About LUCKY Plush
"A BRAND OF MOVEMENT-BASED THEATER THAT CAN BE COMFORTABLY CALLED, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION, GENIUS."
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 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 50+ 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), and Skirball Center (NYC), among others, and the company will have its debut performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts next season. 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 - 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, and Rooming House. Additional collaborations and choreography credits for dance and theater include Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Things I Know to be True, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Cadence, Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire, River North Chicago Dance Company’s Between Three and In the Oasis, Walkabout Theater’s Mama: A Play for Voices, and Redmoon’s Project Y, among others.
Julia is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, a Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Fellowship, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Award, a Cliff Dwellers Award, two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, and a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award. She is a former member of the San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She received a BA in History from Northwestern University and an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago. She has taught master classes and set student works at numerous universities across the US, and she is currently the Director of Dance and part-time Lecturer in Theater and Performance Studies at The University of Chicago.
LESLIE Buxbaum DANZIG - CO Creator and DIRECTOR
Leslie is a collaborating director with Julia Rhoads/Lucky Plush Productions with whom she co-created The Better Half, The Queue and Rooming House, and is currently collaborating on Rink Life. For over a decade, Leslie was co-founder and resident director of the Chicago-based physical theater company 500 Clown, whose shows performed in Chicago and throughout the US. Other directing credits include Third Coast Percussion’s Paddle to the Sea and Wild Sound, composed by Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, with performances at MCA Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), National Forum of Music (Wroclaw) and De Doelen (Rotterdam), and a number of productions in Chicago at The Actors Gymnasium, House Theatre, Redmoon, Chicago Children’s Theater, About Face Theater, and in New York, at New Victory Theater and PS 122, among others. Prior to turning to directing, Leslie toured nationally and internationally as an actor with NYC’s Elevator Repair Service. Leslie is Assistant Professor of Practice in Theater and Performance Studies, University of Chicago. She is currently developing a circus-puppet-theater adaptation of the myth of Atalanta with the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival.
The ROOMING HOUSE Ensemble
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
Rooming House tour
ROOMING HOUSE MEDIA
30-sec Rooming House promo video
1-min Rooming House promo video
2-min. Rooming House promo video
Kim Goldman - Managing Director
To inquire about interviews, please contact Kim