Swine Palace continues to celebrate Louisiana's Bicentennial Season with RISING WATER

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

In RISING WATER, a couple awakens in the middle of the night to find their house filling with water and climb into their attic, and eventually onto the rooftop. As they await rescue, they speculate about their lives and relationship, battling a flood of feelings. Written by John Biguenet and inspired by the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, RISING WATER is based on a column that Biguenet wrote for the New York Times entitled "How They Died." In addition to the literal chaos of enduring a hurricane on the rooftop, RISING WATER explores the turmoil that life choices can bring to relationships.

Winner of the 2006 National New Play Network Commission Award, a 2006 National Showcase of New Plays selection, and a 2007 recipient of an Access to Artistic Excellence develop.m.ent and production grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, John Biguenet's RISING WATER earned honors even before its world premiere on Southern Rep's stage. After its premiere at Southern Rep in 2007, it also received a Big Easy Award for Best Original Play of the Year in 2007. The Swine Palace production features Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, reprising her role as Camille which she played in the original production at Southern Rep, and George Judy, who has previously directed a staged reading of the play.

Rising Water is co-directed by George Judy and Ben Koucherik. Koucherik says of the production: "RISING WATER is a piece that speaks to tragedy and loss; both personal and communal. As a director, this play is a wonderful and humbling gift, because you can explore the depths of human emotion in such an interesting theatrical way. I also feel a great sense of honor and responsibility to share this story with this community, one that has been affected so deeply by Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, one of the joys of the play is its universality. In the face of disaster and loss we must all confront our choices, and rise or fall with them."

The show will feature a Pay-What-You-Can performance on March 6th, a Preview performance will follow on March 7. Show opens March 8 and runs through March 17. Weeknight and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performance will be at 2p.m.

Tickets range from $15 to $28, and can be obtained from the LSU Box Office by calling (225) 578-3527 or by visiting www.swinepalace.org. Tickets can also be purchased in person at these box office locations: LSU Union Theatre and Music & Dramatic Arts Building, Dalrymple Drive. On performance nights, tickets will also be on sale at the Music & Dramatic Arts Box Office. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

RISING WATER is the first of a trilogy of plays by John Biguenet and Swine Palace is excited to present this production in tandem with the two remaining plays in the trilogy, SHOTGUN and MOLD, affording theatre-goers with a rare opportunity to see all three shows in one month.

About Swine Palace

Founded in 1992, Swine Palace operates with a dual mission to provide South Louisiana with high-quality, professional productions of classical and contemporary theatre 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. For twenty seasons, Swine Palace has produced more than 68 productions, including many regional and world premieres, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Under the leadership of Swine Palace Managing Director Kristin Sosnowsky and Swine Palace Artistic Director George Judy, Swine Palace mounts three to four productions each season, and employs five to twelve guest actors, directors, and designers from across the country. Recent guest artists have included Ping Chong, Deb Alley, Adam Rapp, Steve Young, Mia Katigbak, Clayton Corzatte, Adolphus Ward, and Lance Nichols.

In 2006, Swine Palace was awarded the Governor's Arts Award for Outstanding Large Arts Organization and the Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge. Swine Palace's 2007 world premiere production of COCKTAIL was chosen to represent the United States at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, the world's largest theatre design exhibition and competition. Original designs by LSU Department of Theatre faculty E.J. Cho in sound design and James Murphy in set design, as well as LSU alumna Polly Boersig in costume design are on display at the exhibit