Blair Thomas, eighth blackbird, and Lucky Plush Productions launch “Creative Partners”

To be introduced on April 25 at THE UNEXPECTED


Creative Partners brings together three exceptional companies to create a new funding model in nonprofit arts. Blair Thomas & Co., eighth blackbird, and Lucky Plush Productions extend their dedication to innovation and collaboration onstage by working together offstage to employ a single dedicated development team. Ultimately, Creative Partners allows each company to focus on what they do best: making world-class theatre, dance, and music.

While the primary focus of Creative Partners is to strengthen and increase the financial resources and organizational capacity for all three partner organizations, a related goal is to broaden and diversify each company’s reach through cross-disciplinary audience development. To that end, Creative Partners invites you to THE UNEXPECTED – an introductory event on Thursday, April 25th, 2013, at 7:00 pm at the MCA Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave.

THE UNEXPECTED will feature performances by each of the three companies, followed by a reception with drinks and light fare. The event will formally introduce our innovative organizational model, and celebrate the distinct and award-winning work of its partner organizations. Reservations can be made at; tickets are $40 each and benefit Creative Partners.

Contact Dana Horst, Creative Partners Development Director, at 312-898-4674 or [email protected] with any questions.


Blair Thomas & Company is a national and international touring puppet theater company that was founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas.  Currently the Company is working on an adaptation of Moby-Dick and Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince.  They have made over a dozen original puppet theater pieces and several collaborative productions such as Pierrot Lunaire with the chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird, and an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box both with the Chicago Children’s Theatre.  Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry.

eighth blackbird combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band, and the audacity of a storefront theater company. The Chicago-based, three-time Grammy-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. The 2012/13 season features premieres of new works by Aaron Jay Kernis, The National’s Bryce Dessner, Dutch composer Mayke Nas, Steve Mackey, and Australian composer Brett Dean. eighth blackbird is managed by David Lieberman Artists’ Representatives.

Lucky Plush Productions is a Chicago-based ensemble dance theater company led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. Their work is recognized for its playful interactions, surprising humor and incisive commentary on contemporary culture. Lucky Plush has premiered over 30 original works and has toured to over 25 national locations. Lucky Plush is support supported through fellowships and awards from the Cliff Dwellers Foundation, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Illinois Arts Council, and 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. Recent and upcoming projects include the development and performance of The Queue as part of an international exchange with the Dance and Physical Theatre Trust of New Zealand. Lucky Plush is represented by Elsie Management.