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Morgan Freeman And Jeff Skoll Honored At Geffen Playhouse Annual Fundraiser

 Star-Studded, Sell-Out BACKSTAGE AT THE GEFFEN Raises More Than $1.4 Million Benefitting  Arts and Education Programs and New Play Development 

Sunday’s Backstage at the Geffen, star-studded fundraiser at the Geffen Playhouse and the pre-show host committee dinner grossed over $1.4 million for the Geffen Playhouse’s education, outreach and artistic initiatives. Norman Lear presented the Distinction in Service Award to social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn presented the Distinction in Theater Award to Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.   Actress Dana Delaney, a Geffen Playhouse alum, served as Master of Ceremonies for the fundraiser that gathers superstars from the worlds of stage and screen to share often irreverent, behind-the-curtain stories of the struggles and surprises that memorably shaped their lives and careers.

This year’s 14th annual fundraiser featured “backstage” memories by Rainn Wilson, Aaron Sorkin, Garry Marshall, Kristin Davis, Amy Landecker and Jaeden Lieberher with musical performances by Ellis Hall and Frenchie Davis.    Jon Boogz, Lil’ Buck and dancers performed during a spoken word piece by Robin Sanders.  David Geffen served as Honorary Chair of the 20th Anniversary event.  Martha Hendersonand Pamela Robinson Co-Chair the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors.

Norman Lear, from left, Jeff Skoll, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Horn attend Backstage at the Geffen on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Geffen Playhouse/AP Images)
Norman Lear, from left, Jeff Skoll, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Horn attend Backstage at the Geffen on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Geffen Playhouse/AP Images)

The evening was produced by Gil Cates, Jr. and Kevin S. Bright and directed by Randall Arney.  Funds raised are earmarked for a host of Geffen Playhouse endeavors including new play development, playwright commissions, second productions and artistic risks, as well as the theater’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, which help bring the excitement of live theater to more than 15,000 disadvantaged youth, seniors, veteran and community members annually.  Backstage at the Geffen title sponsor City National Bank, returning for the seventh year, was joined by presenting sponsors Audi of America, returning for the 11th year, Apollo Jets, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Participant Media, with special thanks to UCLA and CAA.  For more information, please visit www.geffenplayhouse.org

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