Lou Moore, managing director of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles since the theatre's inception five years ago, will depart that position at the end of the current season. She will leave to pursue other business opportunities but will serve as a management consultant to the Playhouse.
"Building the Geffen from the ground up has been one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I've ever had," said Moore in a statement. "In 1995, Gil Cates asked me to be his partner in creating a professional theatre company on L.A.'s Westside that would be affiliated with UCLA. We began with one production...and quickly expanded to an annual season of five plays, from a $300,000 annual budget to $5 million today, and a committed audience of over 11,000 subscribers....I am ever so grateful and proud to have built this theatre with him."
Producing Director Cates said, "It is with great sadness and regret that we say goodbye to Lou...She is a terrific partner, an amazing and extraordinary woman of the theatre and we will all feel the loss intensely."
Prior to the Geffen, Moore was the executive director of the Plaza Theatre in Dallas, Texas. She founded and was president of the New York-based ElM Video Theatre, which represented many regional theatres.
While the Geffen prepares for Moore’s departure, the company is currently greeting its new artistic director, Randall Arney. The former artistic director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre (1987-95), Arney arrives towards the end of the Geffen’s fourth season. (The last show, Defiled, closes in June). “The Geffen is poised to create a lasting impression as one of the country’s strongest theatres,” Arney said in a statement. “Gil [Cates] has proven there is a strong community of acceptance for the great variety of work that emanates from the Geffen...”
Producing director Cates has been running the theatre since 1995, serving as its de facto artistic director. According to theatre spokesperson Gary W. Murphy, Cates will now share the decision-making process with Arney, who has already been working with the Geffen “in a consulting capacity on and off for a couple of months.”
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent
and David Lefkowitz