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Swine Palace’s Inaugural Summer Festival Concludes with “How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?” July 31- Aug. 5

07/10/2012 01:44 PM

BATON ROUGE – While the summer may signify a break for many, Swine Palace returns to the stage to offer its first ever Summer Festival of productions, concluding with a “fable-ous” and funny regional premiere musical, presented in collaboration with Playmakers of Baton Rouge.


The series’ final production will be Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler’s “How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?” directed by resident ensemble member Jenny Ballard. Performances will be held July 31-Aug. 5 in the Studio Theatre located in the LSU Music & Dramatic Arts Building.


Promising an hour of hip, contemporary and fabulous musical fun, the play details the lives of six students stuck in detention after school with an eccentric substitute teacher. They discover the power of imagination when they enact some of Aesop’s famous fables, including “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”    


Playmakers of Baton Rouge, which enters its 30th season this fall, is Louisiana’s only professional theatre dedicated to bringing quality theatrical productions to young audiences. The group is excited to once again team with Swine Palace in a partnership that provides an excellent opportunity for the members of Playmakers’ Young Professionals program. 


“The Young Professionals get the chance to be mentored by and work alongside Swine Palace resident ensemble members that they see on stage,” states Playmakers Education Director Todd Henry. “The Young Professionals had such a great time during ‘Godspell,’ but, equally as important, this ‘boot camp’ shows our teens the level of commitment and hard work it takes to mount a successful show.”


Ballard, who previously directed and was instrumental in the successful run of Swine Palace’s “Godspell” last summer, will again join forces with musical director and resident ensemble member Jason Bayle on this production.


“Directing ‘Shell’ will be a blast,” Ballard said. “I've always been a fan of Aesop’s fables, particularly ‘The Tortoise and the Hare,’ and with ‘Shell,’ we get these classic tales set to really great music.”


LSU Department of Theatre Chair and Swine Palace Managing Director Kristin Sosnowsky expressed how rewarding the collaboration between Swine Palace and Playmakers of Baton Rouge has been for both parties.


“We at Swine Palace really want to expand our outreach to younger audiences and give our resident ensemble members the opportunity to gain teaching and mentoring experiences with younger theatre artists,” she said. “Playmakers has a long-established summer theatre program for children and a great reputation for children’s theatre. We are able to offer them our intimate Studio Theatre and experienced resident ensemble, and they are able to put us in touch with their audience to bring the highest quality children’s theatre possible to the Baton Rouge community. We look forward to another successful show like last summer’s ‘Godspell.’”


Performances of “How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?” will be held July 31-Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. each evening, with 2 p.m. matinee performances scheduled for Aug 3-5. General seating tickets are $10 each and available only through cash payment at the door.


To learn more about PlaymakersBR, visit


For more information on this and other upcoming Swine Palace productions, visit

LSU Media Relations