Outside The (Black) Box

Swim Pony Performing Arts

Date Awarded
Grant Period
04/01/12 to 03/31/13
Focus Area
Knight Arts Challenge

Project Links

Grantee Contact

  • Philadelphia, PA

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To weave the arts into the community by presenting revamped versions of plays in non-traditional spaces, including Eastern State Penitentiary and the Land Conservancy of Elkins Park

Summary: To weave the arts into the community, Swim Pony Performing Arts will present original, contemporary plays in nontraditional spaces, including Eastern State Penitentiary and the Academy of Natural Sciences. The yearlong series will produce two new versions of popular works from the company’s repertoire – The Ballad of Joe Hill and The Giant Squid – and also feature the premiere of a gothic love story. Swim Pony Performing Arts will create new partnerships beyond those traditionally involved in the city’s theater community as a way of attracting younger, more adventurous art-seeking audiences.

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Project Team

Adrienne Mackey


Helmed by artistic director Adrienne Mackey, Swim Pony represents the body of genre-defying work Mackey creates with an ensemble of multidisciplinary artists who have made a commitment to one another and to live and work in Philadelphia. Swim Pony was founded in December of 2009 after years of working as a successful solo director and producer of over a dozen original performance works including The Ballad of Joe Hill (Eastern State Penitentiary 2006), recitatif (2007 Live Arts Festival) and Purr, Pull, Reign (with Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret, 2009). In 2010 Mackey teamed with Jamie McKittrick, a performer, teacher and choreographer, in steering the future of the company.

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