Swim Pony Performing Arts is an independent Philadelphia-based theater collective dedicated to producing entirely new work that is original, strange and loud. Established in 2010, under the direction of Adrienne Mackey, Swim Pony’s mission is to create works of live performance that seduce and surprise audiences. All Swim Pony productions are created collaboratively by a rotating team of energetic theater artists actively working in Philadelphia’s vibrant arts and cultural community.
Swim Pony Performing Arts, Adventurous New Theater Company Debuts in Philly with SURVIVE!
New interactive theater work connects art and science; from the company behind Philly Fringe hits Purr, Pull, Reign: A Litigious Fantasy in D, The Giant Squid and The Ballad of Joe Hill
PHILADELPHIA – The performing arts collective behind Philly Fringe hits Purr, Pull, Reign: A Litigious Fantasy in D (’09), The Giant Squid (’08) and The Ballad of Joe Hill (‘06) has established Swim Pony Performing Arts, an independent Philadelphia-based theater company dedicated to producing entirely original new work. In June, the newly-minted Swim Pony will present the World Premiere of SURVIVE!– a site-specific performance and interactive theater experience exploring science, humanity and the Universe, directed by Adrienne Mackey, Artistic Director of Swim Pony.
In SURVIVE!, Swim Pony Performing Arts invites audiences to explore human life from many angles in a collective journey to understand how humans, space and science are interconnected. Under the guidance of a “10th dimensional narrator”, the cast of SURVIVE! will lead audiences through a maze-like installation covering over 20,000 square feet of The Wolf Building. An interactive performance, audience members choose their own adventure and move through SURVIVE! freely, generating a unique experience with each viewing. Audiences travel through a walkway to space, visit a biotic terrarium, the living room of a gentle scientist, and more to uncover the meaning of human existence. Through image, sound, spectacle and an experiential journey, the production asks audiences to open their minds, evolve and survive.
SURVIVE! will transform The Wolf Building, located at 340 North 12th Street in Philadelphia, from June 4 – 20, 2010 (opening night is Friday, June 4 at 8pm). All tickets are $20 and are available for advance purchase online via Brown Paper Tickets or by calling the ticket sales hotline at 1-800-838-3006. Visit www.swimpony.org for updates.
Director Adrienne Mackey brings a scientific perspective to SURVIVE!. While a student at Swarthmore College, she majored in both chemistry and theater. With an interest in quantum mechanics and physics, Mackey is looking at unusual ways to make science more accessible to the public through performance art and humor.
“Theoretical physicists are thinking amazing things about the way our universe is made,” says Mackey. “We’re in the midst of a scientific revolution, and we’re at this cusp of understanding. There’s a gap between what the data is telling us and what we can understand, and I’m interested in ways that art can bridge that gap and look at how we define life and our place in the universe.”
SURVIVE! grew out of research on NASA’s Pioneer Missions, which began in 1972 when NASA launched a pair of satellites named Pioneer into space. Each was fitted with a plaque intended to be understood by any intelligent beings who found it. Its message to the universe: We are humanity. We are here.
“On the Pioneer satellites astrophysicists placed a picture of what they thought an intelligent being finding them would need to know about earth and humanity,” says Mackey. “This inspired two images for me – the first was the absurdity of trying to draw a picture that says, ‘We are humans. We are here.’ I also think about how much we’ve learned about the way the world works since that time and how much we still have yet to learn. SURVIVE! is really a ‘what-if’ play – what if a being with so much more perspective on the force that moves the universe sent a message back to us?”
In the style of “rock-star” scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson, SURVIVE! is a show about science that uses humor and spectacle to engage audiences and make scientific concepts and theories about our place in the Universe accessible to all.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The newly-named Swim Pony Performing Arts is led by an energetic group of emerging Philadelphia-based theater and performance artists who work collectively to create entirely original productions. Swim Pony is helmed by Artistic Director Adrienne Mackey along with a rotating team of collaborators and creators. Mackey is a director and vocalist. A past recipient of an ‘08 Independence Foundation Fellowship, Mackey’s recent directing credits include Philly Fringe premiers Purr, Pull, Reign: A Litigious Fantasy in D (’09), The Giant Squid (’08) and The Ballad of Joe Hill (‘06), in addition to Owning Up To The Corn (’09, Community Education Center) and recitatif (‘07 Live Arts Festival), among others.
SURVIVE! creators and performers include Jamie McKittrick, Ahren Potratz, David Sweeny, and Bradley Wrenn, with Artistic Associates Justin Jain and Shane Liesgang, writer and creator Tim Sawicki andAdrienne Mackey as Director and collaborator. The production team features stage manager Katie Driscoll, lighting designer Maria Shaplin, set designer Lisi Stoessel, and sound designer Mikaal Sulaiman.
Active members of Philadelphia’s vibrant arts and cultural community, Swim Pony creative team has worked with many of the city’s prominent companies on inventive theatrical projects. Bradley Wrenn was recently seen in BRAT Productions’ ’10 reprisal of A 24-Hour The Bald Soprano as Mr. Smith and Mr. Martin and as the heroic Astronaut Z in The Annihilation Point (’09, Philly Fringe). Writer Tim Sawicki is the script writer behind The Annihilation Point, The Giant Squid (‘08), The Jersey Devil (‘07) and Like Ink and Paper, a new collaboration currently in development with Mackey.
An actor and musician, David Sweeny has appeared regionally in productions by the Arden Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park and Ego Po Productions. Sweeny is the creator/producer of Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret, which rocked the ‘09 Philly Fringe with Purr, Pull, Reign: A Litigious Fantasy in D, directed and co-produced by Adrienne Mackey. SURVIVE! is Sweeny’s fifth collaboration with Mackey.
Mikaal Sulaimanwas the sound designer behind New Paradise Laboratories’ technologically advanced ’09 Live Arts Festival production Fatebook, while set designer Lisi Stoessel’sdesign credits include work with Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, among others. Ahren Potratz is a member of both People’s Light and Theater Company and, along with Jamie McKittrickthe children’s focused Enchantment Theatre Company.
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Performance Schedule: June 4 – 20, 2010
Wed, 6/2 at 7pm (Preview)
Thu, 6/3 at 7pm (Preview)
Fri, 6/4 at 8pm (Opening Night)
Sat, 6/5 at 8pm
Sun, 6/6 at 2pm
Thu, 6/10 at 7pm
Fri, 6/11 at 8pm
Sat, 6/12 at 8pm
Sat, 6/12 at 2pm
Sun, 6/13 at 2pm
Mon, 6/14 at 7pm (Industry Night)
Thu, 6/17 at 7pm
Fri, 6/18 at 8pm
Sat, 6/19 at 8pm
Sat, 6/19 at 2pm
Sun, 6/20 at 2pm
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|06/04/2010 - 8:00pm - 06/20/2010 - 2:00pm||SURVIVE!|