Julia Rhoads

julia rhoads
Director of the Dance Program; Assistant Senior Instructional Professor

Julia Rhoads is the founding Artistic Director of Chicago-based Lucky Plush Productions, a dance-theater company that creates original productions with a signature blend of technical choreography, casual dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant themes. Her work for Lucky Plush has been presented in over 55 US and international cities, and commissioning partners include Harris Theater (IL), Clarice Smith Center (MD), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (IL), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Krannert Center at University of Illinois, The Yard (MA), and Links Hall (IL). Independent choreography credits include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Walkabout Theater, Redmoon, and River North Chicago Dance Company, among others. Under her leadership, Lucky Plush received the prestigious MacArthur Award in 2016, and creation and touring awards include National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, National Theater Project, and National Performance Network. She is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, fellowships from Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Dancemakers Forum and the Jacob K Javits Foundation, and her innovative arts management practices were recognized with a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award. She is a former member of the San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group, and received her BA in History from Northwestern University and her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago.