Who Are We?



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Hi I’m Adrienne Mackey, Swim Pony’s founder. You’ve caught me here, backwards, so I might as well tell you a little about myself.

I’m a believer in creating awesome works of art in a way that also supports awesome lives for the artists that make them. I love discovering amazing spaces and will do almost anything to get my “theater” out of “Theater”s. I also graduated with a degree in Chemistry which can sometimes be useful in understanding how I think about things.

In addition to creating and directing the experimental works of theater listed above, I’m also interested in the human voice and have studied it in a varied of capacities from classical opera to avant-garde Roy Hart technique. The past few years I’ve sung funky backup vocals as “The Truth” for Johnny Showcase and the Mystic Ticket. (I’m the lady on the left with the big hair).

I teach, a lot, and all over the Philly area: Drexel, Rutgers Camden, Pig Iron’s School for Advanced Performance Training and frequently work as a guest artist at places like Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr and Arcadia.

And clearly, I also like sitting backwards in wire chairs.


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Hey there! I’m Sam Wend, Swim Pony’s Artistic Associate. That more-or-less means I do a mash-up of admin work, stage management, and dramaturgy/artistic research, with a sprinkling of whatever else Adrienne and I think might be useful.

I first encountered Swim Pony as the stage manager for their production of Welcome to Campus in residency at Drexel University, when I was inspired by an approach to theatre that used innovative and contemporary storytelling to reach an audience in the most effective way. I’m excited to continue exploring this path and to make art that matters, that impacts both the performers and the audience.

In addition to my background as a stage manager, I have a degree in Entertainment and Arts Management from Drexel. I also minored in English and spent several years as a collaboration-oriented writing tutor, which may explain my love for dramaturgy and fascination with the power of language.


So, where does “Swim Pony” come from, anyway?

(A note from Adrienne)

When I was founding the company I had an incredibly hard time trying to come up with a name. I wanted something inviting and playful that also was a little mysterious and made people want to know more. After a series of TERRIBLE ideas I was discussing options with friends at a bar one night and the waitress asked what we were talking about. I told her and asked what she’d name my theater company. She pointed to the chalkboard where there was an IPA on tap called Pony Swim and said, “Well that’s kinda fun.” So I reversed the order and Swim Pony was born.


  1. Hi Adrienne,
    Have not seen your work, but read a great interview which featured you, and wanted to reach out. I’ve been performing a political/memoir one man show in untraditional venues all summer in NYC. And have been invited to take it in battle ground states. So I’m stopping off in Philly. Wanna come see my show? Or are you slammed? Here is a clip of what I’ve been up to. I’ve started to get decent press, and a radio interview.


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