Lucky Plush Productions is a Chicago-based ensemble dance theater company led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. We are committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence — a palpable liveness — shared by performers in real-time with our audiences. We are equally dedicated to creating work that is richly and uncompromisingly complex while also being accessible to broad audiences. Our work is often recognized for its playful interactions, surprising humor and incisive commentary on contemporary culture. The Chicago Tribune referred to Lucky Plush’s recent work as “A terrific odyssey, full of amusing, varied and tireless dancing by a troupe of dancers who ably double as comics.”
Since founding in 1999, Lucky Plush has premiered over 30 original works including performance installations, 2 dance films, and 10 evening-length productions. The company has been presented by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Jacob’s Pillow (MA), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), Hancher Auditorium (IA), Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Steppenwolf Garage (IL), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Grace Street Theater (VA), Spring to Dance (MO), Cusp Conference (IL), College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University (MN), and the Chicago Humanities Festival, among others, and upcoming tours include Painted Bride (PA), Spoleto Festival (SC), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), and Dance Cleveland (OH) as well as an international exchange with the Dance and Physical Theatre Trust of New Zealand, made possible through support from the MacArthur Foundation. Lucky Plush has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theater, Redmoon Theater, Walkabout Theater, and the interdisciplinary collective M5.
Lucky Plush’s work has been supported through regional and national awards to Julia Rhoads including a CliffDwellers Choreography Award, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist grant, two Illinois Arts Council fellowships in Choreography, and a fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. Lucky Plush Productions is a recipient of a National Dance Project Production Grant and a National Performance Network Creation Fund grant for The Better Half, with the presenting partners Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. And NDP also awarded Lucky Plush a Production Residency for Dance Award. The company has been recognized by Chicago Public Radio’s “Best of 2011” (for The Better Half); The Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago 2010”; Time Out Chicago’s “The Decade’s 10 Best Original Dance Works” (forEndplay); The Chicago Tribune’s “Best of Dance 2008”; Chicago Sun Times’ “Lasting memories in Dance” for 2005 and 2007, and a Time Out Chicago feature cover story “5 reasons to love dance in Chicago”.