TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC: THE MAKING OF SUPERSTRIP
"Scintillating, do-good cleverness from @LuckyPlush…” –Wendy Perron
Created, directed, and choreographed by: Julia Rhoads
Devised in collaboration with the Ensemble: Michel Rodriguez Cintra: Springster, Jeff Ewing: Shadow, Elizabeth Luse: Professor Visionné, Jamy Meek: The Big Liberjinski, Melinda Jean Myers: Mmm, Aaron R. White: Rapid Glitch, Meghann Wilkinson: Sparky Lightstep, Sojourner Zenobia: Onstage Media Artist
Collaborating designers/production team:
Liviu Pasare: Video/Media Design
Mikhail Fiksel: Sound Design
Kevin Rechner: Lighting Design
Jeff Hancock: Costume Design
Scott Nelson, Joshua Paul Weckesser: Production Stage Manager
Leslie Buxbaum Danzig: Production Consultant
Bradford Chapin: Audio Engineer
Commissioned by Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance and the Pamela Crutchfield Dance Fund of the Imagine Campaign, SuperStrip draws from classic pulp novels and comic books in a blend of dance, theater and visual design that moves between live performance and projected video in unexpected ways. Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip premiered Thursday, March 3, 2016, marking Lucky Plush Productions’ debut at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
Though Rhoads finds inspiration from classic pulp superheroes, and has fun weaving in riffs on the exhausting trend of hyper-personal branding via social media, the themes of SuperStrip are particularly relevant to her experience leading a non-profit organization. ‘So often organized efforts to effect change – to improve workplace, community, or more broadly to make the world a better place – can be incredibly circular, stunted by non-consensus, or limited by the politics that frame the efforts,’ explained Rhoads. ‘While the characters of SuperStrip are invested in deeply held values, they are challenged to uphold their importance within contemporary platforms that support empty self-promotion and flavor-of-the-day innovation, like so many people today from all walks of life.’ Ultimately, SuperStrip reveals how communication’physical, verbal, and online’is constructed, laid bare, breaks down, and evolves within small, and often insular, communities.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign supports the creation of Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip through funding a series of creative residencies for the company to allow the development of the technology and movement vocabulary that is unique to the project. SuperStrip is also supported through a production residency at Martha’s Vineyard’s The Yard, and preview performances at Hope College.