I have been working at the Geffen Playhouse for 9 years – getting engaged, married and having my son while working here. As anyone involved with the Geffen will tell you, this is a very special place to be. I love that I work upstairs of a theater (if my 7 year old self could see me now!). I love the work that we do on our stage and am proud of the stories we tell. I love the people I work with, both my co-workers and donors like you! I love the phone calls and e-mails, sharing stories about our lives. I speak with some of the kindest and most generous people – what a great way to spend my week! Mostly though, I’m proud of the work we do in our community, especially with high school students. The first student matinee of the season is one of my favorite days of the year…The students who come in the building have all been prepped by their Teaching Artists to be here and to see the show, but the look on their faces when they walk into the building is so priceless. Most have never stepped outside of their neighborhoods and here they are, seeing a show (often for the first time). Some are dressed up and some are in school hoodies but the looks of awe are all the same. The first matinee is always a wee bit loud as the students are just learning to be audience members and their questions during the talk back are said with some hesitation as they speak with the actors they just watched on stage. Flash forward to the final matinee of the season and these students walk in like they own the building, confident that they belong. The questions they ask in the talk back are smart and confident showing all they’ve learned throughout the season. I will never forget, a couple seasons ago during a matinee of Barcelona, a student said “I noticed that the lighting on stage got brighter as the characters opened up and revealed more about each other – was that intentional?” It blew my mind! These students are so incredible – Many have been dealt a difficult hand in life, and it makes my heart smile to be even a small part of opening their eyes to a whole new world. Thank you for your generosity and for helping us be a part of their journey and thank you for letting me and the Geffen be a part of yours. We love having you as part of our family and I am already looking forward to the next time we e-mail or speak.
— Jamie Mikelich
Director of Individual Giving