Matt Shakman, a theater, film and television director who helmed the celebrated August 6 “Spoils of War” episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, has been named artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. Shakman succeeds departing a.d. Randall Arney, who announced his intention to move on in February after 17 years with the nonprofit theater, which has consistently offered a polished alternative to L.A.’s other major nonprofit theater, Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum.

Shakman, an experienced director with credits on both coasts, joins Geffen executive director Gil Cates, Jr. on September 20.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt Shakman to the Geffen Playhouse as our new artistic director,” board co-chairs Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson said, announcing the appointment. “His unique artistic vision, coupled with his directorial and entertainment business experience, makes him an outstanding cultural fit for our theater.”

Shakman has staged several shows at the Geffen, including the West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, in 2012, and the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Frederick Knott’s Wait Until Dark in 2013. Most recently, he directed the Geffen’s production of Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews.