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Backstage at the Geffen is our signature annual fundraiser, where we honor key entertainment industry figures who have made their indelible philanthropic mark on the community. One of our most anticipated events of the year, Backstage at the Geffen provides an intimate setting for guests to enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most prominent celebrities in Hollywood, as well as surprise, unannounced performances that span the live arts spectrum. All funds raised support the Geffen’s ongoing commitment to bring the power and inspiration of the arts to youth and adults in communities throughout Los Angeles.
Welcome back to "the room where it happens." Our signature annual fundraiser is back inside the theater after two years of virtual and hybrid events! Le Conte Avenue becomes the best party in town, with exclusive performances on stage in the Gil Cates Theater. Join us for a magical evening of music, dance and intimate theater stories by surprise celebrity guests. All proceeds support Geffen Playhouse's artistic and community initiatives.
Past storytellers and honorees include Amanda Gorman, Helen Mirren, Billy Crystal, Quincy Jones, Julie Andrews, Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Kristin Chenoweth, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Morgan Freeman, and Jennifer Garner, to name just a few.
We look forward to seeing you next year for Backstage at the Geffen in May 2023. Click here to be notified for more information.
Christine Drew BenjaminDirector of Donor Engagement310.208.6500 x195
ARTISTIC IMPACT AWARD
In a role that would catapult her career, Rita starred in the film adaptation of Broadway’s West Side Story. All of her talents were on display as she acted, sang and danced her way to the forefront of stardom. Rita is a shining example of what can happen when you give back to your community. From early on Rita has been passionate about social justice. She was in the crowd when Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C. in 1963. She continued to be a conscious activist throughout her career as an outspoken advocate for racial and gender equality, childhood education, immigrant families, relief for her homeland of Puerto Rico, and many other causes which are dear to her heart.
DISTINCTION IN SERVICE AWARD
During almost 30 years in the motion picture business, Sherry Lansing was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films—including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump, Braveheart, and Titanic. Throughout her film career, Lansing earned a reputation as a trailblazer, a visionary leader, and a creative filmmaker. To this day, she is a leading philanthropic advocate with The Sherry Lansing Foundation (SLF), a non-profit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities. Lansing is also a co-founder of the Stand Up To Cancer initiative, which funds collaborative, multi-institutional cancer research “Dream Teams.”
Geffen Playhouse welcomes back comedian, actor, writer and producer Tone Bell as its 2022 Backstage at the Geffen host. Tone recently co-starred opposite Golden Globe winner Andra Day in Lee Daniels' The United States vs. Billie Holiday, now streaming on Hulu. An accomplished stand-up comic who tours nationwide, Tone’s first one-hour comedy special Tone Bell: Can’t Cancel This can currently be seen on Showtime, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Tone’s forthcoming comedy album, One Night in Austin, was released last fall.
Theater lovers, start your bidding! Bid on your favorite luxury travel adventures and one-of-a-kind experiences! Auction closes June 4 at 10:45pm (PDT).
2021 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Amanda Gorman, Hon. Nicole Avant & Ted Sarandos
2019 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Lily Tomlin & Harry Belafonte
2018 Backstage at the Geffen
Honoring Dick Van Dyke & Lin-Manuel Miranda
Backstage at the Geffen Honorees
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve young people and the community at large in the arts.