hicago-based dance theater company Lucky Plush Productions returns to Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre this fall as part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series with the world premiere of Rink Life. This newest work by Lucky Plush brings the company’s singular blend of technical choreography, casual dialogue, bold musicality, surprising humor, and socially relevant storytelling into a communal space that nods to the visual aesthetics and social dynamics of 1970’s roller rink culture, where relationships and storylines are as transient as the world that contains them.
Performances are November 7-16 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. For tickets and information, visit Steppenwolf.org or call (312) 335-1650.
What's your personal story?
I was born in Seoul, South Korea and was adopted at 6 months which relocated me to the states to be with my amazing family! I grew up in the Detroit area participating in a lot of community theater engagements. My parents decided to invest in some dance classes after seeing how quickly I was able to keep up with the rest of the adults learning choreography for which ever musical we were in at the time (I was 3) and from there on, it filled up the majority of my free time! I eventually went to college at Wayne State University to pursue a BFA in dance and then post graduation, I relocated to Chicago to immerse myself in as much dance making art making I could find. I connected with Julia Rhoads shortly after my move and joined Lucky Plush Productions as an ensemble member. I've been with the company for 3 years now and am loving every moment! I also have the pleasure of working with co artistic directors, Jonathan Meyer & Julia Rae Antonick for their company, Khecari, as well as artistic director, Benjamin Holliday Wardell for the Cambrians.
What's your character's story in "Rink Life”?
Lucky Plush’s work foregrounds the actual performers onstage, so I am really playing myself within the context of the show’s fictional circumstances. Rink Life follows the relationships and dramas of a tight knit group of people within the communal space that is inspired by 1970s roller rink culture.
What challenges does your character face telling this story?
My biggest challenge is executing the formal vocabularies that trigger and support the storytelling. Rink Life moves between casual dialogue, complex choreography, and song—often at the same time—which is incredibly hard, but it also generates a heightened emotional experience for both the performers and audience. My personal narrative within the show has to do with the fear of being misunderstood and the tension between knowing when to take the lead, and when to give over to the group.
How does the character overcome those challenges?
There’s a moment in the show where my fears about being misunderstood spill out in a very public way, and it is resolved when another performer leads me through a beautiful and intimate dance while singing a lullaby to me in Spanish. It’s a really moving moment that is heightened by the shared witnessing of the full ensemble.
Don't forget to catch Kara in Rink Life. Go buy your tickets now!