off (Lyric Hammersmith, Garrick Theatre West End), The Light in the Piazza (Royal Festival Hall, LA Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago); Toast (West End, UK tour); Sweat (Gielgud Theatre West End, Evening Standard Award Best Play); Valued Friends (Rose Theatre Kingston); Invisible Cities with 59 Productions (Manchester International Festival, Brisbane

Festival, Australia); Alan Ayckbourn’s The Divide with The Old Vic and Edinburgh International Festival; David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano at the Duke of York’s Theatre; Sketching by James Graham at Wilton’s Music Hall; as well as Red Joan, a film featuring Dame Judi Dench which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In North America, he has produced Broadway productions of The Seagull with Carey Mulligan, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Peter Sarsgaard, and American Buffalo with John Leguizamo; Backbeat directed by David Leveaux (Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles); international tours including The Last Confession with David Suchet, and Our Country’s Good (the original Tony nominated Broadway production and Out of Joint’s revival in the West End and Toronto).

DAVID MEYER (he/him) Scenic Designer

David is very excited to be doing his first show at the Geffen. Other Los Angeles productions include: Head Over Heels, The Father, Native Gardens, Belleville, King Charles III, Our Town (Pasadena Playhouse). Off-Broadway: A Sucker Emcee, The Way West, Empanada Loca, and A Family for All Occasions (LAByrinth Theater Company). Regional: Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Merrily We Roll Along. Feature Film Production Design: Father Stu, Without Remorse (reshoots), Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, Corporate Animals, John Wick: Chapter 2 (reshoots), and Permission. Feature Film Art

Direction: Joker: Folie à Deux (upcoming 2024), Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Top Gun: Maverick, Vice, Birdman, and The Wolf of Wall Street. David studied Architecture and Theater at Syracuse University and received his M.F.A. in Production Design for Stage and Film at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. www.davidmeyerdesign.com

TONI-LESLIE JAMES

Costume Designer

Broadway: 26 productions including: Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & The Pool, The Piano Lesson, Birthday Candles, Paradise Square, Flying Over Sunset, Bernhardt/Hamlet, Come from Away, Jitney, Lucky Guy, The Scottsboro Boys, Finian’s Rainbow, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, King Hedley II, The Wild Party, Marie Christine, Footloose, The Tempest, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches & Perestroika, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Jelly’s Last Jam. Selected venues: Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, Playwrights Horizons, La Jolla Playhouse, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and internationally in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and Greece. Television/Film: Whoopi for NBC, Rustin for Netflix (2023). Selected Awards: Four Tony Award nominations, Drama Desk Award, Hewes Design Award, Lucille Lortel Award, the Connecticut Critics Circle Award, the Irene Sharaff Young Master Award, and the 2009 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design.

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES 10 PLAYBILL

AMITH CHANDRASHAKER

(he/him)

Lighting Designer

Amith’s work has been featured at The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Colorado, and The Glimmerglass Festival. He has created new dance works with Alexander Ekman, Liz Gerring, Benoit Swan Pouffer, Sidra Bell, and Rennie Harris. Recipient of the Drama Desk, Obie, and Henry Hewes Design awards. Assistant Professor of Lighting Design at the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.

CRICKET S. MYERS (she/her)

Sound Designer

On Broadway, Cricket earned a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for her design of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. She has also designed regionally at the Geffen Playhouse (The Thanksgiving Play, Underneath the Lintel, Play Dead, Discord, Wrecks, Some Girl(s), Emergency); Mark Taper Forum (Bent, Steward of Christendom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo); La Jolla Playhouse (The Squirrels, Guards at the Taj, Sideways, The Nightingale), South Coast Repertory (Sweeny Todd, A Doll’s House, Part 2,

The Fantasticks); Kirk Douglas Theatre (Endgame, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo); Pasadena Playhouse (Real Women Have Curves, Stoneface); The Wallis (Invincible, Sisters in Law, Blues in the Night). Cricket has earned 24 Ovation nominations, as well as winning The Ruth Morley Award from the League of Professional Theater Women, The Kinetic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatrical Design, an LADCC, and a Garland Award in Los Angeles. www.cricketsmyers.com

ALEX BASCO KOCH (he/him) Projection Designer Broadway: Be More Chill (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations); Irena’s Vow. Off-Broadway: Buyer & Cellar (North American Tour, Menier Chocolate Factory, Barrow Street Theatre, Rattlestick Theater); Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company, Lucille Lortel Award nominaton); I Was Most Alive with You (Playwrights Horizons); The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival); GOODBAR (The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival). Regional: Indecent (Guthrie Theater); The Who’s Tommy (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Approval Junkie, Tiger Style! (Alliance Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company); SOUL The Stax Musical, Marley (Baltimore Center Stage); Invisible Man (Court Theatre, Chicago; Studio Theatre, Washington D.C.; Huntington Theatre Company); ReEntry (Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Lou-

isville, Round House Theatre).

Concert: The Magnetic Fields

50 Song Memoir.

www.alexbascokoch.com

RHONDA KOHL (she/her)

Associate Director

Rhonda Kohl is excited to return to the Geffen and to be working with Moritz again. Previous Geffen shows include Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Barbecue. Rhonda recently was the theatrical coordinator/ choreographer for the television show Legacies. She directed/ choreographed the West Coast premiere of For the Love Of (or, the roller derby play) at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as a part of Center Theatre Group’s Block Party. Rhonda also directed the Los Angeles Times Critic’s Choice production of Around the World in 80 Days and the U.S. premiere of The Bachelor Girls. Rhonda was awarded the SDCF Traube Directing Fellowship to work with Kathleen Marshall on the Broadway debut of In Transit, and worked again with Mrs. Marshall at the Hollywood Bowl, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Reprise 2.0. Other associate/assistant director credits include working with David Lee, Jason Alexander, Colman Domingo, and others. Proud member of SDC. www.rhondakohl.com

MIA SCHACHTER (they/them) Intimacy Director

Mia Schachter is an Intimacy Coordinator for TV, film, and theater (currently in residence at the Geffen Playhouse), a podcaster, and writer living in their hometown of Los Angeles. Their

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 11

credits include Perry Mason (HBO), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Twenties (BET), and Season 2 of Blindspotting (Starz). Mia runs Consent Wizardry, a consent education school they founded during the pandemic. www.consentwizardry.com

RON CARLOS (he/him)

Dialect Coach

A graduate of the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University, Ron taught voice, speech, and dialects at the Yale School of Drama, Marymount Manhattan College, City College of New York, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Selected credits: Broadway: It’s Only a Play, The Glass Menagerie; Off-Broadway: Sweat, Mlima’s Tale, The Low Road, Kings, Gently Down the Stream, Plenty, Privacy (The Public Theater); Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop); Charm (MCC Theater); The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon Theatre Company). Regional: Seven Guitars, Cadillac Crew, Native Son, Assassins, War (Yale Rep); The Lily’s Revenge, The Glass Menagerie (A.R.T.); The Piano Lesson (Hartford Stage); Murder on the Orient Express (Alley Theatre); Skeleton Crew, Grounded (Westport Country Playhouse); Film and TV: Daisy Jones & The Six, Hunters (Amazon); The Last Thing He Told Me (Apple TV+); Bagman (Lionsgate); The Comey Rule (Showtime); Orange Is the New Black, The Week Of (Netflix). Ron is a certified teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork, a Lead Trainer of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, the Founding Coach for BoldVoice—a mobile pronunciation app for English learners,

and the author of Introduction to Speechwork for Actors: An

Inclusive Approach

OLIVIA O’CONNOR (she/her) Dramaturg

Olivia O’Connor joined the Geffen as Literary Manager & Dramaturg in July 2022. Her previous creative development experience includes staff positions at Pittsburgh CLO (Manager of New Work Development) and Roundabout Theatre Company (Artistic Associate), as well as dramaturgy and selection committee work with City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Bricolage Production Company, Third Space Theatre, The Flea Theater, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the 5th Avenue Theatre. Outside of her institutional work, Olivia has experience as a script consultant, copywriter, and playwright. www.oliviaannoconnor.com

JULIE ANN RENFRO (she/her) Production Stage Manager

Julie is grateful to return to the Geffen for Ava: The Secret Conversations! Previous Geffen credits include: Mindplay, A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill, The Future, Revenge Song, Witch, Invisible Tango, The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona, Sell/Buy/Date, Letters from a Nut, and The Legend of Georgia McBride. Additional theatre credits: Los Angeles Opera, South Coast Repertory, McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Pasadena Playhouse, Lythgoe Family Productions, Shakespeare Orange County, Sydney Inde -

pendent Theatre Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Long Beach Shakespeare Company, and the 2018 North American tour of A Night with Janis Joplin Some favorite events include West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, Warner Bros. International Television Gala, VidCon, and Made in America Festival. Julie is from Orange County, CA where she received her B.A. from Vanguard University, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. LYBNC!

GABRIELLE J. BRUNO (she/her) Assistant Stage Manager

Gabrielle J. Bruno is a proud graduate of California State University, Northridge and is so excited to return to the Geffen for this production of Ava: The Secret Conversations! Previous Geffen credits include Production Assistant for Mindplay Additional stage management credits: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Raisin in the Sun, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, A Christmas Carol, and Man of La Mancha at A Noise Within; Ambush Cabaret 2021 presented by Ambush Cabaret; Native Gardens at Coachella Valley Repertory; Seven Loves at the Getty Villa; the 2023 Cycle of Poverty reading series presented by Lower Depth Theatre. Additional theatre experience as the Production Manager of the 2021 & 2022 Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival presented by Independent Shakespeare Co. and as the Production Manager of InterVallum, A Chorus and A Queen, and Exoskeletal with SideQuest Productions.

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES 12 PLAYBILL

PHYLLIS SCHURINGA, CSA (she/her)

Casting

Phyllis is an Artistic Associate and the Casting Director for Geffen Playhouse. Recent casting includes The Inheritance: Part 1 & Part 2 and TRAYF. She has received 8 Artios nominations: Power of Sail, Man of God, Witch, Significant Other, Actually, Barbecue, Barcelona, and The Country House. Before joining the Geffen, she was the Casting Director for Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago where her favorites include Frank Galati’s adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath (also La Jolla Playhouse, National Theatre in London, and Broadway, where it received the Tony Award for Best Play), the original production of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (and subsequent productions including Westwood Playhouse and Briar Street Theater in Chicago). Broadway transfers include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Tony Award for Best Revival), The Song of Jacob Zulu, and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. She is a member of the Casting Society of America.

refugee families to flee Ukraine and arrive in the U.S. after escaping the Russian invasion, set for release in 2023. He studied at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut, and holds a B.F.A. in Drama from Syracuse University.

CATES,

Gil Cates, Jr. is Executive Director of Geffen Playhouse. In this role, he is responsible

for managing the Geffen’s dayto-day operations; developing new, ongoing theater partnerships and leading its mission to inform, entertain and inspire diverse audiences with live theater of the highest caliber. Prior to being named Executive Director in 2015, Cates served as Geffen Playhouse Board Vice Chairman since 2012 and served as a producer and director in theater, film and television. His theater credits include the award-winning Names (Matrix Theatre Company) and Three Sisters and David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre (both at Syracuse Stage). Cates’ film credits include The Surface (starring Sean Astin and Geffen Playhouse alumnus Chris Mulkey), Jobs (starring Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, as well as Geffen Playhouse alumni Matthew Modine and Ron Eldard) and the 2011 feature film Lucky (starring Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor and Ann-Margret). In addition, Cates co-produced and co-directed the critically acclaimed Life After Tomorrow, featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, which premiered on Showtime. His other films include Deal (starring Burt Reynolds, Bret Harrison and Charles Durning) and The Mesmerist (starring Jessica Capshaw and Geffen Playhouse alumnus Neil Patrick Harris). Cates’ television directorial debut was an episode of the NBC comedy Joey, starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc. He is currently directing a documentary short chronicling the journey of one of the first

During her tenure at the Geffen, Amy has spearheaded numerous programs for commissioning and developing new plays and has shepherded more than 150 plays into production. Dramaturgy credits include the commissions and world premieres of Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still and Coney Island Christmas, Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life and The Escort, Amanda Peet’s Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, and Michael Mitnick’s Mysterious Circumstances. Other dramaturgy credits include Actually, Invisible Tango, Extraordinary Chambers, Build, Equivocation, Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress, Guards at the Taj, and Geffen Stayhouse virtual shows including Helder Guimarães’ The Present and The Future, and David Kwong’s Inside the Box. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

AMY LEVINSON (she/her) Associate Artistic Director
PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 13

BEHNAZ ATAEE

Chief

Officer

Behnaz “Nazy” Ataee is Chief Financial Officer of Geffen Playhouse. In this role, she has oversight responsibility

for accounting functions of the theater, including operating and capital budgets. In addition, she supports all IT and HR activities. Behnaz was named Chief Financial Officer in 2015 after serving as General Manager since 2002. She first joined Geffen Playhouse in 1999. Previously, Ataee worked as a senior financial analyst for Ultratech Inc., an international semiconductor company based in San Jose. Prior to Ultratech, she was an auditor for Van Sloten

CPA, after holding the position of Director of Accounting at FABS Management, where she was responsible for overseeing the finances of more than 25 non-profit organizations. As a financial professional with more than 30 years’ experience in for-profit and non-profit financial management and auditing, Ataee began her career in the Bay Area as a partner in a small tech startup. She holds a master’s degree from Pepperdine University.

THE NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Supporting artists is central to the mission of the Geffen Playhouse, and play commissions are a cornerstone of that support. To commission a playwright to write a play means making a commitment to their voice, craft, and vision, with the hope of sharing the fruits of their work on our stage.

The Geffen Playhouse’s New Play Development Program is made possible, in large part, through the leadership and generosity of donations from: The Edgerton Foundation, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Fay & Frank Mancuso, Sandra Krause & William Fitzgerald, Hilary & Jack Angelo and Mary Bianco, The MOCA Foundation.

We are proud to have the following artists under commission:

LUIS ALFARO

JONATHAN CAREN

COLMAN DOMINGO

MICHAEL GOLAMCO

MEGHAN KENNEDY

MATTHEW LÓPEZ

MARTYNA MAJOK

CHELSEA MARCANTEL

QUI NGUYEN

STACY OSEI-KUFFOUR

JIEHAE PARK

JOHN POLLONO

ROBERT SCHENKKAN

JEN SILVERMAN

DAVID WIENER

CRAIG WRIGHT

LAUREN YEE

For more information on this program, please visit geffenplayhouse.org/newplays.

THE WRITERS’ ROOM

A group for Los Angeles-based playwrights, The Writers’ Room is a product of the Geffen’s deep commitment to supporting new plays and specifically to fostering bold, relevant work by the vibrant artistic community of this city. During this one-year residency, playwright members gather monthly at the Geffen to share their work and receive feedback from their peers and the Geffen’s artistic staff, culminating in a play reading series.

Playwrights for the 2023/2024 cycle of The Writers’ Room will be announced in summer 2023. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.org/thewritersroom.

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES
14 PLAYBILL
The Writers’ Room is made possible through the generous support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and Jerry and Terri Kohl.

GEFFEN AT A GLANCE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

CONTACT

Geffen Playhouse

10886 Le Conte Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90024

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES

310.208.6500

Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm

AUDIENCE SERVICES

310.208.2028

Tuesday – Sunday, 12:00pm – 6:00pm

Please visit geffenplayhouse.org for hours, parking and more information.

BOX OFFICE WINDOW

Tuesday – Sunday, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, as well as on performance days up until 15 minutes after curtain.

Please note: the box office window is unable to process exchanges or future sales one hour prior to curtain time on performance days.

ACCESSIBILTY

Geffen Playhouse is fully committed to providing access to patrons with mobility, visual and hearing impairments. Parking spaces directly outside the theater are zoned for drop off and pick up, as well as disabled parking spots for patrons with appropriate placards and plates. For more information, visit geffenplayhouse.org/access or call Audience Services.

LATE SEATING

Should you arrive late to the theater or vacate your seat during the performance, please expect to be held in the lobby until an appropriate pause in the action on stage. Some productions or circumstances may not allow for late or return seating. To minimize disturbances to other patrons, you may be seated in the first available location by the house staff even if it is different from your assigned seat.

NO PHOTOGRAPHY

There is no photography or filming of any kind allowed during the performance. Please turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones.

UCLA SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM AND TELEVISION

Geffen Playhouse is affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles, specifically the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Geffen Playhouse values its role as an important educational resource by providing students with master classes, workshops and internships. Students are also able to work and learn from distinguished visiting Geffen artists in areas of directing, playwriting, acting, design, dramaturgy, management and production.

Geffen Playhouse also draws upon the distinguished experts in the university to enhance the theater’s programs and research.

PRODUCTION STAFF FOR AVA: THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS

Associate Costume Designer

Josh Quinn

Associate Projection Designer

Erin Teachman

Movement Consultant

Clarice Ordaz

Production Assistant

Lesley Gonzalez

Animator & Editor

John Erickson

Automation Operator

Austin Bosley

Deck Crew

Oliver Brink, Enrique Garcia, Kassidy Klinesmith

Deck Crew Swing

Lila Schmitz

Wardrobe Supervisor

Michayla Van Treeck

Wigs

Meghan Gottschalk

Lighting Programmer

Nicole Jaja

Light Board Operator

Jesus Cambero-Elias

Light Board Operator Swing

Justin Kelley-Cahill

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Scenery Built & Painted By F&D Scene Changes

Lighting Equipment Provided By Kinetic Lighting

Sound Equipment Provided By Jon Sound Inc., DnB Design, Launch Projection Equipment Provided By 4Wall Entertainment

SPECIAL THANKS

A1

Bob Gilmartin

A2

Jacenta Yu

Properties Artisans & Carpenters

Christopher R. Baab, Mikayla Bettner, Sigourney Chin, Danny Dolan

Automation Specialist

Evan Friedman

Carpenters

Austin Bosley, Oliver Brink, James Crew, David Foubert, Enrique Garcia, Rob Hille, Shadow LaValley, Claudia Peterson, Sydney Shoell, Becca Sundberg, Eiden Weissblum

Scenic Painters

Vanessa Lara

Stitcher

Kiko Cheyenne

Draper

Max Levitt

Electricians

Erica Ammerman, Shannon Barondeau, Ezra Fisher, Miri Henerson, Juan Lozano, Ezra Muthiah, Christiana Saldibar, James Tatsch

Production Photographer

Jeff Lorch

Media Filming

Ramon Garcia

Design + Art Direction Base Design

Photography

Justin Bettman

UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television Scene, Prop, Sound, and Costume Shops; London Cleaners

This theater operates under agreement between the League of Resident Theaters and Actors Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

This theater operates under agreement between the League of Resident Theaters and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, an independent national labor union.

The Director is a Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

The scenic, costume, lighting, and sound designers in LORT theaters are represented by United Scenic Artists Local USA-829, IATSE.

GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 15

AVA GARDNER: THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL

“If I were a great intellectual, I’d sit and read and study, but I’m not. I’m just a very ordinary woman. I don’t want to paint. I don’t want to write. I want to go out and play tennis, I want to swim. I’m purely a physical piece of machinery. Or I was.”

Quoted in Ava: The Secret Conversations, by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner

Dubbed “The World’s Most Beautiful Animal” in the marketing materials for 1954’s The Barefoot Contessa, Ava Gardner was a golden age star whose fame was inextricably linked to the allure of her body.

Gardner appeared in more than five dozen films and earned critical acclaim for several roles (including an Academy Award–nominated turn in 1953’s Mogambo), but at both the height of her fame and in the decades since,

admiration for her acting career has often been eclipsed by fascination with her romantic and sexual life. Married to three high-profile men and linked to dozens of others (from Hollywood co-stars to eccentric billionaires to Spanish bullfighters), Gardner was a magnet for desire—as well as a target for private jealousy and public judgement.

She was first “scouted” in 1941, on the strength of a portrait posted in the window of her brother-in-law Larry Tarr’s Fifth Avenue photography studio. The office boy who spotted the photo had no star-making power; he asked for Gardner’s telephone number hoping to land a date. Tarr didn’t provide the number but did take the interest seriously, sending photos of Gardner directly to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s New York office. Gardner was granted an interview and an MGM screen test shortly after. The executive who ordered the

16 PLAYBILL
Studio publicity still of Ava Gardner for the film The Killers (1946). Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

screen test, Marvin Schenck, believed in the power of Gardner’s beauty, if little else; he sent her reel on to Hollywood without the accompanying voice recording, worried that Gardner’s thick North Carolina accent would dissuade the studio from signing her. His gambit paid off, and Gardner was offered the seven-year, $50/ week contract that would launch her career.

By the time we meet Gardner in the 1988 interviews that inspired Ava: The Secret Conversations, she is decades removed from her legendary love affairs, and her world-famous body has begun to betray her. Her looks have faded, a stroke in 1986 has left her partially paralyzed and with poor eyesight, and a lifetime of smoking has put her at risk of developing emphysema. And yet even at this juncture, with her own mortality looming, Gardner is vital.

In Ava: The Secret Conversations, we are granted access to that vitality: to Gardner not only as a beautiful object, but as a flesh-andblood woman with voracious appetites for alcohol, sex, and laughter—the visceral joys of life at any age.

AVA , MICKEY, ARTIE , & FRANK: THE HIGHLIGHTS

1941: Gardner arrives in Hollywood with her sister Beatrice “Bappie” Gardner and begins her MGM contract. She meets Mickey Rooney on the MGM lot on her first day. Star of the popular Andy Hardy films and frequent costar of Judy Garland, Rooney was one of the most profitable talents at MGM—and, as Gardner would later realize, “the biggest wolf on the lot.” He asks Gardner out to dinner several times before she accepts—and then asks her to marry him at the end of every date until she says yes.

JANUARY 10, 1942: A couple of weeks after Gardner turns 19, she and Rooney marry in a small ceremony in Ballard, California. Their marriage is rocky, young, and fun; they spend more time in nightclubs than at home. It is the first marriage for both; Rooney goes on to marry another seven times.

1943: Ava meets Frank Sinatra for the first time, while still married to Rooney. Sinatra reportedly says, “Hey, why didn’t I meet you before Mickey? Then I could have married you myself.”

1941–1945: Gardner appears in some two dozen films at MGM, mostly in nonspeaking and bit parts.

MAY 21, 1943: Gardner and Rooney divorce, largely due to Rooney’s brazen infidelity. Gardner’s mother, Mary Elizabeth “Molly” Gardner, dies on the same day their divorce is finalized.

1944: Gardner meets clarinetist, composer, and band leader Artie Shaw. The two hit it off immediately and spend many of their early months together on the road, touring with Shaw’s band. Though immensely successful, Shaw eventually came to resent his fame. In 1954, he stopped performing and embarked on a career as a writer and intellectual.

OCTOBER 17, 1945: Gardner and Shaw marry at Shaw’s Beverly Hills home. It is Shaw’s fifth marriage (he’ll go on to marry another three times) and Gardner’s second. Shaw is a formi-

THEMES & TOPICS
AVA & FRANK Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra in London on December 9, 1951. They had been married on November 7.
GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 17
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

dable—borderline bullying—partner. He takes a Pygmalion-like approach to his relationship with Gardner, giving her reading assignments, sending her to his analyst, and even hiring a Russian grand master to teach her chess.

1946: Gardner appears in Whistle Stop, a United Artists’ picture for which she is “loaned out” by MGM. In the film, she kisses costar George Raft with an open mouth: a mistake on her part and a violation of the Hays Code, which forbade “lustful kissing.” It slips by the censors, but not director John Huston; he tells Ava it was the scene that got her her role in The Killers

1946: Gardner appears as Kitty Collins in The Killers, an adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway story that is often described as her breakout film. (She appeared in two other Hemingway adaptations: 1952’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro and 1957’s The Sun Also Rises.)

OCTOBER 25, 1946: Gardner and Shaw divorce. They had been married for one year and one week.

1947: Gardner appears in The Hucksters, in her first role opposite Clark Gable (others: 1952’s Lone Star and 1953’s Mogambo).

1948: Gardner appears in One Touch of Venus, in which she plays a statue of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, come to life.

1949: Gardner appears in The Great Sinner, opposite Gregory Peck. Gardner and Peck remained friends for life (and appeared in 1952’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro and 1959’s On the Beach together). After Gardner’s death, her longtime housekeeper and friend Carmen Vargas (and her beloved corgi, Morgan), moved from London to live with the Peck family in California.

1949: Gardner and Frank Sinatra begin seeing each other, while Sinatra is still married to Nancy (Barbato) Sinatra. On the night they begin their affair, Gardner and Sinatra leave a house party in Palm Springs and drive to Indio, CA. Drunk, giddy, and enamored with one another, they pull a .38 from the car’s glove compartment and start shooting out the town’s streetlights and shop windows. They are arrested but—after a call (and possibly a payout) from Frank’s publicist—walk away scot-free.

FEBRUARY 14, 1950: Frank and Nancy Sinatra officially announce their separation; Frank moves in with Gardner.

1951: Gardner appears in Show Boat

1951: Gardner appears in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. The film’s shoots in the UK and Spain take Gardner outside of the US for the first time. A few years later, Gardner starts living abroad fulltime; in Madrid beginning in 1955 and in London beginning in 1968.

NOVEMBER 7, 1951: With Sinatra’s divorce finalized, he and Gardner marry in Philadelphia. Though press coverage of the marriage is splashy, Sinatra’s star is on the wane; he is suffering from a vocal injury and is basically broke. In a 1954 interview, he recalled, “There was a very dark period in my career, about 1951… very frankly, and there’s no secret about it, I could hardly get myself a job in those days.”

1953: Gardner appears in John Ford’s Mogambo Sinatra appears in From Here to Eternity. Both performances are nominated for an Academy Award; Sinatra wins in his category.

OCTOBER 29, 1953: Gardner and Sinatra announce plans to divorce, but don’t complete the filing. Their globetrotting marriage has been notoriously tempestuous, perhaps because of their similarities (Gardner’s sister Bappie described Ava as “Frank in drag.”).

1954: Ava appears in Joe Mankiewicz’s The Barefoot Contessa, opposite Humphrey Bogart. Many audiences read the film to be based on Gardner herself—and her relationship with producer, aviator, and TWA owner Howard Hughes—though its plot more closely aligns with the story of fellow golden age star Rita Hayworth.

1956: Gardner appears in Bhowani Junction

1957: After years of on-again, off-again partnership, Gardner and Sinatra divorce. They remain friends until Gardner’s death (of pneumonia) in 1990.

1958: Gardner leaves her contract at MGM after 17 years. She is now officially an independent actress.

To read more about Ava: The Secret Conversations, visit geffenplayhouse.org/blog.

THEMES & TOPICS
18 PLAYBILL
SINGLE TICKETS START AT JUST $30! 310.208.2028 • GEFFENPLAYHOUSE.ORG WORLD PREMIERE WRITTEN BY RAMIZ MONSEF DIRECTED BY PIRRONNE YOUSEFZADEH THE ANTS 06.20–07.30 WRITTEN BY KATORI HALL DIRECTED BY PATRICIA MCGREGOR THE MOUNTAINTOP 06.06–07.09

ART LIVES HERE

As part of Geffen Playhouse’s Art Lives Here project, four Los Angeles artists have been invited to create original art works to be displayed in our lobby welcoming audiences during our 2022/2023 Season.

We celebrate the diversity in our audiences and our productions, and it is our mission to create, foster, and nourish an environment that is open and welcoming for all. We are a home for the arts, and we believe our physical space should also reflect and be representative of our ongoing commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do and the communities we support.

ican popular culture. It uses the musical play The King and I—of which the historical persistence on using yellowface throughout the decades is emblematic of a general and societal lack of bother—as a vessel to raise awareness and discussion. Two figures emerge vaguely from, and are entangled in a stylized technical execution. It is meant to encourage viewers to look past the surface level of what is presented to us, and vigorously question, identify, and challenge any inherent bias or unfair assumptions from the entertainment that we consume.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

FEATURED WORK #7

The King and I ARTIST

Conan Zhao

ON DISPLAY

Apr. 4 – May 7, 2023

The inspiration for this piece comes from my experience of being an Asian-American consumer of entertainment, who grew up being conditioned into believing that my heritage could only amount to a caricatured and culturally insensitive depiction in Amer-

Conan Zhao’s artistic journey began in his teenage years when he became known at school as an entirely self-taught pencil artist who pursued photorealistic portraiture. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Applied Mathematics, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia to begin a career as a health actuary. In 2019, Zhao quit his corporate day job to pursue his passion as a full-time artist entrepreneur. During college, he spent a year at Marchutz School of Art (Aix-en-Provence, France), where he discovered the rich history of art and philosophies. His influences include Hokusai, Rembrandt, Turner, Daumier, Bernie Fuchs, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The mission of Zhao’s art ties deeply to his desire to spotlight underserved communities. As an Asian-American artist, he has experienced many forms of racial prejudices first-hand, and understands the need for cross-racial support and solidarity.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT VISIT GEFFENPLAYHOUSE.ORG/ARTLIVESHERE

NOW ON DISPLAY IN THE LOBBY

VETERANS WRITING & PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP

JUNE 10–JULY 31, 2023

SATURDAYS 9AM–1PM (PST) • IN PERSON

The Veterans Cultural Identity Monologue Writing & Performance Workshop is an 8-week theater-making intensive, in which an ensemble of military veterans come together to create personal, original monologues and share their work in a performance at Geffen Playhouse in the Gil Cates Theater.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: MAY 12, 2023

PHOTO BY JEFF LORCH

EDUCATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
TO REGISTER & FOR MORE INFO Visit geffenplayhouse.org/veterans
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!

ANNUAL DONORS

Geffen Playhouse recognizes the following individuals and organizations for their generous support of our Annual Fund and Backstage at the Geffen. Donors are listed at the Partner’s Circle level and higher for gifts made between January 1, 2022 and February 15, 2023.

† Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors

^ Geffen Playhouse Founding Trustees

§ Geffen Playhouse Advisory Board

In appreciation, Annual Fund donors enjoy a host of special benefits including house seats, complimentary drinks, receptions, and much more.

For more information, please call Tracy Reich at 310.208.6500 ext. 113.

PREMIERE CIRCLE

$100,000+

Anonymous

Jana & Trevor Bezdek

California Arts Council

Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg^

City National Bank

Edgerton Foundation

The Adi† & Jerry Greenberg Foundation

William Randolph Hearst Foundation

Martha Henderson†

Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg^

Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg Fund for Arts Education at the Geffen Playhouse

Loretta Everett Kaufman† & Victor Kaufman

Elizabeth & David Kerman

Jerry & Terri Kohl

Linda Bernstein Rubin† & Tony Rubin

Shubert Foundation

Jodi & Howard Tenenbaum†

Miranda§ & Brett Tollman

UCLA

UCLA Health

INNOVATOR CIRCLE

$50,000 – $99,999

John McCrite§ & Juan Lopez

Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Matt Shakman† & Maggie Malone

ARTISTIC CIRCLE

$25,000 – $49,999

Anonymous

Victoria Alonso†

City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

Merle Dandridge†

Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer & Melvin Keefer

Carol & Paul Frimmer

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation

Samantha & Eric Heer§

Marcia Israel-Curley Foundation

Erich and Della Koenig Foundation

Holly Rice† & Vince Gilligan

Judith & Bruce Stern

PRODUCER’S CIRCLE

$10,000 – $24,999

Anonymous

Eva Aaronson

In Memory of Bucky Hazan

Pat & Sandy Adams

Beth Behrs & Michael Gladis

Mrs. Carol K. Block & Chancellor Gene D. Block†

Eileen & Harold Brown^

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Mary Ann Cloyd†

Louise & Dr. Brad Edgerton†

Dr. & Mrs. Paul Eisenberg

Bonnie E. Eskenazi†

Eric Flamholtz & Yvonne Randle

Susan & Mark Fleischer†

Susan Nahley Fleishman†

Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc.

Patty Glaser† & Sam Mudie

Alexander & Katie & Grey Grosvenor

In Memory of Morris A. Hazan

Stanley Iezman & Nancy Stark

David & Martha Kadue

Glorya Kaufman^

Julie & David Kavner

Carla Malden† & Norman Beil

Fay & Frank Mancuso^

Brian† & Renee Mann

Tiffany Mayberry†

Ron Meyer^

Tina & Jerry Moss^ / The Moss Foundation

Mary Osako†

Carol & Bill Ouchi

Soundis & Danny Passman†

Madeline & Bruce Ramer^

Thomas L. Safran

Ms. Carole B. Sager & Mr. Robert A. Daly^

Carol ‘Jackie’ & Charles Schwartz

Richard & Barbara Sherman†

The Simms/Mann Family Foundation^

Sitrick Group, LLC

Cynthia P. Stafford†

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust

Deborah Tavlin

Steve Tisch^

U.S. Bank Foundation

Waterman and Glicksteen Families

Aurora & Marc Weinstock†

Ken Willner & Jim Stine

PLAYWRIGHT’S CIRCLE

$5,000 – $9,999

Anonymous (2)

Aversa Foundation

Judith & Thomas Beckmen

Mara W. Breech Foundation

Robert Brook & Jacqueline Kosecoff

Glenn & Lynn Cardoso

Ellyce R. Cooper§ & Barry Cohen / Sidley Austin LLP

Mary Jo & Caleb Deschanel

Robyn Field & Anthony O’Carroll

Mimi & Marvin Freedman

Sonia & Robert Freedman and Family

22 PLAYBILL

Steve Freedman & Helen Sideris

Bob & Diana Friedman

Herbert M.^ & Beverly J. Gelfand

Ann§ & Jim Gianopulos

Kiki & David Gindler

In Honor of Richard Sherman From Ken & Lori Goldman

Noble & Jacquelynn Hansen

Nancy Heller & Fred Specktor

Barbara & Ronnie Kahn

Mannon Kaplan

Laura Kennedy§

Kling Family Foundation / Allen & Jessica Kling

Karen & Walter Loewenstern

Marcia E. Williams & Gene Lucero

Stewart Mayeda

Merle & Jerry Measer

Rio & Frank Morse

Benedicta & Geoffry Oblath

Shana & Don Passman

Cheryl Petersen & Roger Lustberg

Judith Reichman, M.D.

Jane Rissman & Richard Sondheimer

Gil Schwartz Foundation

Gussie Paster Sitkin

William & Karen Timberlake

Julie & Peter Weil

Joanne & Ken Weinman

Susan & Dan White

Karen & Rick Wolfen

Karen Zoller, M.D. & David Tillman, M.D.

DIRECTOR’S CIRCLE

$3,000 – $4,999

Anonymous

Madelyn Bennett & Eric Gibson

Shelly & Libby Bergen

Susan Bloch-Kay & Stephen Kay

Philip Blumenshine

VJ Boyd

Noora Raj Brown

Marissa Caudill & David Merrill

Don Dorsey

In Honor of Virginia Field

Lynn T. Franklin

Alan & Michelle Heilpern

Karney Guren Family Foundation

Jane & Rand Marlis

Robin Mitchel & Kathleen Marshall

Michael R. Oppenheim

Carol & Alan Ostroff

Carolyn A. Poer & John M. Poer

Stephen Sass & Steven Hochstadt

John Shustitzky

Zackery Alexzander Stephens

Eric Strom & Eileen Goodis

Susan & Peter Van Haften

Peter & Denise Walsh

Leslie White & Al Limon

In Loving Memory of Herman Ziegler

CREATOR’S CIRCLE

$1,500 – $2,999

Anonymous

Miriam Aguiar

Dr. & Mrs. Bruce Allen

Laura & Harvey Alpert

Patti Amstutz

AnonyMoose Foundation

Robert E. & Maria H. Barron

Basch Family Foundation

Patricia & Mark Benjamin

Paula & Bruce Bennett

Yvette Bergeron & Dean Bailey

Wendy & John Bergquist

Susan J. Booth & Christopher Wadden

Dr. Wallace P. Brithinee

Diana Buckhantz and the Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Foundation

Jay Butterfield & Susan Ewert

Lexy & John Carroll

Stephanie§ & Jonathan Carson

Steven Cerasale & Mary Katherine Cocharo

The Christal Family

Cindy Clark

Larry Coben

Linda & John Coleman

Lori§ & Jerry Collins

Ginger Conrad

Tim Curtis & Shandon Youngclaus

J. Jason Daunter

Debra Davis§

Phil Davis

Pam Dawber & Mark Harmon

Dr. Joan Denson & Dr. Victoria Berck

Giovanna Desselle§

Jacki & Murray Drechsler

David & Joyce Evans

Lisa Field, Field Family Foundation

Anita Dann Friedman & Harvey Friedman

G2 Graphic Service, Inc.

Brenda Garcia§

Cara Gardenswartz & David Melnick

Priscila Giraldo§

Charlotte Gold

Jack Grossbart & Marc Schwartz

Penny Grosz & Eugene Korney

The Guerin Foundation

Harris Family Foundation

Jean Himmelstein

Mrs. Dorothy Hoffman

Rand Hoffman & Charlotte Robinson

Iris Tuesday Productions

David Israeli & Dr. Marie Mazzone

Freya & Mark Ivener

Victoria Jackson & Bill Guthy

Linda & David Kagel

Sally & Dr. Manny J. Karbelnig

Katherine Kleindienst & Marc Goldsmith

Carol Krause

Trini Lewis

Judith & Dennis Locke

The Malins Family Foundation

Norma & Larry Meyers

Cookie Miller

Joan & Phil Miller

Mintz Family Fund

Ron Myrick

Robert Nelson & Marguerite Renner

Michael Parks & Judith Hayward

Sallie Patrick

Phil & Agnes Peters

Ruth Popkin

Audrey Povar§

Gary & Gail Rachelefsky

Joyce & Harvey Reichard

Carol Risher

Eric Rollins§

Amy & Andy Schwartz

Snyder Family Foundation

John Sonego§ & Thomas Faughnan

Tom & Melanie Staggs

Mitch & Sherry Stein

Cela Devine Sutton§

Uma Swami§

Theodore H. Sweetser & Jane L. Valentine

Catherine & Leonard Unger

Kathryn & Alan Van Vliet

Judith Leslie Waxman & Leo Stytle

Gelena & Seth Weissman

John & Connie Weston

Alison Whalen & Steve Marenberg

David Young

Alissa & Jordan Zachary

Ellen & Arnold Zetcher

Bobbi & Walter Zifkin

ANNUAL DONORS GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 23

DESIGNER’S CIRCLE

$1,000 – $1,499

Dr. Richard Ackerman & Miriam Shakter

Henry Alpert

Jan & David Altemus

Margaret Campbell Arvey

Don Bacigalupi

Rob Bailis

Yvonne Bernard & Henry De Priest & Lookout Entertainment

Larry & Julie Blivas In Honor of Phyllis Blivas

Paula Brand

Katherine Brown & Rene Mendoza

Elizabeth & Gil Cates, Jr.†

Jane Cates

Shelby & Lee Chaden

Martha J. Chase

Sachiko T. Cochran M.D. & Joseph T. Araki

Stephen Cook

Honorable Candace Cooper

In Loving Memory of Ed Cypert

Jan & Thea Drayer

Ed & Barbara Dreyfus

Dr. & Mrs. William M. Duxler

Colleen M. Ellis

Terri & David Elston

Lynne & Michael Feldman

Dr. Kimberly Finney

In Honor of Frank & Betty Fouce

Dennis & Jackie Fox

Joan & Charles Fox

Diane Futterman

The Glass Family

Linda & Louis Goldsman

Ellie Goodman

Jill Grigsby & Rett Bull

Deidre Hall

Scott Hartle

Murray & Gail Heltzer

Jackson Henry

Michael & Candie Herman

Winifred C. Hervey

Jack Hileman & Roxanne Huddleston

Dr. John D. Hofbauer & Dr. Laura E. Fox

William Hoover & Jon Rupp

Gary T. Izumi

Brenda Marie Izzi

Carrie Johnson

Quincy Jones^

Patricia Keating

Trisha Kelley

Corrinne Mann Kempinsky & Louis Kempinsky

King Nutronics Corporation

Dr. Phyllis H. Klein

Barton H. Kogan

Norman Koplof & Leslie Falick

Charles Kristenson

Lena & Mark Labowe

Mindy Lauerlevin & Ed Levin

Rena & Craig Leeds

Gina Maria Leonetti

Carl Levinger

Cathleen Fitzpatrick Linder

Steven Llanusa

Tania Lotia

Eric James Lund

Eric & Eva Plaza Mandel

Michael N. Marks

Jeanne McDonald-Powers & Travis Powers

Ali Meghdadi

Anne & Ronald Mellor

Andrew & Laura Mintzer

Laurie & Chuck Mondrus

Thaine & Elizabeth Morris

Lon Morse & Toni Hollander Morse

Mark & Diane Neubauer

Albert & Barbara Nichols

Michael Nicklin

Deborah & Stacey Olliff

Tal Oren & Liana Morgado-Oren

Ornest Family Foundation

Ralph Page

Clark & Kathryn Porter

Lise Ransdell & Eric Augusztiny

Richard Rasiej & Joan Herman

Dolores Rogers

Allison & Bennett Rosenthal

David A. & Karen Richards Sachs

Nancy & Ted Sanborn

Susan Schwarz & Stuart Berton

John Shaw

Rita & Jose Sigal

Ron Silverman & Soraya Ross

Karen & Bill Skinner

Ronald Smith

Jerome & Joan Snyder

Lisa Stonich

Anne C. Taubman

John M. Teeples & Nicolas Martinez, Jr.

Franklin David Tell

Audri & Stan Tendler

Marjorie Thomson

Leon & Stephanie Vahn

Daniel & Shauna Valenzuela

Marcia & Charles Wasserman Ph.D

Westmount Asset Management

Judith & Philip Winik

Cherie Wrigley

Richard Yaffe

Lisa Yen & Tom Bajoras

Judy & Chancellor Charles E. Young^

Elena & Drew Zager

Arnold & Tricia Zane

PARTNER’S CIRCLE

$500 – $999

Anonymous (7)

Allan Africk

Audrey & Martin Appel

Eloise & Mark Appel

Bonnie R. Arnold

Elizabeth & Marc Axelrod

The Baek Family

In Memory of Patricia Beals

Marjorie Blatt

Pamela & Bill Bohnert

Michael & Susan Bordy

Carol J. Bradshaw

Steven Briggs

Howard Brightman

Marlene Bronson

Janet & Mark Brown

Colleen O’Beirne Brydon

Laura D. Campbell

Anthony Carbone

Sean & Martha Carey Family

Sylvie & Peter Cartmell

Sandra Chan & Richard Pezner

Shirley Churgin

Mike Clements

Devorah Colker

Muriel Dance & Alvin Martin

Zoud Danko

Hedva & Dr. Dudley Danoff

Susan Dashe

Brock Dewey

Kristin Diehl

Linda Dozier

Jeff Eckerle & Marilyn Osborn

Ronald Eng

Elizabeth A. Evans

Katherine A. Evans

Terry Feuerborn

Carol & John Fox

Kenneth J. Friedman & Marilynn J. Friedman Family Foundation

ANNUAL DONORS 24 PLAYBILL

Catherine Froloff

Corinne B. Garson

Gordon Gerson

Linda & Tom Givvin

Ellen & Reginald Golla

Roger Gordon

Liz Gottainer & David Sadkin

Howard Gradet

Marcy Gross

Vera & Paul Guerin

Roberta L. Haft

In Memory of Jane Hall

Keith Hall

Jeff Haller

Steven & Sylvia Harrison

Mary Hartley

Hella Hershson

Dr. Shelley Hill

Robin & Edgar Hirst

Paul Gordon Hoffman & Sue Caren Hoffman

In Loving Memory of Stan Hollander

Lynn Hunt & Margaret Jacob

Drs. Sharon & Lou Ignarro

Robert & Gail Israel

In Memory of Joseph Jacobs

Jessica Kaltman & Robert Reznik

Linda Kaplan

Elodie Keene

William & Renee Kendall

Nancy Kenney

Sharon Kerson

Dr. & Mrs. Klausner

Leana Kleinman & Jerald Johnson

Dr. Leonard & Stella S. Kleinrock

Patricia Klous

Delores Komar & Susan Wolford

Sharon & Joel Koppelman

Deborah Lacusta & Daniel Castellaneta

Lynne Lainer

John & Sandra Langfitt

Christo & Jeanne Lavagnino

Rhonda K. Lawrence

Julie Leeds

Lawrin & Linda Lewin

Renee Lonner

Daniel & Jennifer Low

Elizabeth Luster

Barbara Marshall

Deborah Marsten

Liz Martyn

Douglas McAvoy, Jr.

Kathy & Jim McCaffery

Christina Medigovich

Cynthia Melville

In Memory of Gregory Millar

Mona D. & Steven J. Miller

Lee & Jeff Milman

Thomas W. Mitchell

John Moschitta, Jr.

Dr. Paula C. Moseley

Andrea & Patrick Murray

Bonnie Nash

Sabine Oishi

Janie & Allan Orenstein

Ron Rafay

Rollin Ransom & Chris Lacroix

Jennifer Redner

Elyse Resch

Marianne Reynolds

Linda & Erin Rice

Julie Rogers

Eric Rolnick

Barry Rosen & Neil Bokal

Douglas Ross

Dr. Martin & Lorraine Ross

Wil Rosser

Peter & Andrea Roth

Lisa Rowley

Terry Ryan

Arlene & Peter Sacks

Scott Sandler§

Cliff & Linda Schaffer

Mary Lou Schanche

Jo Schiff

Mr. Bernard Schiffer

Gary & Karen Schneider

Joel & Sonia Schneider

Nancy & Steven Schneider

William Schreiber

Lester Schwartz

John H. Scott

Marc Scott

Susanne Shallon

Donna Shapiro & Angel Castillo

Peggy & Robert Shapiro

In Memory of Michael Sherman

Robert M. Shore

Nancy & Bruce Silverman

Marlene Sklar & Joel Moskowitz

Tricia Small

Amy Jo & Jeff Smith

Jill & Scott Spiwak

Frances & Sy Strasberg

Mr. Kayser Sume & Dr. Renee Sabshin

Joanne Takahashi

Mr. & Mrs. David Tann

The Tatasciore Family

Barbara & Larry Tenan

David & Cathy Thomas

Rebecca Vail§

Julia Wackenheim

Ira & Laurie Waldman

Herbert Wolas

Albert Wolsky

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE

As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, the leadership wishes to acknowledge the historical contributions of these individuals to the Geffen Playhouse who have made the original vision of our founder, Gil Cates, possible:

Anonymous Annenberg Foundation

Mrs. Carol K. Block & Chancellor Gene D. Block†

City National Bank

Kirsten^ & Donald Combs

Maria Israel-Curley & Jim Curley

Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc.

The David Geffen Foundation

Herbert M.^ & Beverly J. Gelfand

Rabbi Uri D. Herscher & Dr. Myrna Herscher

Audrey & Charles Kenis

Lincy Foundation

Fay & Frank^ Mancuso

Tina & Jerry^ Moss / The Moss Foundation

Perenchio Foundation

The Shubert Foundation

The Simms/Mann Family Foundation

Skirball Foundation

University of California, Los Angeles

Wasserman Foundation

Judy & Chancellor Charles^ E. Young

IN-KIND SPONSORS

Thank you to our year-round in-kind sponsors for their incredible generosity and support of the arts:

Skylight Gardens

STK | The ONE Group

W Los Angeles — West Beverly Hills

Donors at the $150 level and up are recognized on our website at geffenplayhouse.org/thankyou.

If your name has been misspelled or omitted from the list in error, please contact Tracy Reich, Director of Individual Giving at 310.208.6500 ext. 113.

ANNUAL DONORS GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 25

ARTISTIC

Amy Levinson

Associate Artistic Director

Daniel Ionazzi

Producer

Phyllis Schuringa

Artistic Associate / Casting Director

Bella Luna

Company Manager

Olivia O’Connor

Literary Manager & Dramaturg

Lexy McAvinchey

Artistic Assistant

Colm Summers

Director in Residence

PRODUCTION

Renee Duron

Director of Production

Jill Barnes

Artistic & Production Administrator

Melissa Hartman

Interim Technical Director

Patty Squibb

Interim Technical Director

Alexandre Norkus

Automation Supervisor

Rick Gilles

Properties Master

Daniel Lynn

Associate Properties Supervisor

Audrey Lastar

Costume Supervisor

Sarah Lindsley

Costume Shop Supervisor

Spencer Doughtie

Lighting & Projection Supervisor

Jesus Cambero-Elias

Assistant Lighting Supervisor

James Grabowski

House Sound Supervisor

Bob Gilmartin

Resident A1

ADMINISTRATION

Behnaz Ataee

Chief Financial Officer

Erick R. López

General Manager

Berenice Campos

Director of Human Resources

Peter Banachowski

Accounting Manager

Janice Gompers

Payroll Specialist & HR Admin

Youra Kim

Staff Accountant

Clay Dzygun

Office Coordinator

Marguerite Harris

Receptionist

DEVELOPMENT

Sarah Weinberg

Director of Development

Elizabeth Kegley

Director of Institutional Giving

Tracy Reich

Director of Individual Giving

Mark San Filippo

Director of Donor Stewardship

Christine Drew Benjamin

Director of Donor Engagement

Jessica Brusilow Rollins

Grant Writing Consultant

Allie Reasol

Development Assistant

EDUCATION

Brian Allman

Director of Education & Community Engagement

Paloma Nozicka

Education Associate

Sean Michael Boozer, DeJuan Christopher Conner, Lyssa Deehan, BJ Lange, Tara Ricasa, Kenzo Rice, Maddy Wagner Teaching Artists

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Patrick Brown

Director of Marketing

Zenon Dmytryk

Director of Communications

Karen Gutierrez

Director of Advertising & Audience Development

Brian Dunning

Director of Content & Creative

Zack Hamra

Associate Director of Audience Services & Ticketing

Isaak Berliner

Social Media & Communications Manager

Janice Bernal

Box Office Manager

Alyssa Tyson

Box Office Manager

Jacob Feller

Part Time Box Office Manager

Vaneh Assadourian

House Seat Manager

Brianna Barrett, Rachel Jacoby, Sean James, Lauren Machain, Katie Sparks, Sara Turken, Anika Waco, Dennis Woullard

Box Office Staff

OPERATIONS

Jeni Pearsons

Director of Operations

Mel Yonzon

Front of House Manager

Amy Farkas

Lead Concierge

Rob Mersola

Event Manager

Sarah Chute, Anya Pryjmak, Emir Yonzon

Part Time House Managers

Sigourney Chin, Savanna Chute, Ki Duncan, Elizabeth Fritsch, Tony Jose Garcia, Alia Mahboob, Shannon Noel, Autumn Oyemade, Adam Simers

Guest Services

Brynn Allen, Lulu Altabbakh, Cristiana Barbatelli, Hannah Battersby, Blaire Battle, Avery Brown, Marlon Campos, Matt Clark, Sofia Constantine, Lauren Curet, Enzo De Cunto, Cecily Dowd, Camille Edwards, Blake Elder, Hector Eribez, Sydney Fleischman, Aja Hinds, Meredith McClure, Austin Merrill, Ana Nguyen, Kenneth Sambula Jr., Elena ScaringePeene, Areany Tolentino, Lanae Wilks

Ushers

Chloe Shi (Administrative Lead), Cecilia Bonner, Bethany Koulias, Bradley Pierce, Elizabeth Rao COVID-19 Safety Managers

INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY

Karim Bouzzit

Cloud System Administrator

Dream Warrior Group System Administrator

FACILITIES

MANAGEMENT

Art Guillen

Facilities Manager

Martin Ayala, Felipe Ayala

Building Maintenance

Mario Santillan-Perez

Custodial

Juan Carlos Umaña, Camerina Martinez

Cleaning Custodial

GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 26 26 PLAYBILL
Geffen Playhouse is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. This project was also funded in part by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Geffen Playhouse, a not-for-profit theater company, is proudly affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles.
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.