"As I was watching, I realized that it was not possible for the play to be so successful without the creative writing behind itmy passion for writing went up a new level. This opportunity is opening doors and windows to new and bigger things."


  • -Dimson Velasco, Navy Veteran living on Skid Row
  • Urban Possibilities

"Thank you for opening the hearts, minds and imaginations of men and women in underserved communities like LA's Skid Row. Thank you for your vision and your investment in those, like Dimson, who we believe are the hope of the inner-city."

  • -Eyvette Jones Johnson, Founder & Executive Director
  • Urban Possibilities

"Many of our senior residents do not drive anymore and even those who do are often afraid to go out at night our residents' lives are greatly enriched and enhanced by this program. It stimulates their minds, provoking thoughts and questions, and gives them something to look forward to."

  • -Amy Malina, Program Coordinator
  • Silvercrest Senior Residence

Through the Lights Up program, the Geffen Playhouse partners with over 40 non-profit and social service organizations that serve a wide variety of community members, from veterans, low-income seniors, at-risk youth and homeless adults. Lights Up gives over 2,500 of the most underserved, disenfranchised populations of Los Angeles the opportunity to experience a whole season of live plays at the Geffen, participate in creative workshops taught by our Teaching Artists and engage in post-show discussions with our actors. Leaders of each partnering organization are invited to attend pre-show sessions at the theater, led by the Geffen Playhouse Director of Education & Community Engagement, to deepen their knowledge of theater and receive guidance for using Study Guides and theater activities to prepare and debrief their group members who attend the plays. Select organizations work closely with our Teaching Artists to discuss the plays, engage in improvisation to connect to the themes and topics in the plays, create a sense of community and strengthen their presentation or acting skills.

  • Provide a significant source of comfort, strength and insight through educational, artistic, intergenerational and social experiences that inspire and enrich like no other.
  • Deepen community members' knowledge and appreciation of theater.
  • Develop their literacy skills.
  • Help them access and express their voices and communicate their ideas.

Underserved community members who participated in the Lights Up Program in 2012-2013 completed post-show surveys to measure outcomes and also submitted testimonial letters to share with us the impact the Geffen plays had on them throughout the season.

  • 85% reported that their lives were significantly enriched by the experiences Lights Up brought them.
  • 92% were significantly inspired by a play, artist or Lights Up workshop.
  • 93% increased their understanding of the value and relevance of art & cultural experiences and their knowledge of theater.
  • 91% encouraged others to participate in Lights Up or programs like Lights Up where opportunities to experience and explore art can be a source of strength, insight and comfort.