Box Office: 585-232-Geva (4382) Tue-Sat: 12-6pm. Sun & Mon: CLOSED

Our Name

What is a "Geva"?

Originally founded as the Genesee Valley Arts Foundation Geva’s name (pronounced “JEE-vuh”) was first coined in 1972 by our founder, Cynthia Selden, by taking the first two letters of Genesee” and of “Valley” – the area in which Rochester is located. 

Production History

To date, the organization has produced 350 Wilson Stage productions, 52 Fielding Stage productions and 16 Improv productions. View the full Geva Production History.

Our History

For over 140 years the historic building on the corner of Clinton and Woodbury has been a gathering place. A gathering place for triumphant celebrations and moments of local and national sorrow. A podium from which presidents, governors and great orators rallied their public and a stage from where international celebrities, musicians and performers moved their audiences.


The building at 75 Woodbury Boulevard was designed by noted Rochester Architect Andrew J. Warner, who also designed the Power’s Building, Erie County and Buffalo City Hall, and Rochester City Hall among others, the building was turned over to the 54th Regiment of the NY State Militia.


J. Foster Warner, who also designed the George Eastman House, designed the stage house and lobby additions and the building became known as the Convention Hall. As such, it hosted many of the great political figures of the day including William Jennings Bryan, Presidents Taft and Theodore Roosevelt.
Prior to the construction of the Eastman Theatre, The Convention Hall was the cultural center for Rochester and world renowned artists such as Anna Pavlova, Enrico Caruso, Fritz Kreisler, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Arturo Toscanini appeared within these walls.
The Convention Hall also hosted weekly wrestling and boxing matches, annual flower shows and dog shows. Even today the annual Dachshund Parade is held in Washington Square Park – one of the vestiges of events once held here. The building was also used as a hospital during the 1918 flu epidemic and as a tonsil clinic in 1930, sponsored by George Eastman.


Rochester held a special place in the heart of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At the beginning of his political career, he was a delegate to the Democratic State Convention. In 1928 he accepted the nomination for Governor of New York State here, and he appeared here while campaigning for re-election in 1936.


Social Security, a new federal program, was first announced here by John Townsend.


The building became the Naval Reserve
Center and by 1975 the building housed
several city departments: City of Rochester Center for Manpower Services and
the offices of the City Maps and Records Department.


Geva was founded in 1972 by William Selden and Cynthia Mason Selden and was originally housed in the Rochester Business Institute building at 168 South Clinton Avenue.


Geva purchased the building from the city and began renovation. Improvements to the building sparked the revitalization of the Clinton Avenue neighborhood and what has since become known as “Corporate Alley.”


After three years of renovations, the building re-opened as a theatre on March 29


Geva launched and subsequently completed a $4.3 million 25th Anniversary
Major Gift Campaign, which allowed
Geva to purchase the building, retire
accumulated debt, create an artistic
enhancement fund, construct and
open the Fielding Nextstage (now
known as the Fielding Stage), and establish an endowment.


In the winter of 2000 Geva Theatre
opened its second stage, the
Ron and Donna Fielding Stage, providing a venue to produce smaller-scale
more intimate productions, produce
theatre for young audiences and develop new plays.


Geva sold its 4 millionth ticket in spring of 2013.


In September 2016 Geva cut the ribbon
on the most extensive renovation program since the 1980s. This $11 million
seven-year, multi-phase project encompassed the entire 51,832 square foot
building. The project also included the
purchase of the Geva Lofts – 14 studio
apartments for visiting artists.


Geva Theatre is a gateway to
downtown, with more than 27,000 cars
passing by every day. Geva takes advantage
of this fact by highlighting the names of our
plays and sponsors on our Clinton Avenue

$8.4 Million

As a not-for-profit organization with an annual
operating budget of approximately $8.4 million,
Geva employs approximately 200 people throughout the season and has an estimated
overall economic impact on Rochester of more
than $10 million.

$200 Million

Geva has generated over $200 million in economic activity in the community since the organization was founded in 1972.
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Annual Reports

A copy of Geva’s annual report and 990 are available upon request at 75 Woodbury Blvd. Rochester, NY
14607. Our 990 is also available through the NY Attorney General’s Charities Bureau at 120 Broadway.
3rd Floor. New York, NY, 10271.

Notice: Our Box office is not able be reached by our regular email address.  We are actively working on fixing the issue. For temporary use only, the Box office can be reached at