The First Deep Breath Program

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THE FIRST DEEP BREATH

®® ®

Welcome to the West Coast premiere of The First Deep Breath !

We are proud and honored to have this powerful piece from playwright Lee Edward Colston II lead our lineup in the new year. Lee and director Steve H. Broadnax III have reunited after their world premiere of The First Deep Breath in Chicago in 2019, leading an extraordinary cast of actors and artists for the Geffen Playhouse production. It is a moving family drama that will inspire audiences long after they’ve left the theater.

I would like to take a moment and recognize my dear colleague and Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Matt Shakman. As of February 2023, Matt has transitioned out his formal Artistic Director role and will remain on our Board of Directors. Since arriving at the Geffen in August of 2017, Matt pushed

the boundaries of what theater could be, and what theater can teach us. I am particularly proud of the work he spearheaded through our Geffen Stayhouse programming lineup, which allowed the Geffen to not only thrive during the pandemic closure, but to create an entirely new and innovative way of connecting people through the power of storytelling.

We are forever grateful to Matt for all of his incredible work and artistic leadership at the Geffen. A search committee has been working on the process of finding our next Artistic Director, and we look forward to what that future holds for our theater.

Thank you and enjoy the show!

WELCOME TO
EXECUTIVE
2 PLAYBILL
PHOTO BY JEFF LORCH
SINGLE TICKETS START AT JUST $30! 310.208.2028 • GEFFENPLAYHOUSE.ORG THE ANTS 06.20–07.30.2023 THE LONELY FEW 02.28–04.09.2023 THE MOUNTAINTOP 06.06–07.09.2023 AVA THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS 04.04–05.07.2023 PRESENTING SPONSOR

LEVINSON

Victoria Alonso

Adi Greenberg CHAIR

Victoria Mann Simms

Happy New Year and welcome to our first production of 2023. It is with great pleasure that we present Lee Edward Colston II’s powerful family drama, The First Deep Breath. This is a play that captured the artistic team from page one. It is as surprising as it is soulful, a riveting testament to Lee’s extraordinary talent as both a writer and an actor. In writing this piece, Lee sought to create the kinds of characters he yearned to play. In doing so, he has conceived of and brilliantly rendered a multi-faceted, flawed, and deeply human family.

Joining Lee to bring this epic opus to life is director Steve H. Broadnax III, who we are thrilled to welcome to the Geffen. We have long been eager to work with Steve, and when the opportunity arose for him and Lee to reunite and revisit this play following its 2019 Chicago production, they (and we) jumped at the chance to do so. Steve has assembled an incredible cast and team of designers who together have brought the beautiful and complicated Jones family home to life.

As we enter a new year, I am pleased to say there will be something in the theatrical season for everyone: a world premiere musical, a work of historical fiction, a horror-based social satire, and a glimpse into the life of a Hollywood icon. The First Deep Breath sets the bar for the exciting things to come, and we are so glad you have joined us.

Enjoy the show!

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

Ron Meyer

Jerry Moss

Bruce M. Ramer

Founding Chair

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

Uma Swami

Miranda Tollman

Rebecca Vail

Laurie Ziegler

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AMY
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PHOTO BY ISAAK BERLINER

ART LIVES HERE

FEATURED WORK #6 Mirror, Mirror

ARTIST

Joan Chéri Peake

ON DISPLAY

Feb. 1 – Apr. 9, 2023

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.

As theatre is one of the most social of the arts and demands society to examine itself in the mirror, this piece will create the relationship between theatre and oneself. In a society where social media plays a major role in our lives, selfies have become almost a daily ritual around the world throughout the 21st century. This work will allow the theatre community to come together and blend with our current social norm. Over the past decade, selfies have helped people stand out, and helped them prove that they are a part of something important. So, essentially this mirrored artwork will show the audience that they are a part of the theatre culture and that they deserve their flowers while they’re here!

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Joan Chéri Peake is a passionate, expressive, vibrant African American artist. At the young age of 5 she watched her mother create paintings from home, which instantly sparked

her love for art. Naturally, she was drawn to painting; her interest was cultivated during her teenage years and further developed when she decided to take her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Joan also had the desire to fulfill her love for fashion and decided to advance her education in New York City at Parsons New School for Design. Her sensual nature of art is inspired by femininity, pop culture, and her life experiences. Her aesthetic constantly allows her to explore new places, and new techniques.

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

NOW ON DISPLAY IN THE LOBBY

THE FIRST DEEP BREATH

WRITTEN BY LEE EDWARD COLSTON II

DIRECTED BY STEVE H. BROADNAX III

SCENIC DESIGNER MICHAEL CARNAHAN

SOUND DESIGNER CURTIS CRAIG

CHOREOGRAPHER DJ SMART

DIALECT & VOICE COACH TRÉ COTTEN

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER ALYSSA ESCALANTE

COSTUME DESIGNER EDUARDO CASTRO

LIGHTING DESIGNER PABLO SANTIAGO

COMPOSER RASHAD MCPHERSON

FIGHT DIRECTOR STEVE RANKIN

INTIMACY DIRECTOR SASHA NICOLLE SMITH

DRAMATURG LINDSAY A. JENKINS

ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER AMBER R. DETTMERS

CASTING DIRECTOR PHYLLIS SCHURINGA, CSA

OPENING NIGHT

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2023

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS

6 PLAYBILL THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTION OF

THE FIRST DEEP BREATH

CAST OF CHARACTERS

(IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

AJ (Alexander Michael Jones) OPA ADEYEMO

Abdul-Malik (Albert Melvin Jones IV)

LEE EDWARD COLSTON II

Leslie Carter BRANDON MENDEZ HOMER

Ruth Jones ELLA JOYCE

Pastor Albert Melvin Jones III ................................................... HERB NEWSOME

Pearl Thomas DEANNA REED-FOSTER

Dee-Dee (Denise Jones) CANDACE THOMAS

Tyree Fisher ..................................................................... KEITH A. WALLACE †

UNDERSTUDIES

Tyree Fisher / Leslie Carter

Pastor Albert Melvin Jones III

JALEN GILBERT

CHRISTOPHER GUYTON

Abdul-Malik (Albert Melvin Jones IV) GERARD JOSEPH

Ruth Jones / Pearl Thomas MONICA PARKS

Dee-Dee (Denise Jones) NEDRA SNIPES

AJ (Alexander Michael Jones) DONOVAN WOODS

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.

SETTING

Mother Bethel Baptist Church & The Jones Residence, Germantown, (Philly).

RUNNING TIME

3 hours and 45 minutes

Including two intermissions.

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!

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†Fight Captain

OPA ADEYEMO

AJ (Alexander Michael Jones)

Opa Adeyemo is a recent graduate from The Juilliard School with a B.F.A. in Drama. He starred in ALIEN/NATION at the Williamstown Theatre Festival under Michael Arden’s direction. Select credits while at Juilliard include “Joe LeVay” in Stick Fly, “Bertram” in All’s Well That Ends Well, and “Gint” in Gint. He also shot a supporting role on one of the final episodes of The Good Fight, as well as the short film The Extenders, written by Eboni Booth.

LEE EDWARD COLSTON II

(he/him)

Playwright, as Abdul-Malik (Albert Melvin Jones IV)

Philly native Lee Edward

Colston II is a Black, Queer, former prison guard and MMA

Fighter turned actor, writer, director, teacher, and author. He was a finalist for the 2017 IAMA Theatre Company’s

Shonda Rhimes Unsung Voices

Playwriting Commission and a recipient of the National Black

Theatre’s I AM SOUL Playwrights Residency. The First Deep Breath received critical acclaim as “…one of the best Chicago plays of the decade…” after its world premiere at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, earning Colston a 2020 Jeff Award for Best New Work as well as a 2020 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award given by the American Theatre Critics Association. Past winners include Lynn Nottage, August Wilson, and Horton Foote. Some of Colston’s other plays include: Roost, For Which It Stands, Solitary, Holla, and Birthday Cake. Colston previously wrote on Fargo (FX) starring Chris Rock. His episode “East/West” was named one of the top TV Episodes of 2020 by The Hollywood Reporter. Colston has developed television projects at HBO with Academy Award winners Laura Dern, Eric Roth, and Alex Gibney. He has also developed with Emmy Award winners Joe Fields and Joel Weisberg at FX. Most recently, Lee is a co-producer on Ryan Murphy’s American Sports Story: Gladiator and is developing a new series with Emmy Award–winning The Handmaid’s Tale producer Warren Littlefield. Colston earned his M.F.A. in Acting at The Juilliard School and is repped by Range Media Partners and CAA.

BRANDON MENDEZ HOMER (he/him)

Leslie Carter

Geffen Playhouse debut. Brandon is a former banker turned multi-hyphenate artist; actor, writer, director, teacher; awarded the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship which “recognizes an artist with tremendous talent, innovation, entrepreneurial mindset and potential to make a significant impact on the performing arts.” Drawing on multi-ethnic roots within the Black diaspora, he is the creator of Mirthamerica, an epic historical fantasy IP built on blockchain technology; integrates NFTs, DAOs, audio, digital, theatrical and comic-book-driven storytelling (9/10 Premise, Blacklist Evaluation). Faculty: IDSA LA; teaches movement through the “Homer Pedagogy,” researched and developed at Juilliard, hedge funds, tech companies, law offices, and high schools around the world. The Good Fight (Paramount+), Blue Bloods (CBS), Uncle Vanya (Pasadena Playhouse), Wolf Play (critically acclaimed sold-out Soho Rep production), On That Day in Amsterdam (Ted Snowdon/ Primary Stages), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare on the Sound). Workshops: The

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Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, Roundabout Theatre Company, Almeida Theatre UK.

Juilliard: Othello (Producer/ Director/Adaption). Short: Souvenir Drunk (Producer). The Juilliard School, Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston.

My Wife and Kids, The Jamie Foxx Show, Seinfeld, Eve, Being Mary Jane, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, Preacher’s Kid, Lucky Girl, Bubba Ho-Tep, Set It Off, Selma, Lord, Selma, Nina, Catfish Christmas, Holiday Hideaway, Haus of Vicious, BET’s Story Porch, and the MTV Video Music Award–winning music video for TLC’s “Waterfalls.” www.ellajoyce.com

a hip-hop musical based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, has been produced in eight cities across the country as well as the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. He holds an M.F.A. from Penn State. herbnewsome.com

Regional theatre credits include: Having Our Say (Goodman Theatre), August Wilson’s King Hedley II (as “Ruby” at The Matrix Theatre, and in the world premiere as “Tonya” alongside Tony Todd at Pittsburgh’s O’Reilly Theater), Two Trains Running (Yale Repertory Theatre), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Second Stage Theater, South Coast Repertory, and Goodman Theatre), Bossa Nova (Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and at Yale Repertory Theatre), Checkmates (Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts), and Fences (alongside Tony Todd at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival). She is an original founding member of the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC. Ella is also known for her role of “Eleanor” in the sitcom Roc, which earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination. Other TV and film roles include:

HERB NEWSOME (he/him)

Pastor

Herb Newsome is an actor/ writer from NYC. Selected theater credits include Paradise Blue (Geffen Playhouse), A Raisin in the Sun (Fresno City Theater), Macbeth and Richard III (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), A Fox on the Fairway (Lyric Rep), Revenge of a King (National Black Theater Festival), Take Me Out (Foothills Theatre Company), Re:Definition (La MaMa E.T.C.), and five August Wilson plays—Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Kuntu Rep), Jitney (Elmwood Playhouse), The Piano Lesson and Radio Golf (Penn State Centre Stage), and Fences (Lyric Rep). He has written and performed in three solo shows: In Devil’s Heaven, Break It Down, and FreeMan in Paris. His fulllength play Revenge of a King,

Pearl Thomas

Deanna Reed-Foster is thrilled to be making her Geffen Playhouse debut and to be reprising the role of “Pearl.” Deanna is an Emmy Award–winning actor and ensemble member of Shattered Globe Theatre. Her SGT credits include: Rasheeda Speaking, Mill Fire, and Marvin’s Room. Other credits include: The First Deep Breath (Victory Gardens Theater), Nina Simone: Four Women (Northlight Theatre), HeLa (Sideshow Theatre Company), The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 (Chicago Children’s Theatre), Barbecue (Strawdog Theatre Company), and Even Longer and Farther Away (The New Colony). Regional credits include: A Raisin in the Sun (American Players Theatre), Nina Simone: Four Women (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), and Fences (Judy Bayley Theatre/UNLV). Deanna can also be seen in many

ELLA JOYCE Ruth Jones Albert Melvin Jones III DEANNA REED-FOSTER (she/her)
PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 9

films and television shows. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. She is represented by DDO Artists Agency.

KEITH A. WALLACE

Tyree Fisher

CANDACE THOMAS (she/her)

Dee-Dee (Denise Jones)

Candace is proud to be making her Geffen Playhouse debut!

Theatre credits include Arizona Theater Company (Nina Simone: Four Women), Forward Theater (Feeding Beatrice: A Gothic Tale), Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Nunsense; Man of La Mancha; A Christmas Carol), The Wallis and Black Rebirth Collective virtual co-production of UNMASKED: A Theatrical Celebration of Black Women’s Liberation (Jezelle the Gazelle; G.O.A.T.). Television credits include NBC (Chicago Fire), Netflix (Easy), and Lifetime (MOW). She has an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of South Carolina. @candi_reign on Instagram.

Keith A. Wallace is an actor/ writer/director and proud North Philly native “all day, everyday.” His acclaimed solo play, The Bitter Game, directly confronts racialized police violence and has toured extensively throughout the US and UK, garnering the Princess Grace Theater Award, the United Solo Festival Avant Garde Award and a San Diego Critics Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Select regional credits: La Jolla Playhouse (Junk world premiere, directed by Doug Hughes), The Public Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts, The Kennedy Center, ART. He has been a commissioned playwright at the La Jolla Playhouse and The Old Globe as well as a finalist for the Sundance Theater Lab, the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and the New Dramatist Van Lier New Voices Fellowship. He was also the Associate Director of Model Land with The Tyra Banks Company. Keith has been a featured panelist at SXSW, TEDx, The Kennedy Center and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin for his work in police reform and social justice. Training: M.F.A. UC San Diego and Morehouse College. www.thebittergame.com

Thoughts of a Colored Man (Broadway), Suzan-Lori Parks Sally & Tom at the Guthrie Theater (world premiere), Katori Hall’s 2021 Pulitzer Prize world premiere The Hot Wing King at the Signature Theatre, Lee Edward Colston II’s The First Deep Breath at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater (world premiere and winner of the Jeff Award for Best New Work), Dominique Morisseau’s Blood at the Root at the National Black Theatre (winner of Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Theater Creator Award), and William Jackson Harper’s world premiere Travisville at Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC. Ensemble Studio Theatre member and serves as the Associate Artistic Director at People’s Light Theatre and a Professor of Theatre at Penn State University; Co-Head of M.F.A. Directing.

Recent Broadway: Skeleton Crew (Tony nomination), Lackawanna Blues. Off-Broadway: The Hot Wing King (Signature Theatre, Pulitzer Prize for Drama); Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company); I and You (59E59 Theaters);

STEVE H. BROADNAX III (he/him) Director MICHAEL CARNAHAN Scenic Designer
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The Happiest Song Plays Last (Second Stage Theater); The Piano Lesson and The First Breeze of Summer (Signature Theatre). International: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Billy Elliot the Musical (Atelier de Cultura, Sao Paulo, Brazil).

Tours: Cheers Live on Stage, A Christmas Story: The Musical. Regional: Apollo Theater, Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Alliance Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Goodspeed Musicals, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Two River Theater. www.michaelcarnahandesign.com

IG: carnypics Twitter: @mike_carnahan

EDUARDO CASTRO

Costume Designer

Eduardo’s costume design career spans over 40 years, beginning with an apprenticeship at Western Costume Company in Hollywood, assisting costume designers Ann Roth, Theadora Van Runkle, and Julie Weiss, among others. After working on the series Fame, famed designer Milena Canonero asked Eduardo to collaborate on the fourth season of the iconic series Miami Vice. Further collaborations with Milena Canonero include Warren Beatty’s Bulworth and Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris. Eduardo is the recipient of seven Emmy Award nominations, five Costume Designers Guild Awards, and the 2013

Career Achievement Award; his first Emmy nomination was for Also Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, followed by nominations for the CBS Television film Elvis, Ugly Betty, and Once Upon a Time. Film and television credits include: Bird on a Wire, Sugar Hill, The Perez Family, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, What’s Cooking?, Bride and Prejudice, The Wedding, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Pepper Dennis, Eastwick, and The Call of the Wild. Theater credits include: Theatre West, The Group Rep, Kresge Theatre in Pittsburgh, and various small theaters around Los Angeles. M.F.A in Costume Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

PABLO SANTIAGO (he/him)

Lighting Designer

Pablo Santiago is a Mexican American lighting designer. Born in Chiapas, Mexico, Pablo moved to the United States as a teenager and studied filmmaking at University of California, San Diego. After spending fifteen years working on major motion pictures, Pablo returned to school to earn his M.F.A. in Theatrical Lighting Design from UCLA. He is the winner of the Richard E. Sherwood Award and Stage Raw Award. His most recent work was seen at LA Opera on the West Coast premiere of Omar. Pablo is proud to have long standing collaborations with many great artists incuding James Darrah (Breaking the Waves), Ellen Reid (Pulitzer Prize winner p r i s m), José Luis Valenzuela (Destiny

of Desire and Macbeth), Missy Mazzoli (Proving Up), Bill Rauch (Mother Road), Patricia McGregor (Skeleton Crew, Place, and Good Grief), Ted Hearne (Place), Adam Rigg (The Lord of Cries), and Yuval Sharon (War of the Worlds and Die Walküre). Pablo has designed for companies such as Santa Fe Opera, Geffen Playhouse, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Some of the amazing venues he has worked at include Theatro Municipal São Paulo, Kennedy Center, BAM Harvey Theater, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Arena Stage in DC.

CURTIS CRAIG (he/him)

Sound Designer

NYC: winner of the 2022 Audelco Viv Award for sound design for Confederates at Signature Theatre, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Apollo Theater, New York International Fringe Festival. Regional: Guthrie Theater, People’s Light, Lantern Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, Philadelphia Theater Company, Syracuse Stage, Denver Center Theater Company, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Rep, Detroit Public Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Dallas Theater Center. World Premieres: Suzan Lori-Parks’ Sally & Tom (Guthrie Theater); Dominique Morisseau’s Confederates (Signature Theater) and Mud Row (People’s Light); and Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap (Denver Center for the Performing Arts). In 2022

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his composition and sound design for the American premiere of Frankenstein won the Gold Medal at the World Stage Design exhibition in Calgary. www.soniclandscape.net

RASHAD M c PHERSON Composer

Rashad McPherson is a performer, musician, composer, and arranger living in New York. Rashad studied music formally as a piano principle and Music Business major at Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). Rashad’s recent solo record Forward features collaborations with Kymberli Joye (The Voice), Shelby Sykes (The Color Purple tour), Jonny Fung, Kevin Powell, and more. Rashad made his theatrical music directorial debut with the world premiere of Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland, written and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III (People’s Light). He composed and co-arranged the score alongside Jason Michael Webb. Rashad is a seminary-trained and ordained minister. He graduated from Boston University School of Theology and Union Theological Seminary in New York in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Currently, Rashad serves as an Associate Minister at Marble Collegiate Church (New York, NY). There, in additional to his pastoral responsibilities, he is the lead contributor for racial justice programming.

DJ Smart has been described as innovative, quintessential

and arguably one of the most versatile and gifted performers of his generation. Mr. Smart is a graduate with honors from the University of the Arts, the recipient of the Stella Moore Prize and the Outstanding in All Styles Award. He has received rave reviews by over 15 major magazines and an endless number of accolades including: 2006 NAACP ACT-SO National Dance Gold Medalist, 2007 YoungArts National Winner in Jazz Dance, Eleone Dance Theatre Icon Award, and 2013 Edge Magazine Person of the Week. He has been fortunate to perform, teach and choreograph all over the USA and in over 30 countries. His credits include: Apple, Samsung, The Jacksons, Twenty One Pilots, Cher, Tinashe, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, Billboard Music Awards, and more. Most notably, he was a special guest performer on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and So You Think You Can Dance Ukraine.

STEVE RANKIN

Fight Director

Most recently at Geffen Playhouse: King Liz, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Paradise Blue, Key Largo, Witch, Big Sky. Broadway: Carousel (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Fight Choreography), Ain’t Too Proud, All My Sons, Summer, Memphis, Jersey Boys, Henry IV, Twelfth Night, The Who’s Tommy, Anna Christie, The Real Inspector Hound, Macbeth, The Farnsworth Invention, Guys and Dolls, Dracula, Doctor Zhivago,

Bonnie and Clyde, Getting Away With Murder, Two Shakespearean Actors. Off-Broadway: Pig Farm, The Third Story, The Night Hank Williams Died, Below the Belt. Public Theater: CORIOLANUS. Shakespeare Los Angeles: Henry IV (with Tom Hanks).

Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Romeo and Juliet, Caesar and Cleopatra, The Who’s Tommy, Macbeth, Henry V. Metropolitan Opera: Faust, Rodelinda, Boris Godunov, Iphegenie at Tauride Regional: The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, The Old Globe (Associate Artist), La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, et al. Mr. Rankin also plays mandolin and guitar with The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble. Steve is a proud member of SDC.

SASHA NICOLLE SMITH (she/her)

Intimacy Director

Sasha is thrilled to be working with Geffen Playhouse for the first time! Other theater credits include: The Notebook (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Ms. Blakk For President (Steppenwolf Theatre), Familiar (Steppenwolf Theatre), How To Catch Creation (Goodman Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun (Guthrie Theater), The Bluest Eye (Virginia Stage Company), Toni Stone (Milwaukee Rep), Trading Places (Alliance Theater), Smart People (Writers Theater). Film/Television: Tiny Beautiful Things (Hulu), Daisy Jones & The Six (Amazon), Your Place or Mine (Netflix), That ‘90s Show (Netflix), How I Met Your

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Father (Hulu), Random Acts of Flyness (HBO), The Rookie: Feds (ABC), The Chi (Showtime), Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls (Amazon), Truth Be Told (Apple TV+).

TRÉ COTTEN (he/him)

Dialect & Voice Coach

Tré Cotten is a published and award-winning creator and educator. Based on the Kwakwaka’wakw Territory of North Vancouver Island, BC., Mr. Cotten has been featured in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times for his work as Dialect Coach on Regina King’s One Night in Miami… A Juilliard Teaching Fellowship Finalist (2021) and the keynote speaker for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) Conference in 2021. Film/TV credits: Dialect Coach on the CBC & BET’s Emmy-nominated period drama The Porter, and on Amazon’s newly released The Peripheral. He is currently in production as Acting & Dialect Coach on the new franchise film The Exorcist. He has an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Washington School of Drama. Raised in North Carolina, he is of proud Black and Indigenous descent. IG: @tre_cotten

LINDSAY A. JENKINS (she/her)

Dramaturg

Lindsay A. Jenkins is a cultural consultant, dramaturg, and producer based in Los Angeles by way of Dallas, TX. She is the Founder of Maroon Arts and Culture, an organization committed to the empowerment of

the global majority through the curation of safe spaces where artists and audiences celebrate, collaborate, and create. She is a passionate artistic researcher, supporting projects across mediums. Her specific area of research is Black Performance Heritage, connecting past performances to contemporary experiences. She has been teaching yoga for 10 years and employs embodied practices in her Afrocentric approaches to research and development. In addition to working oneon-one with clients, she has had the pleasure of working with organizations of various sizes including Center Theatre Group, Critical Mass Performance Group, and August Wilson House. L.J. is currently serving as Guest Lecturer at Pomona College.

ALYSSA ESCALANTE (she/her) Production Stage Manager

Alyssa is a Los Angeles-based stage manager and graduate of Occidental College. Previous Geffen credits include: A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill. Other credits include What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (The Old Globe); Spamilton (Musical Theatre West); All’s Well That Ends Well (A Noise Within); Lizastrata (Troubadour Theatre Company); Hamilton (Eliza Tour at the Pantages); The Bacchae (SITI Company at Guthrie Theater); Hold These Truths (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Fireflies, M. Butterfly, Photograph 51, Culture Clash (Still) in America

(South Coast Repertory); A Streetcar Named Desire, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Happy Days (Boston Court Pasadena); Criers for Hire (East West Players). Thanks to Mom, Dad & Minerva!

AMBER R. DETTMERS (she/her) Assistant Stage Manager

Amber R. Dettmers has been working in Southern California for the past five years. Before coming to the West Coast, she stage managed for nearly a decade in Chicago after receiving her B.A. in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago. Previous Geffen projects: the un’admiring (The Writers’ Room reading). Selected previous credits include: Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Cirque du Soleil/ VStar Entertainment, SM); The Great Jheri Curl Debate (East West Players, SM); HI, SOLO (MOCA, SM); All’s Well That Ends Well (A Noise Within, ASM); Noel Noel (San Diego Symphony, SM); Fly (La Jolla Playhouse, SM Resident); A Number and Scenes From an Execution (Runcible Theatre Company, SM); Seminar, A Walk in the Woods, Jake’s Women, and A Bright Room Called Day (Spartan Theatre, PSM); and Ghost Gardens (Pegasus Theatre, PSM). Amber has also served as Production Manager on various shows at MOCA (LA), Runcible Theatre, and The Poor Theatre (Chicago). Amber holds an M.F.A. in Stage Management from UC San Diego.

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PHYLLIS SCHURINGA, CSA (she/her)

Casting Director

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.

GIL CATES, JR.

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

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.

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 14 PLAYBILL

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

RACHEL BONDS

COLMAN DOMINGO

MICHAEL GOLAMCO

MEGHAN KENNEDY

MATTHEW LÓPEZ

MARTYNA MAJOK

CHELSEA MARCANTEL

QUI NGUYEN

STACY OSEI-KUFFOUR

JIEHAE PARK

JOHN POLLONO

ZOE SARNAK

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.

Submissions for the 2023/2024 cycle of The Writers’ Room will open in early 2023. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.org/thewritersroom.

PRODUCTION BIOGRAPHIES
GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 15
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

PRODUCTION STAFF FOR THE FIRST DEEP BREATH

Assistant Scenic Designer

Anna Grigo

Assistant Costume Designer

Jenny Deck

Assistant Lighting Designer

Edgar Alamo

Assistant Fight Directors

Jason Tate & Bobby C. King

Choreographer Assistant

Will B. Bell

Wig Designer

Shaunte Williams

Production Assistant

Juliet Park

Automation Operator

Skye Mahaffie

Deck Crew

Chris Cowan, Lila Schmitz

Wardrobe Supervisor

Michayla Van Treeck

Hair & Makeup

Meghan Gottschalk

Dresser

Vivi Le

Wardrobe Swing

Kassidy Klinesmith

Lighting Programmer

Nicole Jaja

Light Board Operators

Justin Kelly-Cahill, Erica Ammerman

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Scenery Built & Painted By

F&D Scene Changes

Automation & Show Control Featuring Creative Conners, Inc.

Lighting Equipment Provided By Kinetic Lighting

Sound Equipment Provided By Jon Sound Inc., DnB Design, Launch

SPECIAL THANKS

A1

Bob Gilmartin

A2

Jacenta Yu

A1 Swing

Ilana Elroi

A2 Swing

Stephanie Lynn Yackovetsky

Lead Carpenter

Philip Rossi

Carpenters

Austin Bosley, Oliver Brink, James Chew, Chris Cowan, Ryan Fischer, David Foubert, Enrique Garcia, Rob Hille, Shadow LaValley, Skye Mahaffie, Claudia Peterson, Lila Schmitz, James Stanley, Eiden Weissblum

Properties Artisans & Carpenters

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

Stitcher

Kiko Cheyenne

Electricians

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

Scenic Painters

Tyler Brogla, Chandish Nester

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

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.

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, Choreographer, and Fight Director are Members 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.

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.

16 PLAYBILL

THEATER IN EDUCATION HAS THE POWER TO IGNITE CHANGE

Geffen Playhouse is deeply committed to creating powerful and impactful arts education and engagement experiences that amplify, inspire, and encompass our diverse Los Angeles community. Our programs provide unique, in-depth access to theater and the arts for determined and ambitious youth and adults coming from historically excluded communities. We invite all Angelenos to come home here. When you support our education and community engagement programs, you create a world of greater understanding, increased expression, and deeper compassion while enjoying your home away from home at this historic playhouse.

EDUCATION & COMMUNITY
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS GEFFENPLAYHOUSE.ORG/EDUCATION
PHOTO BY JEFF LORCH

LET ’ S TAKE A BREATH

We’ll begin with gratitude. Take a moment to honor those who continue to breathe life into our communities, our work, our imaginations. In this moment I am grateful for Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, James Baldwin, and my grandfather, Jaye Joyce.

Now survey the body. Are your shoulders high, near your ears? Is your jaw tense? Is your brow furrowed? Relax your body and notice the breath. You are breathing, but are you breathing deeply? Deep breathing can be hindered by both internal and external factors. Complicated relationships, expectations from others, fickle moral standards, and deferred dreams, for example. Perhaps the abbreviated breath is an inherited one, born out of circumstances beyond your control, passed down through your very DNA. These issues and more may result in shallow breath. However, the beauty of breath is that it can also be used as a tool to push through.

In I Can Breathe: Transforming the Mind, Body, and Spirit of Black Males, Rana Walker describes several benefits to deep breathing including: slowing the heart rate, encouraging clear thoughts, inducing calmness, relieving pain, and encouraging proactive instead of reactive behavior. She offers a breathing exercise called Box Breathing:

• Close your eyes.

• Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four.

• Repeat this for a minimum of five breath cycles.

It is easy to take the work of the body for granted. I encourage you to notice the breath throughout this performance and in your day-to-day lives.

Thank you for being present, open-minded, and compassionate.

Scan QR code to dig deeper into the themes and topics of The First Deep Breath and learn about Po’ Mourner, giggle at pop culture references, and nerd-out on scholarly articles.

18 PLAYBILL
THEMES & TOPICS

I’ve been working tirelessly to raise awareness about diabetes and its contributions to kidney disease, heart disease and more. It’s plagued my family for generations.

I am thrilled that UCLA Health is partnering with the Geffen because there is nothing like the arts to help address situations that need our attention, like health and wellness. The performing arts, like dance and theater, are transformative. I applaud UCLA Health and the Geffen Playhouse for coming together to help people.

“ ”
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR
Award-winning

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 November 1, 2021, and December 15, 2022.

† Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors ^ Geffen Playhouse Founding Trustees

§ Geffen Playhouse Advisory Board * Backstage at the Geffen Supporters

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 Bezdek*

Kevin† & Claudia Bright*

California Arts Council

City National Bank*

Mary Ann Cloyd†

Edgerton Foundation

Louise & Dr. Brad Edgerton†*

David Geffen^ Foundation

The Adi† & Jerry Greenberg 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

Linda Bernstein Rubin† & Tony Rubin*

Shubert Foundation

Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg^

Jodi & Howard Tenenbaum†*

UCLA

UCLA Health*

William Randolph Hearst Foundation

INNOVATOR CIRCLE

$50,000 – $99,999

Carol & Paul Frimmer

Samantha & Eric§ Heer*

John McCrite§ & Juan Lopez

Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Holly Rice† & Vince Gilligan*

Matt Shakman† & Maggie Malone*

The Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation*

ARTISTIC CIRCLE

$25,000 – $49,999

Anonymous

Victoria Alonso†*

Merle Dandridge†*

The Walt Disney Company*

Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer & Melvin Keefer

Susan & Mark Fleischer†*

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation

Patty Glaser† & Sam Mudie*

Cindy & Alan Horn*

Marcia Israel-Curley Foundation

Erich and Della Koenig Foundation

Carla Malden† & Norman Beil*

Donna McKenna & Flynn Chernos

Paramount Pictures*

PRODUCER’S CIRCLE

$10,000 – $24,999

Anonymous

Eva Aaronson

In Memory of Bucky Hazan*

Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams*

Pat & Sandy Adams

Cathy & Shel Bachrach*

Beth Behrs & Michael Gladis

The Berlanti Family Foundation*

The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation

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

Eileen & Harold Brown^

Glenn & Lynn Cardoso

Marcy Carsey*

City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

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

Dr. & Mrs. Paul Eisenberg*

Bonnie E. Eskenazi†*

Eric Flamholtz & Yvonne Randle

Susan Nahley Fleishman†*

Steve Freedman & Helen Sideris

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

Manuela & James Goren*

Marcy & Edgar Gross*

In Memory of Morris A. Hazan

Nancy Heller & Fred Specktor

Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation

Stanley Iezman & Nancy Stark

Peggy Jones & Parise Livanos*

Mannon Kaplan

Glorya Kaufman^

Julie & David Kavner

Laura Kennedy§*

Lyn & Norman Lear*

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^

Judith Reichman, M.D.

Thomas L. Safran

Carol ‘Jackie’ & Charles Schwartz

Jessica & Jerry Seinfeld*

Richard & Barbara Sherman†*

Marcia & Robert Shuwarger

The Simms/Mann Family Foundation^

Sitrick Group, LLC

Sony Pictures Entertainment*

Cynthia P. Stafford†

Deborah Tavlin

William & Karen Timberlake

Steve Tisch^*

Miranda§ & Brett Tollman*

U.S. Bank Foundation

Joanne & Ken Weinman*

Aurora & Marc Weinstock†

Ken Willner & Jim Stine

Kevyn Wynn

PLAYWRIGHT’S CIRCLE

$5,000 – $9,999

Anonymous

Jehan F. Agrama & Dwora Fried

Mellody Hobson / Ariel Investments, LLC*

Audi of America*

Aversa Foundation

David Bartman*

Judith & Thomas Beckmen

Madelyn Bennett & Eric Gibson

Mara W. Breech Foundation

Robert Brook & Jacqueline Kosecoff

Comcast NBCUniversal*

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

In Loving Memory of Ed Cypert*

Mary Jo & Caleb Deschanel

Susan & Jonathan Dolgen*

Lauren Shuler Donner*

GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 21

Robyn Field & Anthony O’Carroll

Mimi & Marvin Freedman

Sonia & Robert Freedman and Family

Bob & Diana Friedman

Larry Gagosian*

Herbert M.^ & Beverly J. Gelfand*

Ann§ & Jim Gianopulos*

Gil Schwartz Foundation

Kiki & David Gindler

Sue & Steve Glusker*

MaryAnn & Irwin Gold*

In Honor of Richard Sherman / From Ken & Lori Goldman

Noble & Jacquelynn Hansen

Mellody Hobson*

Sir Elton John & David Furnish*

David & Martha Kadue

Barbara & Ronnie Kahn

Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall*

Willette & Manny Klausner*

Marla & Daniel Klein*

Kling Family Foundation / Allen & Jessica Kling

Wendy Kurtzman*

David Kwong*

Sherry Lansing Foundation*

Cathleen Fitzpatrick Linder

Karen & Walter Loewenstern

Laurie MacDonald & Walter Parkes*

Jane & Rand Marlis

Stewart Mayeda

Merle & Jerry Measer

Benedicta & Geoffry Oblath

Olympus Theatricals*

Shana & Don Passman*

Cheryl Petersen & Roger Lustberg

Jane Rissman & Richard Sondheimer

Stephen Sass & Steven Hochstadt

The Michael Schwab Family*

Gussie Paster Sitkin

Snyder Family Foundation

Heather Thomas & Skip Brittenham*

Town & Country Event Rentals*

Gayle & Barry Tyerman

Marjorie Walsh*

Michael E. Walsh*

The Waterman Family Foundation

Julie & Peter Weil

Susan & Dan White

Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks*

Karen & Rick Wolfen

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

DIRECTOR’S CIRCLE

$3,000 – $4,999

Anonymous

Robert E. & Maria H. Barron

Shelly & Libby Bergen

Susan Bloch-Kay & Stephen Kay

Philip Blumenshine

VJ Boyd

Noora Raj Brown

Lexy & John Carroll

Marissa Caudill & David Merrill

Adam & Lin Cheyer

Don Dorsey

Anne Dougherty*

Jacki & Murray Drechsler

In Honor of Virginia Field

Lawrence N. Field

Lynn T. Franklin

Karney Guren Family Foundation

Deidre Hall

Michael Hayden Gallery*

Alan & Michelle Heilpern

ICM Partners

Jerry Katell*

Katherine Kleindienst & Marc Goldsmith

Nancy Koven

Renee & Meyer Luskin

Martha Messineo

Robin Mitchel & Kathleen Marshall

Ron Myrick

Michael R. Oppenheim

Carol & Alan Ostroff

Carolyn A. Poer & John M. Poer

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 (3)

Miriam Aguiar

Dr. & Mrs. Bruce Allen

AnonyMoose Foundation

Edward Avedis*

Basch Family Foundation

Patricia & Mark Benjamin

Paula & Bruce Bennett

Yvette Bergeron & Dean Bailey

Susan J. Booth & Christopher Wadden

Dr. Wallace P. Brithinee

Janet & Mark Brown

Katherine Brown & Rene Mendoza

Diana Buckhantz and the Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Foundation

Jay Butterfield & Susan Ewert

Stephanie§ & Jonathan Carson

Steven Cerasale & Mary Katherine Cocharo

Caroline Choi*

The Christal Family

Cindy Clark

Larry Coben

Linda & John Coleman

Lori§ & Jerry Collins*

Honorable Candace Cooper

Tim Curtis & Shandon Youngclaus

J. Jason Daunter

Debra Davis§

Phil Davis

Pam Dawber & Mark Harmon

Dr. Joan Denson & Dr. Victoria Berck

Giovanna Desselle§

Dr. & Mrs. William M. Duxler

David & Joyce Evans

Lisa Field, Field Family Foundation

Anita Dann Friedman & Harvey Friedman

G2 Graphic Service, Inc.

Brenda Garcia§

Priscila Giraldo§*

The Glass Family

Ellie Goodman

Jill Grigsby & Rett Bull

Jack Grossbart & Marc Schwartz

Penny Grosz & Eugene Korney

The Guerin Foundation

Harris Family Foundation

Murray & Gail Heltzer

Zvia Hempling

Jackson Henry

Michael & Candie Herman

Jack Hileman & Roxanne Huddleston

Jean Himmelstein

Rand Hoffman & Charlotte Robinson

Iris Tuesday Productions

David Israeli & Dr. Marie Mazzone

Freya & Mark Ivener

Brenda Marie Izzi

Victoria Jackson & Bill Guthy

Linda & David Kagel

Deborah & Ivan Kallick

Carol Krause

Lydia & Chuck Levy

Hannah Linkenhoker§* & Carter Cohn

Judith & Dennis Locke

The Malins Family Foundation

Norma & Larry Meyers

Cookie Miller

Joan & Phil Miller

Laurie & Chuck Mondrus

Robert Nelson & Marguerite Renner

Conan & Liza O’Brien*

Michael Parks & Judith Hayward

In Memory of Robert & Stephen Paskus

Daniel & Denise Perlstein

Phil & Agnes Peters

Ruth Popkin

Clark & Kathryn Porter

Audrey Povar§

Gary & Gail Rachelefsky

Joyce & Harvey Reichard

Carol Risher

Eric Rollins§

Wil Rosser

Amy & Andy Schwartz

Susan Schwarz & Stuart Berton

Peggy & Robert Shapiro

John Sonego§ & Thomas Faughnan

Tom & Melanie Staggs

Andrew Stearn

Mitch & Sherry Stein

Cela Devine Sutton§

ANNUAL DONORS 22 PLAYBILL

Theodore H. Sweetser & Jane L. Valentine

Catherine & Leonard Unger

Kathryn & Alan Van Vliet

Gelena & Seth Weissman

Westmount Asset Management

John & Connie Weston

Alison Whalen & Steve Marenberg

Judith & Philip Winik

Richard Yaffe

David Young

Alissa & Jordan Zachary

Ellen & Arnold Zetcher

Bobbi & Walter Zifkin

DESIGNER’S CIRCLE

$1,000 – $1,499

Dr. Richard Ackerman & Miriam Shakter

Henry Alpert

Jan & David Altemus

Bonnie R. Arnold

Margaret Campbell Arvey

Don Bacigalupi

Rob Bailis

Karen Bell & Robb Cox*

Lydia & David Bell*

Wendy & John Bergquist

Yvonne Bernard & Henry De Priest & Lookout Entertainment

Marjorie Blatt

Larry & Julie Blivas

In Honor of Phyllis Blivas

Carol J. Bradshaw

Paula Brand

Broadway Wine Club*

Marlene Bronson

Anthony Carbone

Margaret Casey

Elizabeth & Gil Cates, Jr.†*

Jane Cates

Shelby & Lee Chaden

Martha J. Chase

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

Ginger Conrad

Stephen Cook

Jen Crittenden & Bill Wrubel*

In Loving Memory of Ed Cypert*

In Honor of Development*

Jan & Thea Drayer

Ed & Barbara Dreyfus

Terri & David Elston

Elizabeth A. Evans

Lynne & Michael Feldman

Dr. Kimberly Finney

Shari Foos

Burt & Nanette Forester

In Honor of Frank & Betty Fouce

Dennis & Jackie Fox

Joan & Charles Fox

Linda & Louis Goldsman

Scott Hartle

Winifred C. Hervey

Robin & Edgar Hirst

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

William Hoover & Jon Rupp

Drs. Sharon & Lou Ignarro

Gary T. Izumi

Marcie & Marc J. Jacoby

Carrie Johnson

Quincy Jones^

Sally & Dr. Manny J. Karbelnig

Patricia Keating

Trisha Kelley

Sharon Kerson

King Nutronics Corporation

Dr. Phyllis H. Klein

Barton H. Kogan

Delores Komar & Susan Wolford

Norman Koplof & Leslie Falick

Charles Kristenson

Lena & Mark Labowe

Mindy Lauerlevin & Ed Levin

Rena & Craig Leeds

Gina Maria Leonetti

Carl Levinger

Steven Llanusa

Tania Lotia

In Memory of Effie Lucero & Anne Ettinger

Eric James Lund

Kathy & Jim McCaffery

Anne & Ronald Mellor

James and Ana Miles Family Foundation

Mintz Family Fund

Andrew & Laura Mintzer

Thaine & Elizabeth Morris

Lon Morse & Toni Hollander Morse

John Moschitta, Jr.

Mark & Diane Neubauer

Albert & Barbara Nichols

Michael Nicklin

Deborah & Stacey Olliff

Tal Oren & Liana Morgado-Oren

Janie & Allan Orenstein

Ornest Family Foundation

Richard Rasiej & Joan Herman

Dolores Rogers

Allison & Bennett Rosenthal

Nancy Stephens & Rick Rosenthal and The Rosenthal Family Foundation

Lori & David Rousso

David A. & Karen Richards Sachs

Nancy & Ted Sanborn

Jane & Bill Schopf*

In Memory of Michael Sherman

Rita & Jose Sigal

Ron Silverman & Soraya Ross

Karen & Bill Skinner

Ronald Smith

Jerome & Joan Snyder*

Jill & Scott Spiwak

Lisa Stonich

Melora Sundt & Rob Kadota

Rose Tarlow*

The Tatasciore Family*

Anne C. Taubman

John M. Teeples & Nicolas Martinez, Jr.

Franklin David Tell

Audri & Stan Tendler

David & Cathy Thomas

Marjorie Thomson

Leon & Stephanie Vahn

Daniel & Shauna Valenzuela

Marcia & Charles Wasserman Ph.D

In Honor of Sid & Sheila Weiss

Cherie Wrigley

Lisa Yen & Tom Bajoras

Judy & Chancellor Charles E. Young^

Elena & Drew Zager

Arnold & Tricia Zane

PARTNER’S CIRCLE

$500 – $999

Anonymous (8)

Terry & Richard Abrams

Toshka & Norman Abrams

Allan Africk

Gaby Allen & Rob Greenberg

Laura & Harvey Alpert

Patti Amstutz

Eloise & Mark Appel

Audrey & Martin Appel

Behnaz Ataee*

Elizabeth & Marc Axelrod

The Baek Family

Cindy & Jeff Ballard

In Memory of Patricia Beals

Jeme & Erica Benadon

Pamela & Bill Bohnert

Michael & Susan Bordy

The Bordy & Leibovic Families

Toby Bornstein

Steven Briggs

Howard Brightman

Sean & Martha Carey Family

Sylvie & Peter Cartmell

Sandra Chan & Richard Pezner

Shirley Churgin

James Clark

The Clements Family

Devorah Colker

Heidi Jo Corey

Muriel Dance & Alvin Martin

Zoud Danko

Hedva & Dr. Dudley Danoff

Susan Dashe

Maxwell DeMille*

Brock Dewey

Kristin Diehl

Linda Dozier

Jeff Eckerle & Marilyn Osborn

Colleen M. Ellis

Ronald Eng

Katherine A. Evans

Terry Feuerborn

Geralyn Flood

Carol & John Fox

Kenneth J. Friedman & Marilynn J. Friedman Family Foundation

ANNUAL DONORS GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE 23

Catherine Froloff

Laurelle Frome & Brady Frome

Corinne B. Garson

Gordon Gerson

Jeff Gibson

Bert & Benita Ginsberg

Linda & Tom Givvin

Francine Golden & Marvin Schlossman

Dorit Goldstein

Dina Goldstein

Ellen & Reginald Golla

Roger Gordon

Liz Gottainer & David Sadkin

Howard Gradet

Jana & Randall Greer

Marcy & Edgar Gross*

Vera & Paul Guerin

Eve Haberfield & David N. Johnson

Roberta L. Haft

Keith Hall

In Memory of Jane Hall

Pamela Halle

Lonnie Hamerman & Kenneth Freundlich

Steven & Sylvia Harrison

Mary Hartley

Hella Hershson

Mrs. Dorothy Hoffman

Paul Gordon Hoffman & Sue Caren Hoffman

In Loving Memory of Stan Hollander

Robert & Gail Israel

Lynn Hunt & Margaret Jacob

In Memory of Joseph Jacobs

Linda Kaplan

William & Renee Kendall

Nancy Kenney

Dr. & Mrs. Klausner

Leana Kleinman & Jerald Johnson

Dr. Leonard & Stella S. Kleinrock

Dorothy Klinger

Patricia Klous

Deborah Lacusta & Daniel Castellaneta

Lynne Lainer

John & Sandra Langfitt

Christo & Jeanne Lavagnino

Rhonda K. Lawrence

Julie Leeds

Marla E. Levine

Lawrin & Linda Lewin

Renee Lonner

Daniel & Jennifer Low

Eric & Eva Plaza Mandel

Michael N. Marks

Barbara Marshall

Phillips & Emily Marshall

Deborah Marsten

Douglas McAvoy, Jr.

John McClure

Vickie McCorkendale

Jeanne McDonald-Powers & Travis Powers

Sharon McQueen

Christina Medigovich

Cynthia Melville

Nick & Vaughan Meyer

In Memory of Gregory Millar

Mona D. & Steven J. Miller

Lee & Jeff Milman

Thomas Mitchell

Dr. Paula C. Moseley

Andrea & Patrick Murray

Sabine Oishi

Susan Oka

Louise Olin

Cory & Bill Oppenheim

Sharon Oxborough

Heather M. Porter

Ron Rafay

Lise Ransdell & Eric Augusztiny

Rollin Ransom & Chris Lacroix

Jennifer Redner

Elyse Resch

Marianne Reynolds

Linda & Erin Rice

Lindy Robbins

Edwin Robinson

Julie Rogers

Eric Rolnick

Robert Rosania

Peter Rose

Barry Rosen & Neil Bokal

Douglas Ross

Dr. Martin & Lorraine Ross

Peter & Andrea Roth

Lisa Rowley

Arlene & Peter Sacks

Susan & Wayne San Filippo

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

Linda Schwarz

Marc Scott

John H. Scott

Donna Shapiro & Angel Castillo

Robert M. Shore

Nancy & Bruce Silverman

Marlene Sklar & Joel Moskowitz

Tricia Small

Amy Jo & Jeff Smith

M Leslie Stearns

Bradley Straatsma

Frances & Sy Strasberg

Robert & Kristie Svaleson

Joanne Takahashi

Mr. & Mrs. David Tann

Gloria Tapanes

Barbara & Larry Tenan

Rebecca Vail§

Karen Van Kirk

Julia Wackenheim

Ira & Laurie Waldman

Bradley & Natalie Wallace

Jennifer Weiser

Elizabeth Wheat

Aaron Widera

Kelly Weber Williams

Gia & Michael Wise

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:

Alligator Pear Catering*

Beam Suntory*

Cicada Club

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea*

Peroni Italia*

Skylight Gardens

Steinway & Sons*

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 24 PLAYBILL

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

Audrey Lastar

Costume Supervisor

Sarah Lindsley

Costume Shop Supervisor

Spencer Doughtie

Lighting & Projection 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

Brenden Cates Education Intern

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

Kevin O’Brien

Marketing Manager

Isaak Berliner

Social Media & Communications Manager

Janice Bernal

Box Office Manager

Alyssa Tyson

Box Office Manager

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.

Jacob Feller

Part Time Box Office Manager

Vaneh Assadourian

House Seat Manager

Brianna Barrett, Rachel Jacoby, Sean James, Lauren Machain, Katie Sparks, Sarah Steuer, Sara Turken, 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, 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, Hector Eribez, Sydney Fleischman, Alejandro Hernandez, Aja Hinds, Meredith McClure, Austin Merrill, Ana Nguyen, Elena Scaringe-Peene, 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 25
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