Friday, May 27, 2011

Gravity Defied Theatre company splits off from RMAA, adopts new name

Keith Rabin Jr. performs in the Gravity Defied production of "The Wild Party" last year. (Gabriel Christus / Aurora Sentinel).
The Gravity Defied Theatre Company has split from the Rocky Mountain Arts Association and adopted a new title.
Gravity Defied founder and artistic Director Keith Rabin announced yesterday the Ignite Theatre Company will operate under a new, independent organization called Lucent Performing Arts. The Lucent Performing Arts group will eventually include a  professional show choir called "Illumination."
The company will still operate out of the Aurora Fox and it will finish the rest of the planned Gravity Defied season, which includes a fundraising performance of "Edges of Love" at Hamburger Mary's in Denver, as well as productions of "Pippin" and "A Chorus Line" at the Aurora Fox. Rabin also announced selections for the Ignite Theatre Company's 2012 season. The company will perform its first nonmusical piece, "The Busy World Is Hushed" to be directed by Bernie Cardell, as well as a production of the Tony Award-winning musical "Spring Awakening."
Rabin will serve as the new executive artistic director for the Lucent Performing Arts group.

The break with the RMAA, the organization that helped launch Gravity Defied less than three years ago, came after disagreements about the company's artistic mission, Rabin said. The company's move toward independence came after the RMAA derailed Gravity Defied's plans to donate proceeds from the company's recent production of "The Last 5 Years."
"It was a choice by RMAA to not do the fundraising," Rabin said. "That was because the new executive director didn’t think it was the best thing for the organization to happen ... At that point I knew that our missions were going in different directions."
In an e-mail to the Sentinel, representatives from RMAA said simply that they had "eliminated its theater program," adding that it wished "the talented founder and artists of the theatre company the very best in their future endeavors."
Rabin said the theater company will start under its new title without props, costumes or other equipment it had built up as Gravity Defied. The prospect of starting anew isn't intimidating for Rabin.
"All of this stuff of starting over again – I’ve already done it. I know what to expect, I know what to do and I know how to get it," Rabin said. "Right now, we’re in a pretty solid place financially. It’s really refreshing to know that this decision that we’ve made has been well received."

The Ignite Theatre Company's fundraiser performance of "The Edges of Love" will run at 7 p.m. on June 25 and 4 p.m. on June 26 at Hamburger Mary's, 700 E. 17th Ave. in Denver. For showtime and dates for the upcoming productions of "Pippin" and "A Chorus Line," visit

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