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Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney to step down

Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney to step down
Randall Arney, artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse, participates in a 2014 round-table discussion in Los Angeles. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Randall Arney is stepping down as artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, the company said Tuesday.

After 17 years with the company, Arney will leave when his contract ends in August, the Geffen said. A search has begun for his successor, the company said.

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In addition to serving as artistic director for the theater, Arney has directed many Geffen productions, including "Outside Mullingar," "The Night Alive," "American Buffalo" and "Reasons to Be Pretty."

"Randy Arney's contributions to the Geffen Playhouse are varied and numerous," Geffen Executive Director Gil Cates Jr. said in a statement. "And we are supremely grateful for his inspired artistic leadership, unwavering commitment to our mission, and for leaving his indelible mark on our beloved institution. We wish him every success and happiness."

Cates Jr., whose father, producer Gil Cates, helped found the theater in the mid-1990s, was named executive director in 2015 and has been co-steering the theater with Arney since.

Arney's departure was prompted by the theater's desire to ensure it was "well positioned for the future," a spokesperson said. Remaining true to its mission "of staging the work of emerging playwrights and new interpretations of classics to inspire diverse audiences" will be a priority, the spokesperson said.

Arney was not available for comment.

The Geffen will announce its 2017-18 season next week. A revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night," starring Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek, opened last week.

Twitter: @debvankin

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