Broadway News Philadelphia

Tiny Dynamite to Mount American Premiere of THE ART OF SWIMMING

by Broadway News Philadelphia Desk Oct. 9, 201

“Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to my performance. In order for it to work, I will need you to sometimes imagine that I am Mercedes Gleitze: the first British woman to swim the English Channel.”

So begins the remarkable one-woman play The Art of Swimming, written by Lynda Radley. Philadelphia’s Tiny Dynamite will present the American premiere of Radley’s imaginative work, part of their trademark A Play, A Pie, and A Pint series, from December 6-17, 2017 at Headhouse Cafe (122 Lombard Street, Philadelphia). For $20, audience members get a ticket to the show, a piece of pizza “pie,” and a pint of beer or soda.

In The Art of Swimming, a single actor takes us on an imaginative adventure to rediscover the story of Mercedes Gleitze, one of the great athlete-celebrities of her time. In 1927, after 26-year-old Gleitze successfully swims the twenty-mile crossing of the frigid English Channel, an even greater challenge emerges. Detractors-skeptical of women’s athleticism-claim her achievement is a hoax, setting Gleitze on a course that would forever change both her life and the perceptions of women in sports. But then…she is largely forgotten, until a young writer’s discovery of her picture, tucked in an old book, brings her story back to life. Told with inventive props, enchanting surprises, and accompanied by live music, The Art of Swimming will inspire anyone who has ever tested the motto, “Nothing great is easy.”

The Tiny Dynamite production features Lee Minora, fresh from her triumphant Edinburgh Fringe production of Cheeks, as Mercedes, with actor and composer Daniel Ison performing live music during every performance. The staging will be directed by Tiny Dynamite’s Producing Artistic Director KC MacMillan.

The Art of Swimming kicks off the seventh season of A Play, A Pie, and a Pint (PPP), the United States version of A Play, A Pie and A Pint – ÒRAN MÓR that originated in 2004 at the ÒRAN MÓR Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland, under the artistic directorship of Mr David Maclennan, in an effort to bring new audiences to the theatre and to create a supportive community for writers and artists. The basic premise of the project is that one-act plays are served up alongside a “pie” and a “pint” for a low-cost ticket at a non-traditional time of day. Òran Mór’s groundbreaking lunchtime theatre program now commissions and produces 38 new plays a year, and productions have toured nationally and internationally.

New this season, PPP will be presented at Headhouse Cafe, where all seating is cabaret style. Tiny Dynamite has also added the option of reserved seating: if guests book a full table of 4 or 6, the company will reserve it for you and include fun PPP swag. There are also new dessert shows on Saturday nights starting at 9:30PM.

The Art of Swimming will run December 6 through December 17, 2017, Wednesdays through Sundays at 6:30PM, with additional Saturday shows at 9:30PM. $20 includes admission to the performance, a piece of pie, and a pint of beer. For reserved groups of 4 or 6, admission will also include special Tiny Dynamite/PPP swag. Tickets can be booked by visiting or

Tiny Dynamite presents The Art of Swimming
Part of A Play, A Pie, and a Pint
December 6-December 17, 2017
Wednesday through Sunday at 6:30PM
Saturday at 6:30PM and 9:30PM
Headhouse Cafe
122 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA


Lee Minora (Mercedes) is an actor, theater maker and teaching artist in Philadelphia. Regionally, she has performed with EgoPo Classic Theater, Lantern Theater Company, Quintessence Theater Group and The Scranton Shakespeare Festival. She has created work with The Berserker Residents, Applied Mechanics, New Paradise Laboratories, Renegade Theater and Found Theater Company, where she was a founding member. She is also the creator and performer of Cheeks, a feminist, bouffon solo show, which was originally produced by The Berserker Residents in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival of 2016. Cheeks was then produced by Good Good Comedy and toured to The Scranton Shakespeare Festival and then The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Lee also teaches for The Wilma Theater, the Lantern, and 1812. She has a BA in Theater from Temple University.

Daniel Ison (live music) is a Philadelphia-based actor, composer, and sound designer. He holds a B.A. in Music Composition from Eastern University, where he also studied theatre under Mark Hallen. He takes a multidisciplinary approach to creating, spending most of his time split between the world of acting and the world of music. As an actor, he has worked at The Arden on Stick Fly and Three Sisters. Some of his favorite roles have been Feste in Twelfth Night, Enoch Snow in Carousel, and a member of the Greek Chorus/Composer for Luckiest Kid. He was also a member of The Ritz Theatre’s children troupe. During the summers he enjoys working as a teaching artist at The Curio Theatre Summer Camps. He has worked with the students at Yes and Collaborative Arts. As a composer and sound designer, he has written music for Commonwealth Classic Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie and Eastern University’s production of Our Town, and was their resident sound designer at Eastern University for three years. He has also sound designed and written music for White Pines Productions, The Ritz Theater, Quince Theatre, and the short films Magniloquent and My Own.

Kathryn MacMillan (KC) (director) recently became the Producing Artistic Director of Tiny Dynamite, home of the popular theater project A Play, A Pie, and a Pint. KC is a Philadelphia-based theater director and arts leader who has earned a reputation for directing classical and contemporary works with freshness and clarity, tackling plays about big ideas, and shaping great ensemble acting. She has directed forty professional productions in the Philadelphia area and beyond; recent productions include Romeo and Juliet (Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company), The Comedy of Errors (Dram Tree Shakespeare, Wilmington, NC), Grounded (InterAct), and Mrs. Warren’s Profession at Lantern Theater Company, where she served as the Associate Artistic Director for eight seasons. KC’s notable productions include the critically acclaimed The Beauty Queen of Leenane (named Best Production of the 2012/13 season & Best Director by Philadelphia Weekly, who called her “sensationally gifted”), The Liar (Best Production Honorable Mention that same season), Arcadia (Runner up, Best Overall Production & Best Director by Phindie Independent Critic Awards), Doubt (named one of the Best Plays of 2015 by the Philadelphia Daily News), The Breath of Life (Barrymore Award nomination: Outstanding Overall Production of a Play), The Hothouse (Barrymore nominations for Outstanding Direction & Outstanding Production of a Play), I Am My Own Wife (Barrymore nominations for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production of a Play and winner of the Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award).

She was also an actor in the Barrymore-nominated ensemble of Philadelphia Artists’ Collective’s The Fair Maid of the West. In 2015, KC was named one of Billy Penn’s “Who’s Next: 16 Young Philadelphians Shaping the Arts Scene.” In addition to her work at Tiny Dynamite, KC recently began a stint as a Guest Artistic Director for the 2017-18 season at Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA.

The mission of Tiny Dynamite is to offer Philadelphia audiences new ways to experience theatre, and to give Philadelphia artists new ways to create theatre. We are specifically interested in presenting the plays of UK and local writers. Our principal project is A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Under the banner of “brilliantly casual,” PPP presents one-act plays, beverages, and pizza in a cabaret setting reminiscent of the great pub theatre offered extensively throughout London. More information at