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La Jolla Play Development Center Named for Rao & Padma Makineni

Theatre-lovers and philanthropists Rao and Padma Makineni have made an extraordinary gift of $1-million to La Jolla Playhouse, and in recognition of their generosity, the Play Development Center will be named in their honor. An essential space housed within the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, the Play Development Center is where new plays are rehearsed and Opening Night celebrations are often held.

Rao Makineni was born in Andha, India and received his undergraduate degree at Christian College. He earned a doctorate degree at the Royal College of Science and Technology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. After working for Shakman Laboratories in Los Angeles and then for the Pasadena Foundation for Medical Research, Dr. Makineni joined the Cyclo Chemical Company, his first major commitment to peptide chemistry. In 1967, he co-founded the Fox Chemical Company and later co-founded Bachem with Peter Grogg, setting up laboratories in Switzerland and California. Fox Chemical and Bachem subsequently separated and both became highly successful companies. Dr. Makineni retired in 1996 after selling Bachem. Since then, he has continued his philanthropic activities and enjoys frequent travel with his wife, Padma.

With a deep interest in theatre and a history of substantial involvement with the Pasadena Playhouse, Rao Makineni noted the La Jolla Playhouse signage one day on a drive down Torrey Pines Road with his friend, La Jolla Playhouse Trustee Ed Dennis. Ed and Martha Dennis introduced the Makinenis to a Playhouse performance and from that point on the Makinenis attended productions at the Playhouse. In time, Dr. Makineni became acquainted with the financial needs of the institution and its artistic aspirations. He was impressed by the commitment of the community and the involvement of Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Mickey and Faiya Fredman and others.

When Rao and Padma informed the Dennises and the Playhouse leadership of their intention to make a major gift to the organization, the Playhouse suggested naming the Play Development Center for Rao and Padma Makineni as a fitting and lasting recognition of their generosity.

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