Amazon.com Widgets The Swingles' Dramatic Developments

Friday, March 12, 2010

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A gorgeous day in Chicago!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Vote for Gifted Hands!

Our friend Dustee Hullinger, featured in this brief documentary, was instrumental in my getting started in NYC. We did some sociodrama with her clients and saw a lot of breakthroughs. I urge you to vote for her video to receive an award. At about 19 seconds a thumbs up button will appear.

All the best Dustee!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Vancouver 2010


Our play, Beyond the Chariots, was translated into Chinese, Korean and Spanish for the Beijing Olympics, and for Vancouver 2010 we had audience members who benefited from the translations at all but one performance. We had a group of Spanish-speakers who we thought would be attending that day, so we scrambled to integrate the third translation. They didn't end up making it, but there was a family in Seattle that appreciated our efforts at a post-Olympic performance on our way back to New York City.

Our post-performance conversations were also enriching. We chatted with Leslie Lewis Sword, who performed Miracle in Rwanda in the same venue in which we performed Beyond the Chariots at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ron Reed, the artistic director of Pacific Theatre, hosted a Christians in Theatre Arts Conference in 1993, which confirmed the calling I was sensing to move to New York City. He was able to attend our play, and we grabbed a meal afterward with Wanda Reinholdt, stage manager of Burnt Thicket, the group producing the other play running in Pacific Theatre through the Olympics, Hockey Dad, performed and co-created by James Popoff. Deb Sears was at Pacific Theatre during that 93 conference, and she was able to attend Beyond the Chariots as well. She's now involved with the independent film scene in Vancouver. Numerous More than Gold CaPA artists were able to attend both of our plays. After performing an excerpt from Beyond the Chariots at the senior center, which operates in the same building as Pacific Theatre, several were drawn to the play, including a 93-year old man who recalled a lunch with Harold Abrahams in 1943. Abrahams was the rival of Eric Liddell, featured in Chariots of Fire as well as our play which tells the rest of the story from Liddell's perspective.

We also had English speaking audience members from all over Canada, the US, Brazil, Indonesia and Russia.

Even our encounters with people on the streets of Vancouver were full of surprises: Korean speakers at a sushi restaurant, a professor of theatre in Korea we met in Stanley Park, and some folks near the steam clock that remembered my performance in Beijing! Someone pointed out that all of these Divine appointments should encourage us that we were on the right track.

To see photos from the trip, visit our photo album, "Vancouver 2010" at Facebook.com/RichDrama.

Miracle in Rwanda


Before our performance on Friday, an actor was checking out Pacific Theatre for upcoming performances of her one-woman play. When I heard that she was a solo performer I invited her to see Beyond the Chariots. I try to see as many one-man plays as I can, so I figured she'd want to do the same thing. Indeed, she stayed. When the introductory slides came up and she saw the title of the play she remembered that we'd shared the same theatre for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007! Her show, Miracle in Rwanda, was sold out before her first performance, so Joyce and I were only able to see it because she added shows to her line-up. It was amazing! As you walk into the theatre space, there is a small square marked on the stage with white tape. As the play progresses, we discover that eight people hid in a bathroom the size of that square during the Rwandan genocide. Leslie's play has a strong message of forgiveness and reconciliation despite the worst of atrocities.

The Olympic Caldron at dusk

Friday, February 26, 2010

Korean today, Spanish tomorrow

There was a woman in the audience today who benefitted from the Korean translation slides. Tonight we're entering Spanish translations for some folks who are coming tomorrow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Off and running!

We had our first performance of Beyond the Chariots yesterday, and there was a Mandarin speaker that benefited from our translation slides!

On Friday we'll be adding Spanish translations, that were done through our church, for a group that's joining us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What a classy cast

I had such a great time working on A Christmas Snow!

I played the role of Claud, who was a side-kick to Martin played by Craig, pictured here. Catherine Mary Stewart, who is beautifully playing the lead, will be here until the very end of shooting, which will be after 2 all-nighters Tuesday and Wednesday.

I also had great conversations with Anthony Tyler Quinn, Muse Watson, and Cameron ten Napel, who's playing the 10-year old daughter of Anthony Tyler Quinn's character, Andrew.

I shared the make-up trailer with Danny Cahill, who was the biggest winner on The Biggest Loser. I was SHOCKED to hear that he'd lost 239lbs. He doesn't look like he's ever been overweight in his life. It was so great that he was cast as... the food critic! Brilliant!

The crew was also amazing. Everyone on set was on top of their craft and a joy to work for or with!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My last scene

It's been such a blast to be a part of A Christmas Snow (www.Facebook.com/AChristmasSnow)! Can't wait to see the final product!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My trailer on the set of A Christmas Snow

Friday, February 19, 2010

Crossed the Gulf

I'd flown into Houston before, but always from the north. Coming in from the Gulf of Mexico was a completely different, breath-taking experience.

Crossing the Gulf

I'm now crossing the Gulf of Mexico, en route to Tulsa, where I'll play Claud in the upcoming film, A Christmas Snow.

Here's the video that announced me playing Claud in the film:

Too cool for school

The students here at Christian Clearwater College look out over Tampa Bay for their meals. How cool is that?

Not as cool as what happened last night: At the beginning of my Big Fish Little Worm performance I told the campus how I walked forward after a chapel speaker at my alma mater, George Fox University, invited us to show the Lord that we'd go anywhere He called us. I told the audience that on my walk to the alter I told God I'd be glad to go anywhere, but put in a request that it not be a big city. For 16 years I have LOVED living in New York City, the largest in the US.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quite a night

During last night's performance I was joined by Coertze Peters, a mime from South Africa that did a piece on Haiti that had everyone in tears. Also, on one of his only days in Florida between an extensive trip to Asia and moving to TN to play Jesus in a long-running musical was David M Sanborn and his mother, Ellen Sanborn. They wrote a song commemorating YWAM's 50th anniversary which they performed at the top of the show. Ellen's husband, Art, who was paralyzed at the same level as Christopher Reeve, stood to his feet and raised a ram's horn for my Gideon piece. His story is told in his book, Walking Miracle.

This is the amazing family that produced Judah Ben Hur in Singapore, where I got to play Simonides, Pilate, and a few other minor roles.

Also at last night's performance was Randi, who introduced me to Sanborns and Barb, who introduced her to the Sanborns. It was a mini Judah Ben Hur reunion!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Foreigner

John Kirby and I have decided to produce The Foreigner, by Larry Shue, for this summer's MasterWorks Festival.

There are some parts of me that are still jiggling with mirth from the production my alma mater, George Fox University, did in the late '80s. Besides being a hilarious play, it deals with the heavy subject of racism by creatively showing the value of every culture.

It seems a very appropriate choice as delegates from 200 nations are being gathered this year in Cape Town, South Africa, for the Third Lausanne Congress on Worldwide Evangelization: CapeTown2010.com. I was selected for the Media and Arts committee, so I'm excited to share some of Lausanne's vision at MasterWorks. We'll be exploring some of the themes of Lausanne's occasional paper, Redeeming the Arts, and even developing some sketches to be submitted for performance at the Congress this October.

The Foreigner has the smallest cast of any full-length play we've ever produced at MasterWorks, but because of the opportunity to prepare pieces for submission to Lausanne, and through some creative ideas John and I are considering, all students will be kept busy.

We've got another great line up of faculty and master class instructors taking shape. We'll be announcing them soon.

Apply online now: MasterWorksFestival.org.

Good morning Clearwater

Sunrise over Tampa Bay.

RichDrama.com/Itinerary

Monday, February 15, 2010

Balmy

Everyone's complaining about it being so cold here, and it's true that I probably won't swim in the Gulf of Mexico on this trip... but I'm not wearing a coat tonight. After dodging snow banks this morning it's not bad at all.

RichDrama.com/Itinerary

The Gulf of Mexico

This is as much of the Gulf as I'll see on this trip... Unless we're hit with a heat wave!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Loved the Love Feast

At our church's Love Feast this morning our pastoral team and board served the rest of the congregation. I sensed the Lord's love flowing through us in such a palpable way! We had a visiting band so our weekly musicians could be served, and one of the first songs the visiting band sang was He Loves Us. As we sang, I sensed the Lord's great Love for us all, and I was on the verge of tears the whole rest of the morning.

Later, I helped serve communion in the role of Jesus. While I was handing out the homemade matzo I sensed very clearly that the Lord wanted me to hug a recent widow, to show her He was thinking of her on this first Valentine's Day without her husband. I followed the impulse, and later I told her about it. She said, "I prayed for that," and we both burst into tears.

Prepping for a Love Feast

This morning our church's pastoral team and board is serving a Valentine's breakfast to our congregation: www.WestchesterChapel.org.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Korean translations


A couple of years ago I was flying from Chicago to NYC and struck up a conversation with the people sitting next to me. I told them I'd be performing Beyond the Chariots in China during the Beijing Olympics, and I mentioned that it was my dream to have the play translated into many languages since people come from all over the world for the Olympics. The gentleman on the aisle said, "I think our church would translate it into Korean." They did! And there were Koreans who were able to undertand the play during those performances during the '08 Olympics.

I told the gentleman, Moon, that I couldn't possibly pay them for their time, but I would be glad to offer a performance of the play at their church. I was able to share the fruit of their labors on Sunday in Chicago!

After the play we went out for some amazing Korean BBQ. Yum! After dinner I was given the shirt I'm displaying in the photo with Mrs. Cho, one of the three translators. The other two were her husband, Rev. Cho, and Moon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Director Talks About A Christmas Snow

A Tulsa news channel interviewed Tracy Trost, the director of A Christmas Snow, in which I've been cast in the role of Claud.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Music from Beijing

A woman attended my acting workshops in Goshen, IN, who works in China. She told me about this album, which was produced by the Beijing International Christian Fellowship, where I performed during the '08 Olympics. It was their lead elder I bumped into in Phoenix, OR, population 4,060: What are the chances?

The CD includes western and Chinese instruments for a truly unique experience.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Heading out of IN

We're driving north to Chicago this morning to perform Beyond the Chariots (www.RichDrama.com/BeyondtheChariots) for the church that translated it for performances during the Beijing Olympics, where we had audience members that benefitted from it!

We're investing now in performances of the play during the Vancouver Winter Olympics later this month, and we'd love for you to partner with us: www.RichDrama.com/Olympics.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Deadline today

Today is the deadline for the Christians in Theatre Arts Sketch Writing Competition: Write a sketch for the world!

Pray for cultural influencers

I receive daily prayer updates for the top 365 cultural influencers on the corporate and artistic sides of media. It's put out by MasterMedia (www.MasterMediaIntl.org), and their president, Larry Poland will be one of our master class instructors at MasterWorks (www.MasterWorksFestival.org) this summer.
Today's entries made me want to share this resource here...
-----Original Message-----
From: Dr.Larry Poland
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 3:46 AM
To: Mr and Mrs Rich Swingle
Subject: Daily MLPC: February 05, 2010
Got A Minute?

February 5, 2010

Thank you for taking time to pray for today's people on the Media Leader Prayer Calendar.
Media Leader: Michael Bostick
(Corporate) CEO Walden Media & Bristol Bay, Chronicles of Narnia, Amazing Grace
Cultural Influencer: Sandra Bullock

If you would like to get more information about today's media leader
or cultural influencer, so that you can pray more effectively, you may want to visit:
www.Google.com - do a name search for articles, news, and photos.
www.imdb.com - for biographical information, photos and credits.

Do you know someone who would be interested in joining us in praying for media? Feel free to forward this email to them and encourage them to log into the Mastermedia website at www.mastermediaintl.org and sign up to receive the Media Leader Prayer Calendar daily reminders.

Pain free!

Our first enacted prayer at last night's workshop (www.RichDrama.com/ZionWorkshop) was for a woman with pain in her hip. A woman played the woman with pain, and a teenager played the pain. In the enactment God removed the pain and brought the woman into a dance with the Trinity. The woman was moved by the prayer, and I asked her if the pain was gone. She said she had to walk in order to determine that, so she got up and started walking, and then touching her toes. She felt no pain!

What a great way to start the night!!!

Pray for tonight's workshop as we create a sketch through sociodrama: www.RichDrama.com/Workshops.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The View from the Boathouse

I'm in Winona Lake to teach some acting workshops and for he department head meetings on Saturday. Pray for us as we plan MasterWorks 2010!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Article on A Christmas Snow

Here's a great article on A Christmas Snow, in which I've been cast as Claud: Filmmaker Tracy Trost Set to Begin Filming 'A Christmas Snow' - Christian Newswire

The Soy Mulkey Moka

I performed at Metolius Friends Church on Sunday. It's pastored by Ron Mulkey. He and his wife, Deb, ran our youth group back in the day.

They're posing in a café which named a drink of his invention after him. He describes that drink in the folowing article, which he recently published in their church newsletter...

Several weeks ago, I came to the office to check on my e-mails. My office computer was running particularly slow, and a box came up on the screen asking if I wanted to report the operations error to Microsoft. I was frustrated so, I sent the report. Immediately the computer screen went dead, no matter what I did the computer screen was a complete blank.
I knew I was in trouble, all my files/documents from the past 12 years of ministry were entombed on the computer's hard drive. Desperate, at this point, I contacted a friend to try and get my computer working. The problem persisted until my computer tower refused to even power up. Finally, I took the computer tower to the local computer repair shop and they reported back to me that my hard drive was blank, no documents, and no files, empty.
What happened, how could this be? The clerk said that most likely a forwarded e-mail message, that I had opened, had an embedded virus that, without my knowledge, slowly ate away, consuming, destroying my operating system, so that after a period of time my computer crashed. 
God how can you allow this to happen? Why didn't you protect my computer? After a time of whining and stomping my feet and yelling, "Rats!" and "Corn Flakes!", I returned to reality and asked the Lord is there something here you are trying to teach me?
This is what I've been pondering over for several weeks. How many times do we read or listen to a message filled with fear ("The sky is falling" or "Big brother is out to rob me" or "Terrorist are going to destroy my favorite coffee shop and I'll never be able to have another nectar of the gods, of course a soy mocha, hold the whip cream please and hot, it's cold outside.") Messages that seem reasonable, yet imbedded in the message is a spirit of fear, a spirit of doubt, a spirit of lust, a spirit of selfishness, a spirit of anger, or a spirit of ____________ ( you fill in the blank)
I'm oblivious to the false spirit, I continue to function in my walk with God as in the past, but something's beginning to bog down my life, I'm beginning to struggle in areas I've not struggled in for a while and I'm wondering what's happening. Gradually and steadily, that embedded spirit in my heart eats away at the truths of God's promises and, if unchecked, my soul and spirit crash. 
I wonder why, how? And then God reveals that I've welcomed into my life ideas, thoughts, images that have a deeply embedded virus that destroys my relationship with Him. What I need is a cleansing of my heart (the hard drive of my spiritual life). I need to pray the prayer of David, "Search me oh God and know my heart…Test me and know my anxious thoughts…See if there by any offensive way in me…Lead me in the way everlasting." Claim this promise "…He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Finally, reprogram your life through truth in Christ, "I am the way the truth and the life…" "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; mediate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it…"
What's the point of this article? Please be cautious of the things that you choose to dwell upon. Check out the source, is it from God or is it from man? And then choose to dwell upon that which strengthens our hearts, encourages our walk with Christ, and causes us to be transforming agents of God's Kingdom to a broken world.
So we come to Philippians 4. Life, peace, joy, truth come from one source; "in Christ," "in the Lord," "the God of peace." A crashed life comes from filling one's mind with thoughts that are embedded with lies, fear, selfishness, lust, pride or anger...
What thoughts are you allowing to enter your mind? Ask God to enable you to focus on truth through your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Secondly, be cautious of what you choose to dwell upon that is not directly from the Lord, it may be embedded with a virus that will wipe out the hard drive of your soul. Finally, remember this promise "…I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." May the God of peace be with you, always.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice! Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace which transcends all understanding shall guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things . Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. 
Philippians 4:4-9 (Amplified)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Heading north (and south)

It's been wonderful to spend some time on my family's farm.

Last night I had three childhood friends at my performance. Steve and I would speak in Russian accents and enact pro wrestling moves at our desks. On band trips Rodney and I would try to impress girls speaking in an accent of our own invention (Yankovician, inspired by Weird Al).

Rodney is now going to have a foreign accent in Haiti. He and his family (Michele, was Rod speaking Yancovician when you met?) have been raising support to be missionaries there. The earthquake has increased the urgency of preparation.

If you've been wanting to help Haiti in a significant way, pray about helping the Geislers get there. For more information click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Performing tonight in my home town

Phoenix, Oregon. Scroll down the blog to see how this was set up.

I've been cast as Claud

I've been cast as Claud in the upcoming film, A Christmas Snow. I hope you'll become a Facebook fan of the film and help build momentum for the film's release at the end of the year: Facebook.com/AChristmasSnow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Performing in Southern Oregon

I forget how excited I get to land at the Medford Airport. It's really one of the most beautiful landings in the world, but the most exciting thing is visiting family and all the fond memories of growing up around here.

At the airport I ran into one of my high school teachers, and then at dinner I ran into the parents of a friend in New York! They've moved here.

I'll be performing twice this week in Phoenix and Talent: RichDrama.com/Itinerary.

The Wednesday night performance was established because of another Divine Appointment: The pastor of the host church just happened to be lunching with the lead elder of the Beijing International Christian Fellowship in Angelo's Pizzeria at the same time I was having lunch there for the first time in years. I often had lunches there when I was in high school. He had hosted my performance at his church during the 2008 Olympics! The local pastor and I thought we should definitely follow that kind of a lead. You can read more about that encounter here: What Are the Chances?

If I told you about these performances in the past, be sure to notice that the performance time on Sunday, 1/24, has been changed to 7pm to accommodate a missionary from Austria. And the address of the first venue has changed. Well, the church hasn't moved, I just sent people to the pastors house earlier!

Here are the (real) details:

January 24, 7pm
Big Fish Little Worm (http://RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm)
Talent Bible Chapel
303 E Main Street
Talent, Oregon

January 27, 7pm
Big Fish Little Worm (http://RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm)
Central Neighborhood Church
4777 S. Pacific Highway
Phoenix, OR

At both performances I'll be talking about upcoming dramatic adventures in Vancouver during the Olympics (RichDrama.com/Olympics) and Cape Town, South Africa, during the Lausanne Congress (CapeTown2010.com).

Oregon

I just landed in my beautiful home state for performances and to teach a one-credit class at George Fox Seminary: www.RichDrama/Itinerary.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Compassion in Haiti

I represent Compassion when I perform, and they just sent me the following update on their work in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake...

Begin forwarded message:

Here's the latest info for you from Compassion's Crisis Management Team, who are doing a GREAT job keeping us connected to what's going on. Keep praying for clarity, wisdom and discernment as God uses them and our field staff to make critical decisions during this time.

So far, here is what's going on:

From the Field
  • Still only limited communication from the field.
  • Dan Woolley: Still in a hospital in Miami being treated for "non life threatening injuries." We expect Dan and Christy to be home this week.
  • David Hames: David is still missing. Compassion continues to communicate with the teams working at the hotel and with officials and hospitals in Haiti and DR.

Compassion Haiti Staff
  • ALL CI Haiti staff members in the PaP area are alive and accounted for! Praises!
  • Staff is working out of the Compassion office parking lot
  • They are awaiting EMI to assess building damage

Compassion ICPs
  • As many as 50 projects may have been seriously impacted
  • Estimated 15,000+ Compassion children directly impacted by quake
  • Contact made with 22 projects
  • No specific information on individual children
  • More projects were visited yesterday and we should have info soon

The Disaster Response Team will take the lead on compiling information coming in from the field on needs and on specific projects or children, communicating that to sponsors and donors and getting those needs met.

Price Points

$25 – helps provide clean water to a family for a week
$50 – helps feed a family with food such as rice, beans, canned meat and oil for a week
$100 – helps provide basic medical supplies for a church partner to treat up to 50 patients
$500 – helps provide critical life items like temporary shelter, blankets and clothing for 10 families
$1500 - helps to rebuild a home


You can sponsor a child or give through Compassion at http://RichDrama.com/Compassion.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Farewell, Smoky Mountains

This terrain was covered with snow when we landed on Monday, but there was smoke on the mountains (Psalm 104:32) as we met with the Lord and saught his vision for Lausanne (www.CapeTown2010.com).

Our host for dinner shared how he and his wife have long had a heart for Haiti. They discovered 40 groups with a similar heart in the Knoxville area, and they had, long ago, prepared a team to visit Haiti. They left for the airport earlier than we did this morning with plans adjusted from what they were months ago. They're connected to a couple dozen churches there, and they reported that a care facility run by one of those churches is overrun with over 1500 people fleeing Port-au-Prince in fear of more aftershocks.

In the evening I performed part of Big Fish Little Worm (www.RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm) and Hyatt Moore shared his amazing art, his story and his heart. He's best known for The Last Supper for Twelve Tribes (www.HyattMoore.com). He went from art director for a surf magazine to short term missionary to head of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Then one day he was stopped at a light and saw a painting. He thought to himself, "I can do that." Now it's his full-time profession.

Thank you to all that were praying for us as we met. Much was accomplished on many levels.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Enacted prayer for Haiti


We had a great planning session today in the Smoky Mountains for Lausanne in Cape Town this October. Thank you to those who were lifting us up.

In the arts group we focused on the breakout sessions that are going to be taking place in the afternoons in Cape Town. There are three areas, which will hold from 500 to 1500 each. There will be 21 different breakout sessions people will be able to choose throughout the week. They are all asked to incorporate the arts in some way. We're all feeling a bit overwhelmed.

At dinner we were devastated by news of the earthquake in Haiti. After performing an excerpt from Beyond the Chariots and explaining bibliodrama I led an enacted prayer for the effected Haitians. A woman from South Africa played an injured Haitian, and a man from Egypt played a Christian rescue worker. At a certain point he requested help from the audience, and a gentleman from LA stepped in to help. In the end, the Haitian was brought back to health and God enveloped her and the rescue workers in a hug.

Lift us up for Wednesday's session as we'll discuss incorporating arts in the daytime plenary sessions.

Over dinner, I sat with a gentleman who was a part of the first Congress (this will be the third). He said before it took place in 1974 Evangelicals weren't involved in social action, and there was little unity among Christian organizations. He's seen that change directly happen through Lausanne as it forced leaders of denominations and organizations to work together to achieve unity for the Congress. It's exciting to see that happen now, in preparation for Cape Town.

Several of us (including myself) are struggling with sore throats. The point person for the Opening and Closing sessions (which are going to be amazing), has laryngitis. The fellow running the evening plenary sessions (which are going to be amazing in a different way as they will express stories and issues from various world areas) is getting over shingles. We're a part of such significant work, we're not surprised to have opposition. We appreciate you holding up our arms from afar.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Planning in balmy Knoxville, TN


I'm meeting with people from around the world in Knoxville to plan the Lausanne Congress in South Africa over the next two days. Pray for us to catch the Lord's vision for evangelizing the world. I've been blown away by the vision and passion of the team, which includes Paul Eshleman, head of Campus Crusade for Christ and the Jesus Film outreach, which has tripled the size of our denomination (Church of the Nazarene) in about a dozen years. During a time of open prayer, I was just about to pray that the upcoming Congress be the next Pentecost, since 4,500 delegates are gathering from 200 nations, when a gentleman prayed that The Holy Spirit would send tongues of fire to ignite us. Lift us up as we seek the Lord's vision.

Racing through the Charlotte Airport

We raced to our gate in Charlotte only to wait.

We're heading to Knoxville where we'll be planning the Lausanne Congress for Cape Town in October: http://CapeTown2010.com.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Zion Workshop

I'm excited about an upcoming workshop I'll be offering near Winona Lake, Indiana, home of the MasterWorks Festival, where I direct the theatre program. I'll be doing sessions on enacted prayer, The Physical Actor, and through Sociodrama we'll create a sketch which may be used at the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa.

You can click the form below to download a pdf of the flyer/registration form with dates, times and more information.


You can also send people to RichDrama.com/ZionWorkshop.

Happy Epiphany!

Hope your celebration of the Three Kings is going well.

If you missed our Christmas eCard here it is...

Thank you so much for your prayers for us throughout the year! Despite the economy this year has been rich and full.

Joyce finished her second masters, this one in counseling. We were thrilled to discover that she placed second on one of her national exams!

She was the lead counselor again for the MasterWorks Festival, where Rich directs the theatre program.

If you missed Rich's report from last year's festival be sure to check it out: The Amazing Month of MasterWorks.

Joyce is now developing a counseling clientele, so if you know of anyone in the New York City area who could use counseling, send them to JoyceSwingle.com.

Rich performed, directed or taught almost 200 times in a dozen states, but the highlight was our trip Down Under. Rich was invited to perform The Revelation for the 20th anniversary celebration of The Salvation Army's Sydney Staff Songsters, a group that has performed all over the world. The Australian magazine, Creative Ministry reported the event on page 9 of their October issue.

And here's an excerpt from the performance, filmed by audience member Gay Wilson...


Venues were added to the itinerary in Newcastle, Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand. Our blog postings are in the August and September archives.

Rich has been invited to perform Beyond the Chariots in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics through More than Gold. During the 2008 Olympics Rich got to perform in Beijing alongside world-record-breaking Olympic champion Madeline Manning Mims, who coined the phrase "More than Gold." All performing artists, including professionals like Rich, are asked to raise their own support for this endeavor which will reach people coming from all over the world. Beyond the Chariots has been translated into Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and Korean, so this play about a man who set aside Olympic glory to serve the Chinese people will be well placed. If you would like to give toward this opportunity visit RichDrama.com/Olympics.

Rich was also asked to be on the board of Christians in Theatre Arts and the planning committee for Media and the Arts of The Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2010. He was able to connect their visions around CITA's annual sketch writing competition, so that scripts submitted to CITA will be considered for performance at Lausanne. Click here for more info.

We wish you and yours a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year, and we appreciate your prayers for us in 2010.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

George Herbert at the Kennedy Center

A friend of ours is going to have some George Herbert poems performed at her wedding. I mentioned to her that I had performed some of his poems at the Kennedy Center, and she asked to know which ones. I'm posting them here:

FIVE POEMS OF GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1633)

1. REDEMPTION

Having been tenant long to a rich Lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented leave, and cancel the old.

In heaven at his manor I him sought:
They told me there, that he was lately gone
About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possession.

I straight returned, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts;
In cities, theatres, gardens, parks, and courts:
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
Of thieves and murderers: there I him espied,
Who straight, "Your suit is granted," said, and died.


2. LOVE

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I Lacked anything.

"A guest," I answered, "worthy to be here."
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I the unkind, the ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on Thee."
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marred them. Let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.


3. THE PULLEY

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honor, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts in stead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.



4. MATTENS

I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or star, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things, or all of them in one?

My God, what is a heart?
That thou shouldst it so eye, and woe,
Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?

Indeed man's whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heaven and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sun-beam I will climb to thee.



5. PEACE

"Sweet peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
Let me know once."
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And asked if Peace were there.
A hollow wind did seem to answer, "No,
Go seek elsewhere."

I did, and going did a rainbow note:
"Surely," thought I,
"This is the lace of Peace's coat.
I will search out the matter."
But while I looked, the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy
A gallant flower,
The Crown Imperial. "Sure," said I,
"Peace at the root must dwell."
But when I digged, I saw a worm devour
What showed so well.

At length I met a rev'rend good old man,
Whom when for Peace
I did demand, he thus began:
"There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase
Of flock and fold.

"He sweetly lived: yet sweetness did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of his grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat:
Which many wond'ring at, got some of those
To plant and set.

"It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth:
For they that taste it do rehearse,
That virtue lies therein,
A secret virtue bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sin.

"Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you;
Make bread of it: and that repose
And peace, where everywhere
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
Is only there.

Write a sketch for the world!

I'm on the Media and Arts planning committee for the Lausanne Congress for Worldwide Evangelization, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, this October. I'm also on the board of Christians in Theatre Arts, and they've agreed to use our Sketch Writing Competition as a way for us to consider material to be incorporated into the Congress. So some may be performed in Cape Town for 4,500 delegates from 200 nations: CITA.org. The deadline is February 5, so get writing!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Midnight Clear

We just watched Midnight Clear, which was cast by MasterWorks faculty member Bev Holloway. What a phenomenal way to start the New Year! It's quite well done!

If you have a Netflix account you can watch it instantly.

Happy New Year!

If you missed our Christmas eCard, visit RichDrama.com/MerryChristmas.

My Treo has the ability to stitch together up to three photos. In this case, it took three different light readings, for an interesting effect, I think.

The pole on the tower behind us is where the ball dropped last night.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happily Single Before Happily Married

Our friend we worked with in Singapore on the musical Judah Ben Hur, Diane Wigstone, just came out with a new book...