Geffen Playhouse opens new space for education program

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The Geffen Playhouse will be slightly expanding its real-estate footprint this weekend with the opening of a new educational facility called the Geffen Playhouse Kinross Annex.

Located in Westwood Village on Kinross Avenue, the new storefront space will serve as a home for the Geffen’s resident education partner, the Story Pirates, which produces youth-oriented theater and other programs.The first performance in the space is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.


Story Pirates was founded in 2003 in New York to help disadvantaged students through arts programs centered around literacy and theater. The group will use the Geffen’s new space to work and rehearse their in-school creative writing and drama programs, as well as to hold weekly performances, workshops and classes that are open to the community.

The Geffen said that it began its Story Pirates partnership in 2009 as a way to expand the resources of the theater’s current in-school initiatives

The annex is approximately 1,100 square feet and features a theater space with about 40 seats. A sign for the annex is not ready yet, but a spokeswoman for the Geffen said they expect it to be in place within a couple of weeks.

Gil Cates, producing director of the Geffen, said the theater company is leasing the space ‘at a good price’ on behalf of Story Pirates. He said that the project, like much of the Geffen’s activities, is largely donor-driven and that he hopes it will be ongoing.

Cates said he was generally upbeat about the Geffen’s financial health. ‘This is not to say it’s not without challenges,’ he added.

One of the company’s ongoing challenges is an endowment drive that has been in the works but has not yet launched. Cates said he couldn’t provide a launch date for the drive. He has stated in a past interview that the endowment drive would launch when the overall fundraising environment has improved.

-- David Ng


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