Geva Theatre Center Announces Philip Seymour Hoffman Scholarship Fund

On February 5, Geva Theatre Center joined with the Broadway theatre community to dim its lights in honor of the life and work of Rochester's native son, Philip Seymour Hoffman. This is one of the more touching traditions of the theatrical profession, and the ultimate acknowledgement that a person has earned a place in theatre history.

Philip Seymour Hoffman often cited Geva Theatre Center in interviews. He would tell of his mother taking him to plays at Geva and a particular production of All My Sons that fired up his interest in acting. "Phil's interest in theatre began when he saw a play at Geva," commented his mother, Marilyn O'Connor. "He called it magic and it changed his perspective of life. That is what good theatre does. That is what Geva does."

As an enduring tribute to this great actor and director, Geva Honorary Board Member Nannette Nocon has made a leadership gift to establish The Philip Seymour Hoffman Scholarship Fund. The fund will be placed at The Rochester Area Community Foundation as a part Geva's endowment and will exist to support scholarships for Geva's theatre training programs. Several other gifts to the Fund have already been made, and the goal is to raise $25,000, which will provide two scholarships annually for Geva's Summer Academy Program, a summer conservatory training program for youth ages 12 - 18.

"As one of Rochester's own, it is fitting that we recognize Philip Seymour Hoffman's contribution to the arts," remarked Nannette Nocon. "The scholarship at Geva is an exemplary tribute to the legacy of an actor whose portrayal of character is always greater than the self."

This scholarship is the first memorial to the late actor to be sanctioned by his family. To make a donation to The Philip Seymour Hoffman Scholarship Fund visit www.GevaTheatre.org (click "Support"), or call (585) 420-2013. You may also mail gifts to Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Blvd, Rochester, NY 14607.

Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services of a national standard. As Rochester's leading professional theatre, Geva Theatre Center is the most attended regional theatre in New York State, and one of the 25 most subscribed in the country, serving up to 160,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students.

The 526-seat Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage is home to a wide variety of performances, from musicals to American and world classics. The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Nextstage is home to Geva's own series of contemporary drama, comedy and musical theatre; Geva Comedy Improv; Geva's New Play Reading Series and the Hornets' Nest - an innovative play-reading series facilitating community-wide discussion on controversial topics. In addition, the Nextstage hosts visiting companies of both local and international renown.

Geva Theatre Center offers a wide variety of educational, outreach and literary programs, nurturing audiences and artists alike. Since 1995, the organization has been under the artistic direction of Mark Cuddy.

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