Al Pacino Live on Stage | One Night Only to benefit Shakespeare Center Los Angeles and American Jewish University

Thursday, June 23 at 8:00pm at Gindi Auditorium American Jewish University. Tickets available at

PHOTO: Bridgette Lacombe | Actor Al Pacino

The storied career of actor Al Pacino is to be celebrated in a one night only fundraiser Al Pacino Live on Stage, presented on Thursday, June 23 at 8:00 pm at Gindi Auditorium American Jewish University.

Following a sequence of film clips, Pacino, a unique and enduring figure in the world of American stage and film, will talk about his career with a moderator, followed by an open Q+A session with the audience.  The evening will end with him performing a dramatic reading.

The evening supports Shakespeare Center Los Angeles. which creates world-class theater as a process for youth development and art-based employment, and American Jewish University, a place to engage with Jewish wisdom and advance ideas, dialogue and debate.

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Al Pacino Live on Stage begins with a 7 PM pre-show wine and cheese welcome for the entire audience and concludes with a 9:30 pm VIP post show champagne and dessert with Mr. Pacino in attendance.  At the post reception, California State Senator María Elena Durazo will present a $5.5 million check awarded to Shakespeare Center Los Angeles from the State of California for its ongoing work.

Tickets beginning at $150 available at  Additional levels of support are also available.

Ben Donenberg, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles Artistic Director said, “We are grateful to Al Pacino, who has become one of our great supporters, by coming forward to create an evening in which the general public has an opportunity to hear first-hand about his remarkable career that has spanned six decades. Shakespeare Center Los Angeles is also grateful to the American Jewish University for hosting this event.”

The event co-chairs are Karla & William H,. Ahmanson, Barry Navidi, the honorable Jan C. Perry (Ret) and Katherine & Frank Price.

About Al Pacino

Al Pacino was born in East Harlem and grew up in New York City’s South Bronx. He attended the famed School of Performing Arts until the age of 17, when he moved on to study acting first at the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio) with teacher and coach Charles Laughton, and later, at the legendary Actors Studio with mentor Lee Strasberg. Between 1963 and 1969 he honed his craft working in numerous theatrical productions including William Saroyan’s Hello Out There for his off-Broadway debut in 1963; Why is a Crooked Letter in 1966, for which he won an off-Broadway Obie Award; The Indian Wants the Bronx, that earned him another Obie Award as best actor of the 1967-68 season; and Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? for his Broadway debut and first Tony Award in 1969.

Pacino continued appearing onstage in the 1970s, receiving a second Tony Award for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and performing the title role in Shakespeare’s Richard III. In the1980s, he again achieved critical success on the stage while appearing in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. Since 1990, Pacino’s stage work has included revivals of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie, Oscar Wilde’s Salome and Lyle Kessler’s Orphans. In 2011, he portrayed Shylock in The Merchant of Venice on Broadway, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Play and, in 2013, appeared on Broadway playing Shelley Levine in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.

His first leading part in a feature film was in the 1971 drama Panic in Needle Park, and the following year Francis Ford Coppola selected him to take on the breakthrough role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Godfather and, within the next six years, he received another four Academy Award nominations for the films Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and …And Justice For All. A long and rich film career has followed with over 45 titles including Scarface, Sea of Love, The Insider, Donnie Brasco, Heat (where he shared the screen for the first time with fellow film icon Robert DeNiro) and Any Given Sunday. He garnered additional Academy award nominations for his performances in Dick Tracy and Glengarry Glen Ross.

His role as Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992. He played Shylock in Michael Radford’s film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. He directed and stars in the films Looking For Richard and Chinese Coffee.

His television work includes a rich relationship with HBO first as Roy Cohn in the 2003 miniseries Angels in America and as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in You Don’t Know Jack in 2010, both of which garnered Golden Globes and Emmy Awards for his performances. In 2013 ,he won Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for the title role in David Mamet’s film Phil Spector.

Pacino recently directed the films Salome and Wilde Salome, in which he stars as King Herod with Jessica Chastain as Salome. Wilde Salome received its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. Most recently, Pacino can currently be seen as true-life teamster in an Oscar-nominated performance as Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, starring alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The Irishman is an adaptation of the 2004 memoir I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt and follows organized crime in postwar American, as told by the infamous hitman Frank Sheeran (De Niro). Pacino can next be seen in Amazon Prime Video’s highly-anticipated series Hunters.

Pacino has been awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures, the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award and in 2011, he was received the National Merit of Arts from President Obama. He received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2016.

In 1986, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, then operating as Shakespeare Festival/LA, presented the first Summer Festival, with performances of Twelfth Night in Pershing Square. The audience included friends, a few earnest theatergoers, and the homeless residents of the Square.  The homeless took great pride in the production, and each night they became more and more involved in its promotion and management, showing the audience where to sit, handing out programs, answering questions and thanking everyone for coming.

One night, our gracious hosts presented our founder Ben Donenberg with four large trash bags filled with aluminum cans. Wanting to contribute, they explained that the actors could take the cans to a recycling center and get a nickel a piece.  Deeply touched, Artistic Director Ben Donenberg declined their offer, but instead created the Food for Thought admission policy in response, requesting that audience members donate food for the needy to gain admission instead of buying a ticket.

In 1993, SCLA expanded to offer outreach programs such as Will Power to Youth and employment and enrichment program that combines hands-on artistic experience with paid job training, specifically created to provide an arts immersion for at-risk youth.  In January 2000, SCLA purchased and moved into its permanent downtown headquarters, which is strategically located within a two block radius of three Title One high schools serving approximately 20% of the City of Los Angeles’s youth living at the poverty threshold.

In recent years, SCLA has been a national leader and innovator in the field of arts and human services. Partnerships have included the Department of Justice, the Department of Mental Health, US Department of Veteran Affairs, Arts and Healthcare, Volt Workforce Solutions in Anaheim, and the Linked Learning office of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

WHY SHAKESPEARE: Inspirational documentary created by the National Endowment for the Arts featuring the award winning programs, people and staff of The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.

American Jewish University (AJU) is a thriving center of Jewish resources and talent that serves the Jewish community of the twenty-first century. A portal for Jewish belonging, AJU equips students, faculty, campers, and learners of all ages with the tools to create the ideas, build the structures, and develop the programs to advance Jewish wisdom and elevate Jewish living.

American Jewish University advances and elevates the Jewish journey of individuals, organizations and our community through excellence in scholarship, teaching, engaged conversation, and outreach.