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Dick Van Dyke and Lin-Manuel Miranda Honored at 16th Annual “Backstage at the Geffen” Fundraiser

May 20, 2018
Honoree Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Geffen Playhouse’s 16th annual “Backstage at the Geffen” fundraiser on May 19, 2018. (Photo: Jordan Strauss)
Honoree Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Geffen Playhouse’s 16th annual “Backstage at the Geffen” fundraiser on May 19, 2018. (Photo: Jordan Strauss)

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2018--Last night’s star-studded event, Backstage at the Geffen, at the Geffen Playhouse grossed more than $1 million for the theater’s education, outreach and artistic initiatives. The fundraiser, which recognizes leaders in the artistic community, supports the theater’s mission to produce original, quality work and raises funds for its education and community engagement programs, honored legendary stage and screen performer Dick Van Dyke and award-winning composer, lyricist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda. Comedian Jim Carrey presented the Distinction in Theater Award to Van Dyke and EGOT award-winning actress Rita Moreno presented the Education Impact Award to Miranda.

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Honoree Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Geffen Playhouse’s 16th annual “Backstage at the Geffen” fundraiser on May 19, 2018. (Photo: Jordan Strauss)

The evening of unscripted, surprise performers and storytellers featured personal tales of life behind the scenes from Billy Crystal and Beth Behrs and performances by KristenBell, Mia Michaels, Regina Spektor and poet Amanda Gorman. It was produced by Geffen Playhouse board member Kevin S. Bright, Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Chief Development Officer Regina Miller and Artistic Director Matt Shakman.

Two-time Backstage at the Geffen host Aisha Tyler opened the show with a tribute to the evening’s honorees. “It is artists such as Dick and Lin-Manuel that exemplify art’s capacity to change the national and international conversation. Apart from the years of entertainment they’ve given us all, we owe them a debt of gratitude for continually teaching us how we can use our chosen art forms to change the world. And since we are all here tonight in support of the Geffen Playhouse, I think it’s fair to remind you that from the very beginning, the very first chosen art form of these two legends was theater.”

Backstage at the Geffen brings together artistic, entertainment and business leaders and the Los Angeles region’s most prominent philanthropic organizations to raise funds for the Geffen Playhouse’s artistic endeavors, including new play development, playwright commissions and world premiere productions that inspire thought, evoke conversation, and engage the community in the live arts. Last year, Backstage at the Geffen raised more than $1 million, allowing the Geffen to expand its literacy, high school, veterans and Lights Up programs.

Honorary Co-Chairs included George Lucas & Mellody Hobson, Barbra Streisand & James Brolin, Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams, Cindy & Alan Horn, Ann & Jim Gianopulos, Kelly & Ron Meyer, Lyn & Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Quincy Jones, Jr., Loretta Everett Kaufman & Victor Kaufman, Barbara & Richard Sherman, Madeline & Bruce Ramer and Fay & Frank Mancuso. Event Co-Chairs are Loretta Everett Kaufman, Adi Greenberg and Linda Bernstein Rubin.

City National Bank continued for the ninth consecutive year as Title Sponsor. Presenting Sponsors were Audi of America in its 13 th  year and K Period Media in its second year.

Event Highlights


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. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates and is currently helmed by Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Artistic Director Matt Shakman and Board Chair Howard Tenenbaum. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org


With $48.7 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 72 offices, including 19 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $64.9 billion in client investment assets. City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries. For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.


Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.878 million vehicles globally in 2017. In the U.S., Audi of America sold nearly 227,000 vehicles in 2017 and broke company sales records for the eighth straight year. Visit audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.


K Period Media is a Los Angeles-based production company committed to developing, financing, and producing quality films and content for a variety of platforms. Founded by Kimberly Steward in 2013, the company is dedicated to finding and making socially-relevant, story-driven projects with mainstream appeal. To date, its films include the award-winning 2014 documentary Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People and the acclaimed 2016 feature Manchester by the Sea, which was nominated for six Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.

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CONTACT: Media Contact:

Geffen Playhouse

Ashley Bodul, 310.966.2405




SOURCE: Geffen Playhouse

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PUB: 05/20/2018 07:05 PM/DISC: 05/20/2018 07:05 PM


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