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Rink life Press Kit

About LUCKY Plush

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"A BRAND OF MOVEMENT-BASED THEATER THAT CAN BE COMFORTABLY CALLED, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION, GENIUS."

–NEWCITY

Lucky Plush Productions (luckyplush.com) is a Chicago-based dance theater company led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. The company creates original work recognized for its signature blend of technical choreography, casual dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant storytelling, and for provoking and supporting a palpable liveness shared by performers in real-time with audiences.  

Since 2000, Lucky Plush has created 30+ original dance-theater works. In addition to regularly performing in the Chicago area, the company has presented work in 55+ US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Commissioning and development partners include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Krannert Center at University of Illinois, The Yard (MA), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Door Kinetic Arts Festival (WI), and Links Hall Chicago. Presenting partners include the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), Joyce Theater (NYC), ODC (CA), TITAS (TX), Spoleto Festival/USA (SC), NC State LIVE (NC), Portland Ovations (ME), Skirball Center (NYC), and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (D.C.), among others. View a complete listing of the company's PERFORMANCE HISTORY.

Lucky Plush is the first and only dance-based company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, a recognition of the company’s exceptional creativity and impact. LPP has also received competitive awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project and National Dance Project, National Performance Network, Illinois Arts Council, Metlife Foundation, MacArthur International Connections Fund, the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund. Lucky Plush performances have been cited in many “Best of Year” performance round-ups including in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio and Boston Globe.

Lucky Plush is also recognized for its innovative organizational practices, and received a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for initiating Creative Partners, a shared fundraising model with other nationally-recognized companies, and an Arts Work Fund Idea Lab grant for Volunteer Cultivation Lab, a fellowship program that manages a pipeline of professional volunteers in support of LPP’s organizational structure.

Julia Rhoads

Julia Rhoads

JULIA RHOADS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Julia is the founding Artistic Director of Lucky Plush Productions. She has created over 25 collaborative works with the company, several of which have toured throughout the US, including: Punk Yankees, The Better Half, Cinderbox 2.0, The Queue, SuperStrip, Rooming House, and Rink Life. Additional choreography and movement direction credits include projects with Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lookingglass Theatre, River North Chicago Dance Company, Walkabout Theater, and Redmoon, among others. Julia is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award, and fellowships from Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Cliff Dwellers Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, and the Jacob K. Javits Foundation. Julia is a former company member of San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She received her BA in History from Northwestern University, her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she has taught in the dance and theater programs of several Chicago-area colleges and universities. She is currently Director of Dance and Lecturer at University of Chicago’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies.

PERFORMERS

Elizabeth Luse

Elizabeth Luse

Jacinda Ratcliffe

Jacinda Ratcliffe

Aaron-Raheim White

Aaron-Raheim White

Kara Brody

Kara Brody

Meghann Wilkinson

Meghann Wilkinson

Michel Rodriguez Cintra

Michel Rodriguez Cintra

Rodolfo Sanchez Sarracino

Rodolfo Sanchez Sarracino

ABOUT rink life

Rink Life receiveD a 2018 New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project Production and Touring Award!

credits

CREATED & DIRECTED BY Julia Rhoads

COLLABORATING DIRECTOR: Leslie Buxbaum Danzig

DEVISED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ENSEMBLE: Kara Brody, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Elizabeth Luse, Jacinda Ratcliffe, Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino, A. Raheim White, Meghann Rose Wilkinson

VOCAL COLLABORATOR: Bethany Clearfield

LIGHTING DESIGNER: Rachel Levy

COSTUME DESIGN: Patrick Burns

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER: Rachel Damon

Special thanks to contributing artists, including: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for their early contributions in Julia Rhoads’ Cadence, and Ethan Kirschbaum and Enid Smith for their contributions to Rink Life’s excerpt in Tab Show.

rink life SYNOPSIS

In Rink Life, Lucky Plush brings its highly integrated approach to dance-theater into a communal space that nods to the visual aesthetics and social dynamics of 1970’s roller rink culture, where relationships and storylines are as transient as the world that contains them. Rink Life’s staging and choreography are built from the rink’s spatial rules and social codes, and its script-turned-libretto—created from passing conversations, distant whispers, pop-song earworms, and found scripts—is entirely spoken and sung live. As the ensemble sings full-throatedly to score their experiences, they demonstrate through effort, risk, beauty, and failure that they—and we—are utterly dependent on one another.

Rink Life will premiere at the Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre, Chicago November 7-17, 2019.

PROJECT SUPPORT

Rink Life is one of eight projects to receive a 2018 New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project Production and Touring Award, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Development partners for Rink Life include Door Kinetic Arts Festival (Bailey’s Harbor, WI), the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

MUSIC & SCRIPT SAMPLES

Charles Mee, “the (re)making project”

Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive”

Jim Steinman, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

James Brown, “Make it Funky”

Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman, “Stay Awake”

Cat Stevens, “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.”

Paul McCartney, “Hey Jude”

 

RINK LIFE PRESENTATIONS

 

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES


 

PAST PERFORMANCES & SHOWINGS


MEDIA

VIDEOS

(Links: Youtube / Vimeo) Hear from Founding Artistic Director Julia Rhoads on her creative process and the evolution of Lucky Plush’s uniquely hybrid work.

Rink Life excerpt (4:05 minutes)

Rink Life excerpt (7:24 minutes)

 

RINK LIFE IMAGES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

More media

 

Rooming House Images

Cinderbox 2.0 Images / Video

SuperStrip Images / Video

 

PRESS ARTICLES

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 press

Rooming House press

Tab Show press

An ambitious accessible fusion of dance and theater that will leave you smiling and thinking long after the play is over. — ChicagolandMusicalTheatre.com
Dance and spoken word are so well integrated, the spontaneity of the ensemble lends an improvisational feel to their carefully choreographed and often humorous interactions. — SeeChicagoDance.com
 

PAST PRESS RELEASE: Rooming House press release

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CONTACT

 Kim Goldman - Managing Director

Email: kim@luckyplush.com

Telephone: 917-903-5783

To inquire about interviews, please contact Kim