CHICAGO – Lucky Plush Productions present Rooming House, the newest dance theater work devised by Lucky Plush, premiering in Steppenwolf’s new 1700 Theatre.
Rooming House is presented as part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series November 4-18, 2017 with 12 performances over a three-week run.
Rooming House is co-created by founder and artistic director Julia Rhoads and collaborating director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (formerly of 500 Clown). Playful and personal, the work 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.
In Rooming House, the myth and game structure offer familiar anchors that allow the audience to form expectations, which then can be broken as performers follow their idiosyncratic preoccupations and wrestle with the conditions of the performance – often being a source of comedy and delight for the audience.
“Lucky Plush Productions deeply values creating a welcoming relationship between stage and audience, delivering relatable content without compromising complexity. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre is an ideal venue to create this intimate relationship, and we are incredibly excited to being one of the first dance events on its intimate stage as part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut series,” said Lucky Plush Artistic Director and Rooming House co-creator Julia Rhoads.
“Lucky Plush also values laughter and finds that it functions as an important release, a non-precious way to tackle difficult issues and a generator of excellent energy between performers and audience,” added Rhoads’s frequent collaborator Leslie Buxbaum Danzig.
Previews of Rooming House are Saturday, November 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 5 at 4 p.m. Press openings are Monday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, November 9 at 8 p.m. Performances run through November 18: Thursday-Saturday at
8 p.m.; Sunday at 4 p.m. There is an Industry Night performance on Monday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m. and an added performance, Wednesday, November 15 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15-$40. Student tickets are $15. Industry tickets are $20 (Monday, November 13 only). Previews are $30. Seniors 62+ and active military tickets are $30. Regular performances are $40. Steppenwolf Red and Black Card holders may use their cards as per Steppenwolf policies. For tickets and information, visit Steppenwolf.org, LuckyPlush.com or call (312) 335-1650.
The 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago, is Steppenwolf’s casual, intimate and flexible 80-seat space dedicated to showcasing the work of its ensemble and local companies like Lucky Plush. It is located immediately behind Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, the company’s 2,500 square ft. café & bar.
The debut of Rooming House at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre is part of LookOut, Steppenwolf’s new multi-genre performance series, presenting a wide variety of genres and shows, from dance to live music to spoken word and beyond, from a diverse array of voices, emerging and established alike. For more information, visit Steppenwolf.com/lookout.
Rooming House features Lucky Plush ensemble members Kara Brody, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Elizabeth Luse, Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino, Aaron R. White and Meghann Wilkinson. Original music is by Michael Caskey. Lighting design by Alexander Ridgers.
Rooming House received presentation support from Steppenwolf Theatre Company and The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard, MA); production residency support from Door Kinetic Festival (Bailey’s Harbor, WI), NC State LIVE (Raleigh, NC); seminar support from University of Chicago’s Center for Theater and Performance Studies; and project grants from National Endowment for the Arts, MacArthur International Connections Fund, Network of Ensemble Theaters and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
About Lucky Plush Productions
Now entering its 18th season, Lucky Plush Productions (LuckyPlush.com) is a Chicago-based dance theater company led by founder and artistic director Julia Rhoads. Lucky Plush is committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence – a palpable liveness – shared by performers in real-time with audiences. A unique hybrid of high-level dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s work is well-known for carefully crafting dramatic and rhythmic arcs, pushing its artists to move beyond the predictable by earning the exciting slippage between – and surprising coherence of – pedestrian action, realistic dialogue, abstract choreography and humor. Though rigorously composed, much of the company’s work feels like it is generated spontaneously.
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 in over 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Commissioners 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.
Press features include the Boston Globe’s “10 Best Dance Performances of 2013,” Chicago Public Radio’s “Best of 2011”; the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago 2010”; Time Out Chicago’s “The Decade’s 10 Best Original Dance Works”; the Chicago Tribune’s “Best of Dance 2008”; Chicago Sun Times’ “Lasting memories in Dance” for 2005 and 2007, and a Time Out Chicago cover story “5 reasons to love dance in Chicago,” among others.
Lucky Plush managing director Kim Goldman works in tandem with artistic director Julia Rhoads to carry out the company’s mission. The current ensemble includes Kara Brody, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Elizabeth Luse, Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino, Aaron R. White and Meghann Wilkinson.