Founded in 1995, the Geffen Playhouse (the Geffen), is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enriching the cultural life of Los Angeles through plays and educational programs that inform, entertain, and inspire. Named in honor of entertainment mogul David Geffen who made a $5 million gift in 2002, the organization has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays as well as provocative world premiere productions, the Geffen continues to present a body of work that garners national recognition.
The 512-seat Gil Cates Theater performance space, named after the Geffen founder, Gil Cates, typically houses five season productions as well as frequent special events including concerts, holiday productions, and play readings. This theater also houses several education and outreach performances and events each year. The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen has both fixed and variable seating, with a maximum capacity of 149, and typically houses three season productions which run for six weeks or more, with works ranging from cabaret performances to world premieres. The 2023/24 season includes the World Premiere of Black Cypress Bayou and the West Coast Premiere of the Broadway production, Fat Ham. In addition, The Jason and Yvonne Lee Geffen Playhouse Annex is a flexible venue which houses Geffen production rehearsals as well as community groups and education programs, and the Geffen Stayhouse is a ‘virtual’ venue that houses live streaming performances.
Proudly owned by and associated with the University of California Los Angeles, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 people each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. Its many teaching artists and staff collaborate with classroom educators who participate in high school programs to create accessible student theater experiences for students. Programs for educators include the Literacy Project, an immersive school year program that combines theater workshops and performances with one-on-one literacy coaching, and a High School Partnerships Program, a season-long program of plays and theater workshops for high school students. Student programs include a storytelling workshop for young adults, which is a six-week creative dramatic writing workshop for participants aged 18-24, as well as discounted student tickets, study guides, and various student resources. Members of the community are able to take part in writing and performance workshops, theater-making at home, as well as a range of special performances and community-building dialogue.
The Geffen is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and seeks to expand its institutional practices in order to be part of the solution against systemic racism and injustices. In October 2020, a DEI Committee was formed, made up of artists, staff, and Board members, which has developed and implemented a formal company-wide Diversity and Equity Policy, initiated guest forums and a book club focused on relevant works, and implemented a wide-range of action steps concerning DEI issues.
The Geffen is a proud recipient of a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator of governance, ethical practices, openness, and other methodologies. Governed by a Board of Directors, and led by Chair Adi Greenberg and Executive Director Gil Cates Jr., the organization reported $6.9 million in operating revenue and an additional $9 million in contributed income for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2022. There are 56 individuals on staff, as well as numerous teaching artists, guest services, ushers, and other box office staff.
Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, and working closely with the senior management team, the Controller will be responsible for oversight of all finance, accounting, and reporting, and will be involved in supporting presentations to the board, finance, and audit committees. As a partner to the Executive Director, the Controller will lead all day-to-day finance operations. They will supervise a team of three staff members, including the staff accountant, payroll specialist, and junior accountant. They will ensure that the organization has the systems and procedures in place to support effective program implementation and conduct flawless audits. The Controller will play a key role, with program leaders, in exploring how the finance function can support program operations. In addition, they will partner with senior leadership, and the human resources (HR) and information technology (IT) staff to enhance and better integrate finance, HR, and IT functions.
Roles and Responsibilities
Fiscal Monitoring, Reporting, and Analysis
- Analyze financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner.
- Ensure the accuracy of financial and general ledger information, in addition to preparing and/or reviewing journal entries and balance sheet reconciliations.
- Facilitate and coordinate the annual financial audit: prepare the audit schedules and financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, cashflow statement), and respond to auditors as needed.
- Facilitate and coordinate the preparation of the organization's tax schedules for outside consultants to prepare annual tax filings.
- File the federal, state, and local business taxes, adhere to the tax reporting compliance requirements (annual property tax exemptions), and prepare the workers’ compensation audit.
Financial Management and Analysis
- Partner with Geffen leadership in the annual budgeting and cash flow processes.
- Monitor progress and changes impacting the organization's financial status.
- Direct the classification and reconciliation of contributed income and pledge receivables.
- Supervise Accounts Payable to ensure timely and accurate payments and recording.
- Review and approve weekly disbursements and oversee annual 1099 forms, including appropriate handling of payments to nonresident vendors.
- Manage month-end close and preparation of financial statements for all departments.
Administration and Staff Management
- Administer payroll process for timeliness and accuracy, while supporting the accounting staff to ensure accurate payroll records and general ledger reporting.
- Supervise the day-to-day operations of the accounting department, including consistent application and adherence to policies, procedures, and internal controls.
- Oversee and update as needed the administration of processes and internal controls designed to protect assets and mitigate risk.
- Support a working culture that is professional yet enjoyable and fun.
- Communicate monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements.
- Manage and mentor Finance Department staff members.
Traits and Characteristics
With a passion for the Geffen’s mission, the Controller will be an organized self-starter who can work independently, while encouraging and appreciating the contributions of team members. They will have strong analytical and effective problem-solving skills, and a superior attention to detail. The successful candidate will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and will be able to multi-task, while anticipating the needs of a dynamic team environment. With an engaging and supportive personality, the Controller will have the capacity to constantly learn and develop new skills, while being eager to grow professionally.
Other key competencies include:
- Diplomacy and Teamwork – The capacity to effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues, while cooperating with others to meet objectives.
- Resiliency and Problem Solving – The acumen to quickly recover from adversity, while defining, analyzing, and diagnosing key components of a problem to formulate a solution.
- Project Management – The ability to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
- Appreciating Others and Flexibility – The aptitude to identify and care about others, as well as readily modifying, responding, and adapting to change with minimal resistance.
The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. A master’s degree is preferred, but not required. They will have eight or more years of experience in accounting, including non-profit accounting experience, with at least four years in a supervisory role. Experience working within the performing arts is strongly preferred. They will have a demonstrated knowledge of GAAP accounting, including the preparation of financial statements and experience with audits. Excellent computer skills and experience using technology to streamline processes is essential, as is advanced knowledge of Excel and Google Suite. Knowledge of Blackbaud Financial Edge and Tessitura is beneficial. A commitment to the mission of The Geffen is critical.
Compensation and Benefits
The Geffen provides a competitive and equitable compensation package with an annual salary range of $125,000 to $150,000. Benefits include paid time off and holidays; health insurance (medical, dental, and vision); a Flexible Spending Plan; life insurances; and a 401(k) retirement plan after one year of employment.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Geoff Chang, Vice President
501 West Broadway, Suite A-582
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218
The vision of the Geffen is that people of all races, faiths, sexual orientations, abilities, genders and
backgrounds find it an easily accessible and highly relevant source of art that reflects the dynamic
human experience and galvanizes a more equitable and vibrant community.
Geffen Playhouse acknowledges and is grateful for the sacred Indigenous lands belonging to the Kizh,
Tongva and Chumash Nations upon which our playhouse sits. As an institution of art and culture, we are
working towards being a space where Native voices can be uplifted, amplified, and heard.
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