Over the last five years, director Adrienne Mackey has built a career on collaborations with established ensembles such as Tribe of Fools, the Lefty Lucy Cabaret and the Philly Fringe mad men behind “Jersey Devil.”
She has a reputation for finding the connections between her own aesthetic and the unique talents of the ensemble. But with the debut of “SURVIVE!,” Mackey is now helming her own team of creators, Swim Pony Performing Arts. And she’s stepping out with a splash with the most financial latitude she’s ever had for her sprawling, ambitious experiment in both theater and science.
“The word I keep using for this piece is ‘immersive,’” she says, while on break from a marathon technical rehearsal. “On the whole it’s a slightly more serious piece [than some of her previous work], because it’s reaching at concepts that are so big and confusing.”
A former theater/chemistry double major, Mackey is discovering the link between her two passions in “SURVIVE!” Within a dreamlike lecture, the piece explores ivory tower scientific concepts, like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, with visual and comedic flair.
“SURVIVE!” also promises a choose-your-own-adventure for the audience: different performances for different personalities.
“A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I can see the other scene later in the show, right?’ And I’m like, ‘No, once the scene plays it’s gone. That’s life, dude: You get to pick one thing or the other.’”
That idea is also closely related to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Look it up — or see the play.