Swanson thrives as a theater-maker and director. She is a founding member of Killer Queen Opera Company, with which she co-directed and co-produced a film version of the opera L’incoronazione di Poppea, (see above images) supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council. The film was made available to Brooklyn communities in three public venues, fulfilling Killer Queen’s mission of relevance, representation, and accessibility. An eager collaborator and supporter of new works, Swanson also co-choreographed the new musical Triangle Cruise which premiered at The Cutting Room in Manhattan in June 2022.
Eager to bridge the divide between the fine arts, Swanson co-founded and produced WIP FEST (works in progress festival) at The Jam Handy in Detroit with co-creator Carolyn Alam and WIP Productions. The 2018 festival featured 10 interdisciplinary artists, spanning performing and visual arts genres. It included a day-long, peer-reviewed workshop of "works in progress" and a sold-out performance the following week. Swanson also curated an evening of performance "My Body is a Prism," for the Lightbox Theatre in Detroit in 2018.