Widgets The Swingles' Dramatic Developments: February 2006

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hong Kong's show

Most Broadway shows start at 8pm. Every night at curtains up Hong Kong puts on a show, but it's for everyone with a view of the city. Many of the buildings are linked into a coordinated light show. It's quite an elaborate spectacle.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Yesterday we had a memorial service for a dear friend, Jim Warren, Sr. This morning in church our friend, Kenny, told us that he wanted to cut his hair to commemorate Jim's 20 year military career in which he served in three wars. Kenny couldn't decide which military cut was right, so he went with Native American military.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Great Grandson of Hudson Taylor

Dr. Jim Hudson Taylor, III, a great-grandson of the "Father of Modern Missions," was able to see Beyond the Chariots here in Hong Kong. He was a boy in the Japanese concentration camp, where Eric spent his last years. Dr. Taylor gave me some details that helped finesse the script, and he said, "Great performance--authentic, moving, thought provoking!"

A student of "Uncle" Eric

Joyce and I had the honor of meeting HK Cheng. He was a student of Eric Liddell's at the Tientsin Anglo-Chinese College, featured in my play Beyond the Chariots.

Mr. Cheng runs his own engineering firm in Hong Kong, so I asked him to reflect on the gold medalist/science teacher's greatest contribution to his life. Mr. Cheng didn't hesitate: "Christianity!"

Monday, February 20, 2006

Laughter from the 27th Floor

I was about to perform Beyond the Chariots for the Mandarin Bible Church, which meets on the 27th floor of a building on Hong Kong Island.

As I was admiring the view I discovered that the great-grandson of Hudson Taylor attends the church. Hudson Taylor is considered the Father of Modern Missions, and Jim Hudson Taylor, III, was a boy in the concentration camp where Eric Liddell was interned. Because the last part of my play takes place in that concentration camp I very much wanted him to attend, but the church secretary told me it's rare for him to be there since he's usually off speaking somewhere.

Blog Emailing discontinued until further notice

I'm SO sorry to have spammed you again! I've closed down email updates until I'm certain I've figured out what's wrong. Please do watch the blog ( some INCREDIBLE things are happening over here in Hong Kong. You may choose to sign up for updates with a site feed reader. Click here to do that.

Now I have to run to a meeting with a gentleman who was a student of Eric Liddell's.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Walking on floodlight

We're looking through the floor of the Macau Tower.

Pray for Macau. That was the hardest day of the trip though it was our only full day of leisure. On Monday we found out that it's dubbed the Missionary Graveyard. There are more prostitutes than Christians and 40% of all workers are employed by the island nation's 40 casinos.

Now you can pray specifically when Macau comes up at

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Flying across the water

We're speeding by jetfoil (the commuter ferry) to Macau.

Beyond the Chariots was received well in Hong Kong, praise the Lord! The students of the International Christian School helped correct some minor inaccuracies. I was pleased to be their student after teaching three of their drama classes.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's almost noon...

We were supposed to fly direct from LA to Hong Kong, but winds over the Polar Ice Cap this time of year often prohibit flights that long.

I had stops here each way when I ran a cross-country race in Canton, China, as a high schooler.

On that trip we got a tour of the Olympic pavilion, just as they were gearing up to host the world.

My strongest memory was trying on Levi jeans behind a curtain in an open-air market on their coldest day on record since the'70's. When I was warm enough to really look at them I realized they were Levee Strong & Co. jeans. Instead of two oxen stretching a pair of pants its brand was two cowboys in a rodeo. Yeehaw. I thought that was a good price for Levi's.

Note: I couldn't get signal in Korea. I just touched down in Hong Kong.

That was Thursday morning. I've been trying to post to no avail. If this gets through now it's because my service works better in Macau. We're speeding there by jetfoil right now.

Nope. Didn't work in Macau. Back in Hong Kong en route to teach my last workshop on this trip.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Compassion Quadruple Sponsorship

That's the moon setting over my family's farm in Phoenix, Oregon. I left early for my double performances at Trail Christian Fellowship.

Back in Chattanooga the sun rose on an exciting new program.

Compassion ( has agreed to cover tickets to our Off-Broadway run ( for some youth in an inner-city after school program (

For every Compassion child sponsored at one of my performances or through, Compassion will cover three tickets for Abundant Waters kids and their guardians.

If you've been thinking about sponsoring a child now's a great time to take action. Between now and April 23 sponsorship will impact four young lives. You can choose a child now. Go to

Please leave a comment on this blog ( post so I know how many tickets to set aside.

I used to have time to teach drama and sociodrama ( to the youth of Abundant Waters. I would send post cards from places I'd perform to my office in a Broadway theatre and address them to "A deserving student at Abundant Waters." Then I'd hand them out as rewards for good behavior. I could tell many of them had never received a post card in their life.

This partnership with Compassion allows teachers to give out Off-Broadway tickets for good behavior. Roger and I want our plays and the lives of Eric Liddell and John Wesley to inspire these young people to greatness.

Sponsor a child now:

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A most fortuitous step

I just got to perform The Acts for the Salvation Army's Candidates Seminar. What a priviledge to bring the story of God's power to these future officers (pastors).

I performed Big Fish Little Worm at this gathering three years ago, shortly after attending a Compassion artists' retreat at Michael W. Smith's ranch. While I was at the retreat I first met Jimmy Sites. Then, at the Salvation Army event of '03, I saw Jimmy's card on the step which is in the picture. I picked it up, thinking I'd dropped it, but when I returned to my office, there it was on my desk.

Last year in Honduras I ran into Jimmy again at another Compassion artists' retreat. I told him about the double card and that it was a clue to me that God might have something for us to do together. I mentioned MasterWorks to him, and he was sold on the idea of training young artists from a Christian perspective. He'll be one of our master class instructors this June!

Then, one morning he called me en route to record his radio show. He said he'd be interviewing John Kirby, the acting coach for Jim Caviezel and Narnia (among a host of others). Jimmy wanted to know if I'd like to also have John as a master class instructor at MasterWorks. John saw the vision, and he's in as well!

More on John when I get back from my trip around the world.

I'm on the runway now, and I didn't bring his bio, so I won't be able to type it in until I return from this Northern Hemisphere triangulation: NYC-Chattanooga-Medford, OR (my home town)-Hong Kong-NYC.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Eric Liddell's daughter to attend!

I just got off the phone with Eric Liddell's middle daughter, Heather. She's coming to NYC to see my play about her father on closing night, April 23. If you haven't ordered your tickets yet, you may want to get them for that night: Order Now.

Here are some other performances to consider:

Beyond the Chariots
Wednesday, April 19, at 8pm or Saturday, April 22, at 2pm


The Man from Aldersgate
Wednesday, April 19, at 2pm or Saturday, April 22, at 8pm

Those are the performances for which the Salvation Army will be recording our shows, and we'd love some friendly folks there.* When they're ready, I'll make them available through this blog.

I've already appologized to some of you for sending over 50 versions of the same email a bit over a week ago! I posted to the blog and left the office. By the time I got home all our inboxes were flooded. It seems to have been a fluke, but rest assurred from here on out I'll be monitoring my own inbox before leaving an internet connection. I'm glad you've chosen to stay subscribed! I appreciate your prayers and support more than I can ever express.

As a thank you I'd like to offer a free ticket to Beyond the Chariots Off-Broadway to the first person to post a comment below the other picture of this moose I posted to this blog. Leave your name, date and time of the performance you'd like to see, and your ticket will be waiting for you.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MasterWorks instructor visit to the Waodoni with Steve Saint

Jimmy Sites, one of our master class instructors this summer at MasterWorks, was able to meet the subjects of End of the Spear (#8 at the box office for it's opening weekend) in Ecuador. The office of his television program shared this note:

Greetings from the Spiritual Outdoor Adventures office. We thought you might be interested in an article from today's newspaper about the Sites' family trip to the Amazon Jungle with Steve Saint and the Waodoni Indians. If so, click on the following link and you can locate the article.

The SOA Staff