Randall Arney - Artistic Director
Randall Arney has been a theater professional for over 30 years, and has served as Artistic Director of the Geffen Playhouse since 1999. For the Geffen, in addition to his artistic programming and oversight, Arney’s directing credits include Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith, Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet, All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, Stephen Jeffries’ I Just Stopped by to See the Man, Rebecca Gilman’s Boy Gets Girl, David Rambo’s God’s Man in Texas and Conor McPherson’s The Weir and The Seafarer.
He is an ensemble member and former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre where his directing credits include The Seafarer, I Just Stopped by to See the Man, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Death and the Maiden, Curse of the Starving Class, Bang, A Walk in the Woods, Killers and The Geography of Luck. Arney also directed the world premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Steppenwolf, as well as the subsequent Los Angeles (Westwood Playhouse, Drama-Logue Critic’s Award), Off-Broadway, San Francisco, Washington D. C. and Tokyo productions.
As the Artistic Director for Steppenwolf from 1987 to 1995, he oversaw the design, creation and completion of a new state-of-the-art theater which is Steppenwolf’s current home. Broadway transfers under his leadership include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations) and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play), Mr. Arney’s acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday, Ghost in the Machine, The Homecoming, Frank’s Wild Years, You Can’t Take it with You, Fool for Love, True West, Balm in Gilead and Coyote Ugly. On film he has appeared in Normal and Weapons of Mass Distraction (HBO), Mystery, Alaska, The Out-of-Towners, Chain Reaction and The Color of Money. Mr. Arney has an MFA degree in Acting from Illinois State University and has taught acting and directing at UCLA and Columbia College in Chicago and Illinois State University. He has also held master classes and workshops at Steppenwolf, around the U. S. and in Tokyo.
Gil Cates, Jr. - Executive Director
Gil Cates, Jr. has proudly served on the Geffen Playhouse Board since 2012 and has years of producing and directing experience in theater, film, and television. Gil’s theater credits include the award winning Names (Matrix Theatre) starring Dixie Carter and Greg Mullavey, The Night I Knocked Out Joe Frazer and Lost 90 Pounds (Gardner Stage Theater), as well as Three Sisters and David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre (both at Syracuse Stage). Gil’s film credits include The Surface (starring Sean Astin and Geffen Playhouse alumnus Chris Mulkey), Jobs (starring Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, as well as Geffen Playhouse alumni Matthew Modine and Ron Eldard), and the 2011 feature film Lucky (starring Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Ann-Margret and recent Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor). In addition, Gil produced and directed the critically acclaimed Life After Tomorrow, featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, which won best documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival and later had its premiere Christmas Eve on Showtime. His other films include Deal (starring Burt Reynolds, Bret Harrison, and Charles Durning), The Mesmerist (starring Geffen Playhouse alumnus Neil Patrick Harris), and the critically acclaimed independent film Order of Chaos. Gil also made his TV directorial debut with an episode of the NBC comedy, Joey, starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc. He studied at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut, and holds a BFA in Drama from Syracuse University in 1991.
Regina Miller - Chief Development Officer
Regina has been a development professional for over 18 years, working with non-profit institutions, foundations and corporations on strategy, analysis and fundraising. She has worked for Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Clinton Foundation, Ben Affleck's Eastern Congo Initiative, Hank Azaria's Determined to Succeed, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, Water.org, Codenow.org among others. Prior to the Geffen, Regina served as the Director of Partnerships for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire where she led strategic planning and development while executing policies that advanced the organization's visibility and growth. Regina also has a strong passion for teaching. After graduating from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she taught in preschools and kindergartens in New York. From the age of 13, Regina worked as a professional dancer on Broadway as well as with a number of prominent modern dance ensembles. Fusing two of her interests, she created a highly successful program which incorporated dance therapy and creative movement into an early childhood curriculum as well as wrote and produced a television show based on this concept. In addition to being a published author and photographer with Tallfellow Press and Prometheus Books, Regina has taught and lectured at numerous schools in New York, Los Angeles and abroad.
Behnaz Ataee - Chief Financial Officer
Behnaz Ataee is a financial professional with more than 25 years of experience in for-profit and nonprofit financial management and auditing. Behnaz joined the Geffen Playhouse in 1999 and this marks her ninth season as the theater’s General Manager. She began her career in the Bay Area as a partner in a small family start-up before joining FBS Management where she acted as Director of Accounting, overseeing the finances of more than 25 non-profit organizations. Behnaz continued her work with non-profits as an auditor for Trump and Van Sloten CPA and then returned to the for-profit sector at Ultratech, before ultimately landing at the Geffen Playhouse. Behnaz has a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University.