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ABOUT

LUCKY PLUSH

“A BRAND OF MOVEMENT-BASED THEATER THAT CAN BE COMFORTABLY CALLED, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION, GENIUS.”
— Newcity

Entering its 19th year, Lucky Plush Productions is an ensemble dance-theater company based in Chicago, led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. The company is committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence—a palpable live-ness—shared by performers in real time with audiences. A unique hybrid of high-level dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s work is recognized for its layered choreography, nuanced dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant content.

Since its founding in 2000, Lucky Plush has created over 30 original dance-theater works including 13 evening-length productions. In addition to regularly performing in Chicago, the company has presented work in over 55 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. View the company’s complete performance history.

Commissioners include the Harris Theater Chicago, Krannert Center at the University of Illinois, Flynn Center (VT), Clarice Smith (MD), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and more.

Lucky Plush is the first and only dance company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, a recognition of the company’s exceptional creativity and impact. Other awards include creation, residency, and touring awards from NEA, National Dance Project, and National Performance Network; exchange awards from the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund; and an achievement award from the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts, and many more.

JULIA RHOADS (Founding Artistic Director) has created over 25 works with the company, several of which have toured extensively throughout the US. Additional choreography credits include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Redmoon, and River North Chicago Dance Company, among others. She is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, fellowships from Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Dancemakers Forum and the Jacob K Javits Foundation, and her innovative arts management practices have been recognized through a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award and a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. She received her BA in History from Northwestern University, her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago, and is currently a Lecturer and Dance Advisor in Theater and Performance Studies at The University of Chicago.

Rhoads is a master of comedic timing and physical humor; she expertly tugs at the idiosyncrasies of human nature and seamlessly blends dance, theater and music.
— Chicago Tribune
 JULIA RHOADS - FOUNDING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

JULIA RHOADS - FOUNDING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

WORKS AVAILABLE FOR TOURING 2019-20

booking Contact: KIM GolDMAN, Managing Director t: 917-903-5783 e:  kim@luckyplush.com

Dancing and singing are presented in a one-to-one ratio, with Rhoads’ signature nonchalance pinned against the serious challenge of holding a tune while performing modern dance.
— Chicago Tribune
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RINK LIFE

Rink life is a New England Foundation for the Arts’ 2018 National Theater Project Awardee!

*TOURING SUBSIDIES AVAILABLE!*

ABOUT RINK LIFE


In Rink Life, Lucky Plush brings its highly-integrated brand of dance theater into a communal space that nods to the visual aesthetics and social dynamics of 1970’s roller rink culture. Launching from a collision of plot points in several one-act plays, the script-turned-libretto is both spoken and sung by the ensemble, and builds upon fragments of everyday aural input—passing conversations, intimate exchanges, distant whispers, pop song ear-worms. These source inspirations come together in the delightful and moving world of Rink Life, where people navigate relationships, self-expression, and rejection in real-time.

IN-PROGRESS SHOWINGS


STEPPENWOLF 1700 THEATRE, 1700 HALSTED, CHICAGO

Saturday, Nov. 10 & 17, 2018

5pm Rink Life showing followed by discussion

8pm The Better Half

QUICK STATS


REGIONAL PREMIERE: June 2019

AVAILABLE FOR TOURING: Fall 2019

RUN TIME: 75-80 min. w/no intermission

CAST: 7 performers

SETTING: Proscenium, thrust or in-the-round

*performers do not wear roller skates

TRAVELING PARTY: 11

ACCOMMODATIONS: 7 rooms

FREIGHT: none

TECH RIDER: Rink Life DRAFT tech rider

CONTENT ADVISORY: the full version of the show contains some adult language and content, but there is no nudity

  • Content is adjusted for student matinee performances

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Instead of a one-size-fits-all form of outreach, Lucky Plush tours with a customizable audience engagement program.Rhoads works with presenters and local stakeholders to tailor each engagement in a way that best connects distinct communities with strong points of access to the work, including:

  1. In communities with roller rinks (which are increasingly rare), LPP hopes to perform part of the work at the rink alongside featured local skaters or historians with knowledge about the venue.

  2. LPP will invite members from a local choir to join the performance as “extras” in the show during key moments, heightening the show’s vocal score and creating a highly communal experience.

  3. While more traditional, some of LPP’s deepest engagement occurs through interdisciplinary based workshops (at all skill levels) in which the company shares its methods for crafting uniquely hybrid dance-theater work. 

An ambitious accessible fusion of dance and theater that will leave you smiling and thinking long after the play is over.
— ChicagolandMusicalTheatre.com
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ROOMING HOUSE

about rooming house


Playful and personal, Rooming House synthesizes contemporary dance and theater to create a dynamic blueprint for exploring the question: what makes a person do something that could have life changing consequences? Rooming House begins with an intimate conversation among friends, slipping easily between Spanish and English, as they recall stories of people who’ve taken actions with potentially devastating costs. When the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is mentioned, varied interpretations propel the group into a physically and psychologically complex game of whodunit, taking them down a rabbit hole into the lives of everyday people who do extraordinary things—from life endangering rescues, to defecting from Cuba, to letting go of someone you love.

ROOMING HOUSE - UPCOMING


QUICK STATS:


WORLD PREMIERE: Nov. 2017, Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre

AVAILABLE FOR TOURING: Jan. 2017

RUN TIME: 75 min. w/no intermission

CAST: 6 performers

TOURING PARTY: 9 (6 performers + 1 AD + 1 Sound Engineer + 1 PSM)

ACCOMMODATIONS: 6 rooms

FREIGHT: Audio rack & mics depending on venue

TECH RIDER: Rooming House Tech Rider

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Drawing from the creation process for Rooming House, Lucky Plush invites participants to “play” a handful of stories based on personal experience and current events. This live-action game will set in motion playful and profound interpretations and understandings of the stories we tell: who has agency around life-changing events and what compels us to behave the way we do (is it fear, guilt, love)?

“A visually, kinetically, sonically and intellectually dazzling piece of dance theater”
— Chicago Sun Times
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CINDERBOX 2.0

about cinderbox


Cinderbox takes its cue from the media’s voyeuristic approach to “reality” to explore the comedy and anxiety in our hyper-networked culture. With a specific curiosity in the purportedly unscripted and fly-on-the-wall observational style of reality TV, the work both exploits and makes indistinct the live and virtual, private and public, observer and observed, improvised and choreographed, and the highly presentational and minutely subtle. Athletic choreography, video, dialogue, and a “show within a show” characterize this complex and interactive environment shaped by the media technologies that alter our perception of how reality is generated.

QUICK STATS:


PREMIERE: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2007

RUN TIME: 80 min. w/no intermission

CAST: 6 performers

TRAVELING PARTY: 9

ACCOMMODATIONS: 6 rooms

FREIGHT: none

TECH RIDER: Cinderbox tech rider

take a peek at more lucky plush works!