About LUCKY Plush
"A BRAND OF MOVEMENT-BASED THEATER THAT CAN BE COMFORTABLY CALLED, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION, GENIUS."
Heading into 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 will be taking its work, Rooming House, on the road this coming April to University of Florida and NC State University, and in May to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., plus additional tours to the Carolinas and Florida.
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 30 original dance-theater works including 12 evening-length productions. In addition to regularly performing in Chicago, the company has presented work in over 50 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba.
Commissioners of the company’s work include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Krannert Center at the University of Illinois, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Links Hall Chicago, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Lucky Plush has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theatre, Redmoon, Walkabout Theater, and M5.
Lucky Plush Productions 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 National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, and National Performance Network; exchange awards from the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund; a presentation award from MetLife Foundation; and an achievement award from the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts at The Chicago Community Trust.
BIOS & Contacts
JULIA RHOADS - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Julia (Creator/Director/Choreographer) is the founding Artistic Director of Lucky Plush Productions, and has created over 25 works with the company, several of which have toured extensively throughout the US and internationally. She was named as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2010, and has three times been named in Newcity’s “Players: The 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago.” Julia is a former member of the 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 Chicago, and she has taught in the dance and theater programs of several Chicago-area colleges and universities. She is currently a Part-time Lecturer and Dance Advisor at University of Chicago’s department of Theater and Performance Studies. Julia's complete bio here.
AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS
- 2013 Alpert Award in Dance
- Fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography
- Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award
- Cliff Dwellers Choreography Award
- Two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships for Choreography
- Jacob K. Javits Fellowship
- 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for work with Creative Partners
INDEPENDENT CHOREOGRAPHY CREDITS
- Steppenwolf Theatre -- Love Kills
- Lookingglass Theatre -- The Great Fire
- Walkabout Theater -- Mama: A Play for voices
- Redmoon -- Project Y
- River North Chicago Dance Company -- Oasis and Between Three
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago -- Cadence
Jay Kelly - Public Relations
KIM GolDMAN - Managing Director
To inquire about interviews, please contact Kim
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.
* Premiered, Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre, November 2017
(for the Spring 2019 tour)
COMPOSER: Michael Caskey
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Alexander Ridgers
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER: Rachel Damon
SOUND ENGINEER: Dennis Huston
"Over its brisk 75 minutes their light-footed, sometimes cheeky production grows into something expansive and challenging, exploring deeper aspects of storytelling and human behavior." –Chicago Reader
"An ambitious accessible fusion of dance and theater that will leave you smiling and thinking long after the play is over. –ChicagolandMusicalTheatre.com