Core Team

AdrienneAdrienne Mackey (Director/Lead Writer) is the founding artistic director of Swim Pony Performing Arts and will lead creative vision and production of The End. She has worked extensively in game/theater integration, including working as co-lead artist on War of the Worlds: Philadelphia, a city-wide game and multimedia performance that will draw everyday citizens into a “quest to avoid intergalactic catastrophe” co-produced with Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, and co-hosting a “Theater Game Jam” (the first of its kind) with Emerson College’s Engagement Lab, where theater and game artists collaborated to create scene/game prototypes merging both forms. Adrienne is the recipient of two Knight Arts Challenges in Philadelphia, the first for “Outside the Black Box,” a series of site-specific works that brought theater into unusual and unexpected spaces, and the second for “Cross Pollination,” a program for interdisciplinary arts collaborations that brought her into her into residencies with thirty artists of different genres to experiment with how different mediums can combine to create new hybrid products. Adrienne has directed over fourteen original works including SURVIVE!, a 22,000 square foot choose-your-own-adventure installation exploring humanity’s place in the universe, and Lady M, an all-female feminist reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In 2013, The Ballad of Joe Hill at the historic Eastern State Penitentiary for Fringe Arts boasted a completely sold out run and a profile on NPR’s Radio Times. Adrienne teaches devised theater and voice at Drexel University (where she has also been in residency), is on the MFA faculty of Pig Iron’s school for Advanced Performance Training, and serves as a board member for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. She has received an Independence Foundation Fellowship, a Live Arts LAB fellowship and a CEC New Edge Residency and can occasionally be seen singing funk vocals as “The Truth” for Johnny Showcase & the Mystic Ticket.

SamSam Wend (Dramaturg/Stage Manager) is Swim Pony’s Artistic Associate and will manage logistical coordination as well as assist in developing core creative approach and production. Her work for Swim Pony includes stage management, administration, dramaturgy, and documentation, each role being heavily responsive to the project at hand. She is also a freelance professional Stage Manager and has worked with companies including The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, the Dorset Theatre Festival, and the Rock School for Dance Education. She also worked as Dramaturg and Production Manager for Traverse Through Time, a lecture series that identified and brought together 18 key players from the history of the United Kingdom’s foremost new writing theatre in celebration of their 50th anniversary.




Maria Shaplin (Theatrical and Graphic Designer) is a designer who will create tangible objects and any site-based design interventions. She also is a freelance graphic designer so she will have an eye on cohesion of the overall aesthetic of the piece. Maria received her MFA from Temple University and has a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Hampshire College. Maria started her theatrical career as the resident lighting designer for The Riot Group, with whom she has toured all over the world, with month-long engagements in London and New York, and other notable engagements at the Stuttgart Festival in Germany, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and an extensive UK tour. Maria is also the co-founder and lead designer of Applied Mechanics, a company who devises immersive, multi-narrative performance art. Critically-acclaimed works include: Pugilist Specialist with The Riot Group (2004), Freedom Club with New Paradise Laboratories (2010), Lady M with Swim Pony Performing Arts (2011), Vainglorious with Applied Mechanics (2012), 17 Border Crossings with Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental (2013), The Ballad of Joe Hill with Swim Pony Performing Arts (2013) and Circle Mirror Transformation with Theater Horizon (2014).

LizLiz Green (Community Engagement Coordinator) will head up community engagement for The End. She will create the kinds of relationship/partnerships that will help The End succeed in player recruitment and publicity as well as ensure appropriate resources and care are offered and available in relation to The End’s potentially sensitive topics. She regularly produces audience engagement programming for Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, and is a teaching artist for Buildabridge International, which provides therapeutic arts education in Philadelphia’s refugee communities. She produced the 2011 and 2012 First Person Festivals in Philadelphia, for which she wrote and directed community-based performances for Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, the Philadelphia Refugee Mental Health Collaborative, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Achieving Independence Center. As Artistic Associate at Two River Theater in NJ, she facilitated audience engagement programs and was the casting director for many productions including Macbeth, directed by Aaron Posner and Teller; the world premiere of Anne Washburn’s Orestes; and ReEntry, a play based on interviews with Marines by Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez. She has studied devising civic practice with Michael Rohd and documentary theater with Ping Chong and Company.

KatonyaKatonya Mosley (Guide Trainer and Simulation Expert) is a storytelling performer and simulation expert. Her background is mixed with experience teaching how to structure autobiographical narrative, performing stand-up comedy based on real life experience, and coaching medical students on empathy skills using performance simulation. Creative by nature, a lawyer by training, and a simulator by day, her current job duties include helping doctors to become better communicators, and training others to do the same. A personal growth enthusiast, she is a certified breather on a quest for the procrastination cure. Katonya has appeared in numerous curated storytelling events, as a feature and an emcee. She has been booked in Philadelphia, Worcester, Richmond, and DC. Hallmarks of her performances are her unique brand of crafted candor and funny vulnerability. You can get a sense of her work here and here.