LOS ANGELES: Gil Cates Jr. has been promoted to permanent executive director of the Geffen Playhouse, having occupied the position in an interim capacity since February after the departure of Ken Novice. Cates Jr. is the son of Geffen founder Gilbert Cates, who opened the theatre in 1995 and led the theatre for most of that time until his death in 2011. Cates Jr. is also the vice chair of the Geffen’s board of directors.
“It’s been a great honor these last three years to serve the board, and to help secure the future of the theater, and now to move into the executive director role is an even higher privilege,” said Cates Jr. in a statement. “My love for this theater is deeply rooted, and as we look to the future, we will continue to build upon the foundation, culture, and legacy of giving new and emerging voices a special place to perform.”
Cates Jr. has served on the board since 2012. His theatre directing career has included Names at the Matrix Theatre, and Three Sisters and A Life in the Theatre at Syracuse Stage. He also has a film career that has included the direction of The Surface starring Sean Astin, and a producing credit in the 2013 Steve Jobs biopic Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad. In his job, Cates Jr. will run the theatre alongside Geffen artistic director Randall Arney.
Under his board and recent staff leadership, the theatre launched its Legacy Fund and produced one of the highest grossing galas in company history. Board co-chairs Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander offered a joint statement on Cates Jr.’s appointment, saying: “On behalf of the board of directors, we are delighted to announce Gil as executive director. His experience in theatre, film and television production and direction, combined with his passion for the Geffen, make him an ideal choice. He will also be a great partner to artistic director, Randall Arney, leading into our 20th anniversary season.”