Keith Rabin Jr. insists that his artistic mission has remained the same.
Rabin, the artistic director and co-founder of the newly formed Lucent Performing Arts Group as well as its Ignite Theatre branch, said the new organization has an old mission. The arts group formally launched in May, after Rabin discontinued Gravity Defied theater company following conflicts with its parent organization, the Rocky Mountain Arts Association.
But the independence and the name change hasn’t altered Rabin’s dedication to pushing the envelope. Like he did with Gravity Defied, Rabin said he’s out to bring risqué material and regional premieres to the stages at the Aurora Fox.
“I didn’t really want to change what our mission was as far as the types of shows.
The only thing that changed about us as a production company was our name,” Rabin said. “We’re going to keep with the edgy, raw, underproduced productions.”
Judging from the company’s lineup for its 2012 season, that mission is alive and well. The four productions range from gritty dramas to macabre musicals, shows that all seem to tout a grand scope and production value.
That theme is no accident, according to Rabin.
“We’ve never lacked for support in the community and just because we changed our name, it may have confused or freaked some people out, but not enough to have our momentum slowed,” Rabin said. “Next year is going to be incredible. I’m incredibly excited about what we’re going to bring to Aurora.”
Look after the jump for full production list for Ignite’s 2012 season, as well as commentary from Rabin regarding the selections.
All productions will take place at the Aurora Fox theater, 9900 E. Colfax Ave.
“The Busy World is Hushed,” directed by Bernie Cardell
March 16 to April 14, 2012
“I want to expand what we bring as a theatre company. I’m going to put at least one non-musical in our season. Bernie Cardell actually approached me with this before the whole shift happened. I was thinking I’d love to throw a nonmusical in there, as long as it kept with our mission.
It’s basically a three-person cast and it’s about a very religious mother and her son who gets into a gay relationship. It’s kind of going to go through that whole struggle.
Us being a gay run theater company – I always like a good gay theme. Our very first musical was “Bare: The Musical.” It followed the same themes … It made me reminisce about that a little bit.”
“The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” directed by Pam Clifton
April 27 through May 14, 2012
“I had listened to the show way back in 2006 when I was living in NY. It fell off my radar. When Danny Harrigan did “The Wedding Singer” with (playwright) David Nehls, it reminded me of it.
I think it had only been produced here once, and having David Nehls here in our community, I think it would be a great show to throw into our season. We can keep it small, put it in the studio. The music is fantastic.”
“Spring Awakening,” directed by Amy Osatinski
“When MPI said the rights of ‘Spring Awakening’ are now available, that second I called five people and got the rights. Luckily, we held it to ourselves until the name change happened.
The story line is perfect, the music is incredible. The value of it as being a Tony Award winner – it’s so new as to the regional scene. It basically takes place in Europe, with students in a private school. The theme are these kids whose parents are so religious and not willing to discuss with their teens about sex that they go out to experiment for themselves. They find out that stuff happens when you have sex. It ends up being detrimental to most of the characters.
I’m really hoping to take some of the ideas that the tour used and add a bit of our own spin to it.”
“Sweeney Todd,” directed by Bernie Cardell
“Ever since the movie came out, I didn’t even know the show or the music until the movie. I was captivated by it.
We’re going to have a special Halloween performance of the show. That could be a special pricing or a special event.
It’s just an incredible show musically. I have an amazing idea for a huge split-level set.
The show has its own draw to it. I think it’s a hard show to pull off well. I’m really excited to have Bernie Cardell direct it. I know he’s going to be able to give the characters the depth and compassion they need to succeed.
I’m really, really excited about Sweeney Todd closing our season. It’s a classic, one of the few musical thrillers/horror stories that there is.”