Executive artistic director of Aurora’s Ignite Theatre to leave in January

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AURORA | Keith Rabin Jr., executive artistic director at Ignite Theatre for the past eight years, will step down from his post in January, according to a letter first posted on the Ignite Facebook page late Tuesday night, July 26.

A fixture of the Aurora and metro Denver theater scene for about a decade, Rabin co-founded Ignite — originally named Gravity Defied Theatre — with the company’s current executive producer, Will Adams, in 2008. Adams will take the reins as Ignite’s top artistic shot-caller until a new executive artistic director is found, according to Rabin’s letter.

“It is my belief that this is what Ignite needs right now,” Rabin wrote. “With my departure Ignite will welcome a new era and a new vision that will continue to push the company forward.”

Rabin will also step down from his role as a board member of Lucent Performing Arts, Ignite’s umbrella organization, according to the letter. However, he will remain in his current positions with Ignite through January 2017, which is when the company is expected to stage a production of “The Wiz” at The Aurora Fox Arts Center.

Rabin’s resignation comes about one month after Ignite announced that the company had cancelled or changed the locations of three upcoming productions, originally slated to be staged later this year and in early 2017, due to facility dilemmas at the company’s unofficial home, the Aurora Fox. Ignite has staged 29 consecutive shows at The Fox.

“It’s quite a change for us,” Adams said of the scheduling shakeup in an interview earlier this month.

In a June 30 newsletter, Ignite announced that the company had cancelled its planned production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and moved its upcoming production of “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe,” from its original location at The Fox to Crossroads Theatre in Denver. Ignite’s upcoming production of “Venice” is also in limbo due to a scheduling snafu at The Fox.

In his letter, Rabin wrote that his decision to leave Ignite was not spurred by any of the the company’s recent reshuffles.

“In light of the recent challenges Ignite Theatre is facing, this may seem like poor timing, which is partly true, but the timing of my exit is not related to any of these hurdles,” he wrote.

He went on to say: “I know that Ignite will find a new home, a new place and a new respect within this community.”