Swine Palace operates with a dual mission to provide South Louisiana with high quality, professional productions of classical and contemporary theater with an emphasis on plays exploring issues of social equity while also serving as a training ground for students in Louisiana State University’s M.F.A. Professional Actor and Technical/Design Training Programs.
Founded in 1992, Swine Palace is a non-profit, professional company supporting the educational mission of the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre. Since its inception, Swine Palace has produced over 68 productions including many regional and world premieres. Recent productions such as KING HEDLEY II, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, THE EXONERATED and THE LARAMIE PROJECT have all contributed to Swine Palace’s mission to produce plays of social relevance. In 2007, Swine Palace produced the world premiere of COCKTAIL, written by Vince LiCata and Obie award-winning theatre artist Ping Chong. Also in 2007, Swine Palace toured Wendy Wassersteins THE HEIDI CHRONICLES to the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and the Bejing Central Academy of Drama becoming one of only a handful of American companies to perform at either of these prestigious institutions and the first to bring a professional production of a Wendy Wasserstein play to China.
Swine Palace is the recipient of the 2006 Louisiana Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Large Arts Organization and the 2006 YWCA Racial Justice Award, given to an individual, organization or business for exceptional or creative contributions to the elimination of racism.
Over the course of 20 seasons, we have produced over 68 professional productions (including several World and American premieres) in which Louisiana born, resident and/or trained talent has been featured. As a learning laboratory for Louisiana performing artists, we take great pride in the fact that individuals associated with Swine Palace have also performed at prestigious theatre companies and in feature films, radio and television.
Since 1999, Swine Palace’s estimated economic impact on Louisiana’s economy is $4 million. (Source: Americans for the Arts economic impact calculator). Our greatest contribution to the economy is intangible. As a cultural entity, our role in enhancing the overall quality of life supports area industries seeking to attract and retain talented employees. With prominent press mentions in publications such a Southern Living, American Theatre Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and Theatre Journal, the positive press Swine Palace generates for Louisiana is a valuable contribution to the state’s national reputation.
While our primary target audience are the residents of the 9-parish Capital Region, we regularly have patrons visit us from across the state and around the country. Through our educational outreach initiatives, we provide patrons with access to high-caliber, professional theatre produced locally rather than brought in from out-of-state. Our Pay-What-You-Can and $12 Sneak Preview performances place live theatre within reach of any citizen who desires to experience it. Furthermore, through our Project Lagniappe initiative, we distribute free tickets through area social service organizations to needy individuals. We also provide reduced priced tickets to area school groups and complementary curriculum guides to area teachers.
Our innovative Community Relations Task Force works with our artistic and administrative team to foster awareness about our productions and, when appropriate, help us seed key themes (i.e., tolerance) explored on stage in the community. To date, we have partnered with a variety of organizations including YWCA, LSU Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs, Capital City Alliance, LSU School of Human Ecology, U.S. Civil War Center, LSU Ag Center, LSU Women’s Center, LSU Department of History, Spectrum Alliance, Louisiana State Museum, LSU Department of Communications Studies, LSU Department of English, Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans and Hate Crimes Project, University Presbyterian, Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Lagniappe, Women’s Council, Baton Rouge Community College, Southern University, Loyola University, LSU Law Center, LSU School of Social Work, Innocence Project New Orleans, LA Justice Coalition, and 100 Black Men.
Over the years, Swine Palace has collaborated with such prestigious theatre companies as Ping Chong & Company, Shakespeare & Company and the SITI Company, New York. In the process, we’ve begun to place Louisiana’s cultural scene on the national radar. As a professional theatre company, Swine Palace maintains a formal relationship with Theatre Communications Group, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors’ Equity Association, and United Scenic Artists.