Man of God (2020) Program

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I saw Anna Moench’s Man of God at its closing performance at East West Players in downtown Los Angeles last year. The journey I experienced that afternoon stuck with me for many months, and when we had the opportunity to produce Anna’s play at the Geffen, I jumped at it. In our current culture, privacy is endangered. Social media—and the misuse of it by hostile entities—has pulled back the curtain on everyone’s personal life. Put a Post-it over your laptop camera, right? You never know who might be watching. Anna has taken this pervasive digital unease and built an intimate, funny, and ultimately riveting story about friendship, cultural tradition, and the misuse of authority. Part comingof-age story, part comedy of displacement, and part thriller, Anna’s story entertains even as it asks big questions. 2 P L AY B I L L

This production, with director Maggie Burrows at the helm, balances a wild array of tones, from high comedy to deeply unsettling reality. Maggie, the cast, and the designers have brilliantly immersed us in the many points of view of Anna’s protagonists. I’m grateful to East West Players (Snehal Desai, Artistic Director) for supporting Anna’s play and for launching this bold new piece with a top-notch world premiere production last year. We are enthusiastically following in their footsteps. Enjoy the show! Matt Shakman Artistic Director





Jerry Moss

Beth Behrs

Bruce M. Ramer Founding Chairman

Dr. Gene D. Block

Victoria Mann Simms

Kevin Bright

Andy Spahn

Harold A. Brown Gil Cates Jr. Executive Director Mary Ann Cloyd Merle Dandridge Dr. Brad Edgerton Mark Fleischer

Steven Spielberg Steve Tisch Dr. Charles E. Young Chairman Emeritus


Sue Fleishman

Gilbert Cates Founder

Patricia L. Glaser

Marcia Israel-Curley

Adi Greenberg Vice Chair

Audrey Skirball Kenis

Arthur Greenberg Martha Henderson Chair Emeritus Loretta Everett Kaufman Carla Malden Brian Mann Barry Meyer Danny Passman Holly Rice Pamela Robinson Chair Emeritus Linda Bernstein Rubin Matt Shakman Artistic Director Richard Sherman Fred Specktor Cynthia P. Stafford Kimberly Steward

Charles Kenis Karl Malden Jerry Perenchio Edie Wasserman Lew Wasserman

LEGAL COUNSEL Peter Rosen Latham & Watkins LLP

ADVISORY BOARD Miranda Tollman Chair Stephanie Carson Lori Collins Ellyce R. Cooper Debra Davis

Marc Weinstock

Ann Gianopulos

Kevyn Wynn

Priscila Giraldo


Kirsten Hansen Eric Heer

Kirsten Combs

Laura Kennedy

Robert A. Daly

Wendy Kurtzman

David Geffen

Hannah Linkenhoker

Herbert M. Gelfand Chairman Emeritus

Tiffany Mayberry

Quincy Jones Jeffrey Katzenberg Glorya Kaufman Ginny Mancini Frank G. Mancuso Chairman Emeritus Ron Meyer


Patricia Kiernan Applegate

John McCrite Audrey Povar Eric Rollins Allen Shay John Sonego Cela Devine Sutton Laurie Ziegler

Thank you for joining us as we welcome the next great decade of thrilling, innovative theater at Geffen Playhouse! We’re excited to be kicking off 2020 in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater with our production of Man of God from playwright Anna Moench. This new year also welcomes our signature fundraiser Backstage at the Geffen—our honorees for 2020 include the incomparable Diane Keaton and co-creator/executive producer of the reboot of One Day at a Time, Gloria Calderón Kellett. We will also be introducing the inaugural Founders Award, which will be presented to the highly esteemed Chairman Emeritus of our Board of Directors, Frank Mancuso. Broadway star and host of the Geffen Playhouse Unscripted podcast, Rory O’Malley, will serve as our distinguished master of ceremonies for the evening. Thank you to our Title Sponsor, City National Bank, and Presenting Sponsors, Audi of America and Jodi & Howard Tenenbaum, for their loyal commitment to Geffen Playhouse. We invite you to save the date—Monday, April 20— and join us for a night of lively, unforgettable backstage stories and surprise performances. All proceeds support the art of live theater and Geffen Playhouse’s education and community engagement initiatives. To learn more about various opportunities to support the evening, please contact the Geffen Playhouse Development team at 310.208.6500 ext. 141 or ext. 113, or visit See you Backstage! Gil Cates, Jr. Executive Director G E F F E N P L AY H O U S E 3


















THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2020 East West Players produced the World Premiere of Man of God in 2019


Laurie & Bill Benenson Martha Henderson Pamela Robinson Hollander & Robert Hollander Loretta Everett Kaufman & Victor Kaufman

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Linda Bernstein Rubin & Tony Rubin Kimberly Steward & Josh Godfrey Miranda & Brett Tollman


SHIRLEY CHEN † JEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CAMRYN KIM MIMI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NATASHA TINA LIU PASTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALBERT PARK KYUNG-HWA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JENAPHER ZHENG SAMANTHA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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. †Fight Captain



A mid-range Bangkok hotel room.

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


90 minutes There will be no intermission.


G E F F E N P L AY H O U S E 5




Shirley Chen is an award-winning actress who received the “Best Acting in a Narrative Short” recognition at SXSW 2018 for her role in Krista. Her television credits include ABC’s Speechless (2017), Disney XD’s Gamer’s Guide (2016), and NBC’s Parenthood (2014). When not acting, Shirley moonlights as a Harvard student, studying History & Literature with a focus in Asian-American Studies and minor in Theater, Dance & Media. As a freshman at the university, Shirley became one of the first six women cast in the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, America’s oldest theatrical group with a nearly 200-yearlong history. Shirley stars as the female lead in Beast Beast, based on the short Krista, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2020. Shirley is represented by KMR and Gem Entertainment Group.



Camryn Kim is thrilled to be making her professional debut in Man of God at the Geffen 6 P L AY B I L L

Playhouse. She first discovered her love of acting while taking on the ever-complex role of “Munchkin” in a local production of The Wizard of Oz and chose to nurture this passion by attending the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). Upon graduating in 2017, Camryn entered the Drama B.F.A. program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and spent a year training with the Atlantic Acting School. She is now back in Los Angeles, ready to utilize her artistic voice as a catalyst for change and tackle works that are bold, thought-provoking, and inclusive. Camryn would like to thank her family, friends, and manager Laura Hersh for their unwavering support and positivity: thanks for tagging along on this wild ride because we’re just getting started! Cheers!



Natasha Tina Liu is originally from Richmond, Virginia. She is elated to be making her Geffen Playhouse debut! Selected theater credits include Cocks Crow (Ojai Playwrights Conference & East West Players: Counter Culture Series), Gob Squad: Creation (Pictures for Dorian) (REDCAT), The Hotel Play (Playwrights’ Arena/Center Theatre Group), Cino Nights (Rising Phoenix Repertory). Film and television: Synchronic (TIFF), Here and Now (HBO),

Speechless (ABC), Cobra Kai (YouTube Premium), Future Cult Classic (SYFY). Her work as an art model has been featured internationally; highlights include Art Basel Hong Kong (performance art) and New York Fashion Week SS18 for Candice Cuoco & Vanessa Simmons. Education: Interlochen Arts Academy, USC – B.F.A. Acting program, Upright Citizens Brigade (Advanced Study Improv). @natashatinaliu



Albert Park is thrilled to make his debut at the Geffen Playhouse. Select credits: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (South Coast Repertory); Cambodian Rock Band (City Theatre Company/Merrimack Repertory); Yoga Play, Jade Heart, A Man, His Wife, and His Hat (MOXIE Theatre); Vietgone (East West Players, LA Drama Critics Circle Award nominee, Stage Scene LA awardee); Soul Fire (Playwrights Project); The Oldest Boy (San Diego Repertory Theatre); All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winter’s Tale (The Old Globe); The Car Plays (Moving Arts, La Jolla Playhouse, Craig Noel Awardee); Extraordinary Chambers, Yellow Face (Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, Craig Noel Award Nominee); The Odd Couple, Lend Me a Tenor (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Golden Child (Chinese Pirate Produc-

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES tions); Flower Drum Song, BFE (San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse). Albert is represented by CESD. He loves and is eternally grateful to Jenny, Felix, Henry, and Coral.




Jenapher is an actor, writer, gamer, and visual artist with her Acting M.F.A. from CalArts. She is proud to be making her debut at Geffen Playhouse. Her theater credits include La Jolla Playhouse’s Seize the King; East West Players’ Kentucky; Wuzhen Theatre Festival’s Fantomas; South Coast Repertory’s reading of Tokyo Fish Story; and The Old Globe’s reading of The Great Leap. She is active in immersive theatre, and performed in the ASMR show Whisperlodge. She starred in the short Following Jamie, which screened nationwide at festivals such as Asian World, HAAPIfest, and Silicon Beach. She can also be seen in the pilot Everyone Together at SXSW this year. Elsewhere, she plays Dr. Victoria Kureze in the Niantic AR game Ingress, is a host on PanGeekery podcast, is Co-Writer/Creative Developer for Kwento Comics, and volunteers with the LadyParts Collective.




Anna Moench is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include Mothers (Playwrights Realm 2019); Man of God (East West Players 2019, InterAct Theatre Company 2020); Birds of North America (BETC 2017, Thrown Stone Theatre Company 2019, Theater With A View 2019); and Sin Eaters (Local Theater Company 2020). She is currently the 2019/2020 Page One Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Realm and has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Van Lier Foundation. Her awards include the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, Boulder Ensemble Theater Company’s Generations Award, and East West Players’ 2042: See Change Award. She is an alum of UCSD’s Playwriting M.F.A. program, the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater, Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Jam at New Georges. Anna is a writer on Severence (Apple TV) and the recipient of a Gerbode Special Award in the Arts commission for a new play that will be produced at Magic Theatre in 2022.

Maggie Burrows is a theater and film director living in New York City. She has worked with Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Tank, and Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from Yale University, where she was a nominee for the Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Maggie has served as an Associate Director for Bartlett Sher, Phyllida Lloyd, Dan Sullivan, James Bundy, Davis McCallum, and Daniel Aukin. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the inaugural 2018-2019 BOLD Resident Director at Northern Stage, and the recipient of the 2018 Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Most recently, Maggie curated a female director-driven reading series called Publicreads, completed her first narrative short film titled Condolences, and directed a GOTV video for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote Organization. Upcoming: On Your Feet (The Muny) and Mark Sonnenblick’s new musical Devotion. SE HYUN OH

Scenic Designer

Se Hyun Oh is from Seoul, South Korea. He resides in the U.S. and works as a set designer for theater. Recent scenic design credits G E F F E N P L AY H O U S E 7

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES include Silent Sky (Perseverance Theatre); Underneath the Lintel (Geffen Playhouse); Cambodian Rock Band, A Doll’s House Part 2, Yoga Play, Office Hour (South Coast Repertory); The Happiest Song Plays Last (Los Angeles Theater Center); Death of a Salesman (Ensemble Theatre Company); Three Days in the Country, The Hothouse, Hedda Gabler (Antaeus Theatre Company); The Judas Kiss (Boston Court Pasadena). Website: Instagram: @se.hyun.oh D E N I T SA B L I Z N A KOVA

Costume Designer

Denitsa is happy to return to the Geffen Playhouse where she previously designed: Constellations, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Big Sky, and Guards at the Taj (Ovation Award nomination). Her theater design work has been seen nationwide at venues including Pasadena Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Kennedy Center, Cleveland Play House, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and others. Denitsa’s work for opera includes productions at Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, and Santa Fe Opera. Costume design credits for other media include films and music videos. Nominations for Outstanding Costume Design: LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award. Denitsa is a professor and the head of the graduate Design and Technology program in the School of Theatre, TV and Film at SDSU. LAP CHI CHU

Lighting Designer

He has designed regionally for Mark Taper Forum, William8 P L AY B I L L

stown Theatre Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Contemporary Theater, Goodman Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, and the Alley Theatre. His New York design credits include the Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Signature Theatre, Second Stage Theater, Performance Space 122, and Kitchen Theatre Company. His awards include the 2018 Obie for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design, the Lucile Lortel Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Angstrom Award for Career Achievement in Lighting Design, an Ovation Award, multiple Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, and a “Drammy” for best lighting. He is the Head of Lighting Design at California Institute of the Arts. J O N AT H A N S N I P E S

Original Music & Sound Design

Jonathan Snipes is a Los Angeles-based composer and sound designer. He teaches sound design at UCLA and is a member of the rap group “clipping,” currently signed to Sub Pop Records. Other Geffen Playhouse credits include Good People (2012), Wait Until Dark (2013), Mysterious Circumstances (2019), and Macbeth (upcoming, 2020). T H O M AS I SAO M O R I N A K A

Fight Director

Thomas Isao Morinaka is an actor, writer, stunt performer, director, and an award-winning stage combat/fight choreographer. He earned a B.A. with Honors in Theater from the University of Hawai’i with an emphasis in

stage combat, Japanese theater, Japanese theater movement, Japanese history, and Japanese classical literature. He has performed as an actor and stunt person in television shows, films, and regionally on stages throughout the West Coast. He has performed as a voice-over artist for several projects, such as the movie Kubo and the Two Strings and other various animated shows and video games. His awards include an LADCC Award for Distinguished Achievement in Fight Choreography (2018) and a nomination for an Ovation Award for Fight Direction (2019). Morinaka is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Equity. SA M A N T H A C OT TO N

Production Stage Manager

Sam is thrilled to be back at the Geffen for her second production after recently relocating to Los Angeles. Previously based in New York, her favorite credits include: Broadway: The Visit (Lyceum Theatre). Off-Broadway: Dolphins and Sharks and The Way West (LAByrinth Theater Company); You Got Older (Page 73); Uncanny Valley (Contemporary American Theater Festival at 59E59). Regional: The Thanksgiving Play (Geffen Playhouse); Wild Horses (Contemporary American Theater Festival); On The Town and Scott & Hem in the Garden of Allah (Barrington Stage Company); Around the World in 80 Days and Other Desert Cities (Hangar Theatre). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College and is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. A big thank you to the amazing Geffen staff and this wonderful team of artists. Love to Dad, Elle, and all of Pooch’s aunts and uncles from here to NYC.


Casting Director

Phyllis is an Artistic Associate and the Casting Director for the Geffen Playhouse. Recent casting includes Witch, Mysterious Circumstances, Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Skeleton Crew, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Guards at the Taj and American Buffalo at the Geffen, and Put Your House in Order at La Jolla Playhouse. She has received 5 Artios nominations: Significant Other, Actually, Barbecue, Barcelona, 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), Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow, and Charles L. Mee’s Time to Burn. Broadway transfers include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Tony Award for Best Revival) and The Song of Jacob Zulu. She is a member of the Casting Society of America.


tifying, developing and staging new work and revivals of classic plays with a focus on exceptional storytelling and audience experience. Shakman recently helmed Mysterious Circumstances for the Geffen and prior to joining as Artistic Director in 2017, he directed three acclaimed productions at the Playhouse: the West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (2012), the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of Wait Until Dark (2013) and Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews (2015). Shakman founded and was the Artistic Director of the Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, which was named “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles magazine. He is a director and producer for FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has directed episodes of Game of Thrones (DGA nomination), Mad Men, Fargo, The Good Wife and Succession. Shakman recently helmed the pilot episode for Hulu’s The Great starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, airing in 2020. This season he will direct Macbeth for the Geffen, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

G I L CAT E S, J R .

Artistic Director

Executive Director

Matt Shakman is Artistic Director of Geffen Playhouse. In this role, he is responsible for iden-

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

for managing the Geffen’s day-to-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 studied at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut, and holds a B.F.A. in Drama from Syracuse University.

G E F F E N P L AY H O U S E 9

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES accounting functions of the

CPA, after holding the position

theater, including operating and

of Director of Accounting at

capital budgets. In addition, she

FABS Management, where she

supports all IT and HR activi-

was responsible for overseeing

ties. Behnaz was named Chief

the finances of more than 25

Financial Officer in 2015 after

non-profit organizations. As

serving as General Manager

a financial professional with

since 2002. She first joined

more than 30 years’ experience

Geffen Playhouse in 1999. Pre-

in for-profit and non-profit fi-

viously, Ataee worked as a se-

nancial management and au-

nior financial analyst for Ultrat-

diting, Ataee began her career

Behnaz “Nazy” Ataee is Chief

ech Inc., an international semi-

in the Bay Area as a partner in

Financial Officer of Geffen

conductor company based in

a small tech startup. She holds

Playhouse. In this role, she has

San Jose. Prior to Ultratech, she

a master’s degree from Pepper-

oversight responsibility for

was an auditor for Van Sloten

dine University.


Chief Financial Officer

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: RACHEL BONDS















For more information on this program, please visit

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. The Writers’ Room is made possible through the support of Patricia Kiernan Applegate. BONI B. ALVAREZ






For more information on this program, please visit

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Assistant Scenic Designer Mallory Gabbard

Sound Board Operators Aaron Centeno, Ethan Zeitman

Assistant Costume Designer Eliana Mullins

Wardrobe Supervisor Kiko Cheyenne

Geffen Playhouse 10886 Le Conte Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90024

Associate Lighting Designer Rose Malone

Wardrobe Crew Hugh Blewett

Assistant Fight Director Aaron Aoki

Properties Artisan Joshua Shelden

Stage Supervisor Tyler Brogla

Production Assistant Bryan P. Clements

Light Board Operator Brian Gowen


310.208.6500 Monday through Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm BOX OFFICE PHONE LINE

310.208.5454 Daily, 7:00am – 6:00pm AUDIENCES SERVICES

310.208.2028 Daily, 12:00pm – 6:00pm

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Scenery Provided By Scenic Highlights

Production Photographer Jeff Lorch

Lighting Equipment Provided By Kinetic Lighting, Inc.

Media Filming Ramon Garcia

Sound Equipment Provided By DnB Design

Design + Art Direction Base Design Photography Jeff Lorch

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

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 such as Alan Ayckbourn, Jon Robin Baitz, Annette Bening, Ed Harris, David Ives, Neil LaBute, David Mamet, Donald Margulies, Terrence McNally, John Rando and Kathleen Turner 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.

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

Please visit for hours, parking and more information.

TICKET SERVICES The box office window is open daily from 12:00pm – 6:00pm, as well as on performance days up until 15 minutes after curtain during the run of a show. Please note: the box office window is unable to process exchanges and future sales one hour prior to curtain time on any performance day.

ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATION 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 about our Accessibility services and programs, visit access or call our box office. Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund.

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. To minimize disturbance 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. Be advised that some productions or circumstances may not allow for late or return seating.

NO PHOTOGRAPHY There is no photography or filming of any kind allowed in the theater. Please turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones.

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E G A T S K N E C F A F B E GE .2020 0 H 2 . T 4 0 AT HONORING







Sponsors as of February 18, 2020





Danny Glover presents an award at Backstage at the Geffen 2019

Jennifer Garner speaks of past inspiration

Billy Crystal has the crowd in stitches



Kristen Bell sings a song cut from Frozen


Jane Fonda presents an award at Backstage at the Geffen 2019

Samuel L. Jackson tells a story about how he met his wife in an acting class





Playwright Anna Moench


Set in a hotel room on a mission trip to

for a while, but wasn’t quite sure what the

Thailand, Man of God explores fluctuating

specific setting or situation would be. Then,

power dynamics as four young women

a friend in the Korean American Christian

grapple with the dangers of the outside

community here in LA told me about a

world and with each other. In the first week of rehearsals, I had a chance to chat with playwright Anna Moench about this pressure cooker of a play that manages to be fantastical and funny along the way.

college mission group going on a trip and discovering their leader put a camera in their bathroom. While the play is not based on that story, the premise was certainly inspired by it. I always want to be clear that this is not the true story of what happened.

R AC H E L W I E G A R DT- E G E L : What was

your original inspiration for the piece? A N N A M O E N C H : I wanted to write some-

I don’t know anything about the real people involved, or the details of their experience, so I am not trying to speak for them. In that light, I made the characters high

thing about the moment girls come to

school kids, rather than college kids. I went

realize that the male gaze exists, and has

to an all-girls high school, and as a result

been watching them for longer than they

I’m really fond of and familiar with the way

realized. I’d been thinking about the subject

girls figure out the world together. There’s

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T IC K E T S S T A R T A T J U S T $3 0! G E F F E N P L A Y H O U S E.O R G · 310.2 0 8.2 02 8


a freedom, a boldness, a way in which girls

with the buzzwords, but they don’t have a

take up so much space when they’re togeth-

huge depth of understanding of feminism.

er that is amazing and fun. Then there’s a

When they’re trying to figure out the world

contracting when a man is in the room and a

and the rules and what they should expect

sort of shrinking that can happen, especially

for themselves, they need more information

in fraught situations.

than they have access to, and they’re kind of

So the inspiration of this play was a

at a loss. So they reach for the same buzz-

coalescing of my own lived experience, the

words we all reach for when we’re trying to

experiences of friends of mine who have

talk about these things.

suffered various levels of sexual abuse and assault and harassment, and the true story that was the jumping off point. The hidden camera is such a great metaphor for the male gaze, and its discovery is the perfect metaphor for that time in childhood when you realize, “Oh wait, I’m being seen as a sexual being before I’m ready.”

RW: The play also seems very much in con-

versation with the ongoing dialogue about digital privacy and violation. What made you want to explore the ways that this specifically affects teenage girls? A M : I truly cannot imagine coming of age

in the time of Instagram and TikTok and all


RW: Did the #MeToo era coming into the

national consciousness impact the way you ended up writing the play? A M : I actually wrote this play before the

Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, and before the #MeToo movement exploded into the national consciousness, but the subject matter of the play didn’t change based on the #MeToo movement. If anything, I just had to be sure that the girls in the play were aware of the #MeToo movement existing, which they weren’t in my early drafts. In the play’s current iteration, all of the girls are familiar 1 6 P L AY B I L L

that. I feel simultaneously fortunate that I grew up without that pressure but also filled with dread because now I have kids who are growing up with all of that stuff around. I have no idea how to equip them for it. There is a level of being on display, being watched, that high school kids today are more aware of than when I was in high school. And at that age, even without technology, there is a sense of always being watched by other people. I certainly felt that. You feel awkward in your body; you feel insecure about all kinds of things;


you’re pretty narcissistic, so you’re sure that

RW: I’d love to hear more about the play’s

everyone else is thinking about you all the

relationship to religion and how you ap-

time. Social media only serves to enhance

proached writing these characters to whom

that existing feeling.

faith is so important.

One thing that I’m not sure everyone is aware of is that there is a huge problem right now, especially in South Korea, of hidden cameras in toilets in public bathrooms. It’s such a problem that cities in South Korea are employing tens of thousands of public employees whose entire job is to go into public restrooms and sweep them for hidden cameras. There’s a whole online porn industry of videos taken of women using the bathroom without their consent. It’s so creepy. When I read about that epidemic, it was again after I had written the play and again I thought, “Wow, this play is onto something.” RW: What was the development process

like for this play?

A M : I have written these characters very

specifically as Korean American Christian kids from Southern California, in part because of the story that inspired the play, and in part from elements of my own experience. I grew up in a progressive protestant Christian household and congregation and I went to a more conservative Catholic high school (during those high school years I was getting a lot of religion between school, home, and Sundays). But this upbringing wasn’t scarring or difficult for me. I found it to be a supportive community, and I still think that elements of the Christian faith are very positive. Even though I’m not very religious as an adult, I have a familiarity with organized religion,

A M : I wrote the play while I was in grad

and Christianity in particular. I’ve written

school and I sent it to Jesca Prudencio, who

a couple plays that take place in Christian

ended up being the director at East West Players. We had always wanted to work together, and she really responded to Man of God. She had spent a year doing the Julie Taymor directing fellowship, spending many months working on a project about sex workers in Thailand, so she was very familiar with the setting of this play. When Snehal [Desai, the Artistic Director at East West Players] asked her what she was interested in, she sent him this play and that’s how it found its way to East West. Some of my plays have had needed a long development process, but this play hasn’t changed a ton since its first iteration. Certainly I have changed things, expanded things, but this was one of those plays that came out really fast and really strong. I knew the characters, I knew the world, I knew the problem, and it was just about keeping up with the play as I wrote it. I love when it goes that way.

communities—but to be honest, I don’t see these plays as being “about” Christianity. I have no interest in writing about whether God exists, or whether Christianity is good or bad. My plays are about gender roles, structural injustice, coming of age, love, growth, fear—universal things that all people deal with. But there’s something theatrical about the way that religion allows people to grapple publicly with the things we’re all grappling with privately. In some ways, religion is very inflexible in how it tells you to handle difficult situations. But people are infinitely flexible. And I find it fascinating to watch characters go through contortions to fit themselves into the rigid container their religion gives them… or the moment when they strike out on their own to find a way forward. To read more about Man of God, visit G E F F E N P L AY H O U S E 1 7




H T E B C A 0 2 M 0 2 . 6 2 . 7 0 – 06.16 T IC K E T S S T A R T A T J U S T $3 0! G E F F E N P L A Y H O U S E.O R G · 310.2 0 8.2 02 8

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Jennifer Zakkai Director of Education & Community Engagement Joannarae Ibañez Manager of School & Community Programs Brian Allman Manager of Theater Education Celia Rivera Community Engagement Coordinator Brian Majestic Veterans Project Coordinator Jake Arky, Darien Battle, Anniwaa Buachie, Ramy El-Etreby, Lyssa Deehan, David Guerra, Robert Paterno, Carissa Pinckney, Tara Ricasa, Celia Rivera, Jessica Winward Teaching Artists


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 Kevin O’Brien Marketing Manager Georgia Arnold Social Media & Communications Associate Ramon Garcia Video Producer Wendell Pascual Production Artist Janice Bernal Box Office Manager Alyssa Tyson Box Office Manager

Clifton Adams, Kelsey Arlington, Vaneh Assadourian, Dashawn Barnes, Anthony Cloyd, Rebecca Connolly, Jamie Dawson, Alan Kistler, Sam Peurach, Jonathan Ramos, Cameron Reck Box Office Staff Sue Fleishman Communications Consultant Jeni Pearsons Director of Special Events Mel Yonzon Front of House Manager Amy Farkas Lead Concierge Sigourney Chin, Anya Pryjmak, Madison Shamoun House Managers Katherine Banos, Ian Benchwick, Ryan Brophy, Rogelio Douglas, Lucas Gust, Caitie Hawthorne, Lucy Houlihan, Fiona Leahy, Hunter Lowden, Olivia Lowe, Robert Mahaffie, Austin Merrill, Sidne Phillips, Brandon Root, Chuck Soo-Hoo, Charmee Taylor, Caragh Tiernan, Robin Vega, Emir Yonzon Ushers Rob Mersola Bar Manager & Mixologist Adam Carr Bar Captain Skylar Adams, Rachel Brunner, Brenda Davidson, Sarah Drescher, Lauren Hargrave, Andrew Lees, Nick Marini, Ryan Turner Bartenders / Event Staff


Karim Bouzzit System Administrator

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Miguel del Castillo Facility Manager

Martin Ayala, Felipe Ayala Building Maintenance Mario Santillan-Perez Custodial Juan Carlos Umaña, Camerina Martinez Cleaning Custodial

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. G E F F E N P L AY H O U S E 2 5

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