Widgets The Swingles' Dramatic Developments: March 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

The radio interview went well

The links below may not still connect you to the described program.

The interview went well, and you can listen to it by clicking here. For Charlie's whole hour, which includes a guy who called in and talked about the Off-Broadway run, click here.

I'm going to be interviewed tomorrow (Saturday, April 1) on WMCA 970AM. Charlie Rizzo's show Let it Grow will begin at noon EST and he's asked me to call in at 12:20. We're going to talk about our Off-Broadway run. If you're not in the area you can listen online: Click here. On the bottom right click on WMCA 970 Stream.

Also, yesterday started our radio ad campaign on WAWZ. If you happen to hear a spot we'd be grateful if you'd post a message below and let us know the day and time.


iTunes' first (that I've noticed) Christian freebee!

Every Tuesday iTunes puts up at least one free song. This week if you scroll to the bottom of their main page, on the left side, under Free Downloads there's a song called "Grace," and it's excellent: "I need a voice that's louder than mine...I pray for mercy only Jesus gives." Encourage iTunes to give away more of them by clicking below...

iTunes Logo 88x31-2

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In Christ alone

Roger Nelson sent me a note which reminded me of how I first started signing things "In Christ alone, Rich."

My earliest memories of signing that way were from my first year out of seminary. I was assistant to the youth superintendent for the Friends Church's Northwest Yearly Meeting (a Quaker district). If memory serves, someone had (for the umpteenth time) said, upon hearing my first name, "Oh, can I borrow some money?" Thinking (for the umpteenth time) how ironic it was to be living just above (maybe it was just below) the poverty line and to be called "Rich" it dawned on me that I am Christ alone.

In Christ alone,

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A wee Eric Liddell wannabe

I just got done rehearsing Beyond the Chariots for my performance tomorrow at The Revolution School of Worship and Technology in St. Louis (on the campus of Destiny Church). It was a bit of a dress rehearsal since some people who won't be here tomorrow watched. One of them was Judah Davis, pictured here (son of Mike and Amanda, teachers at the school). When I was done Judah walked right up onto the stage and ran in place as he'd seen me do. We tried to capture an image of it but when a camera comes out he knows he's supposed to sit down and be still. You'll just have to imagine: da dum da dee da da...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bulletin Inserts and PowerPoint

Help us get the word out about our Off-Broadway run!

We now have a bulletin insert and PowerPoint show you can download at

If you can use high quality posters and post cards, send an email to

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Weeping inconsolably

In Beyond the Chariots Eric Liddell's life-long friend, AP Cullen (Uncle Rooper), mentions a "seven-year old chap who was weeping inconsolably." The boy was crying as eight-year old Eric protected him from a hazing by some teens. Today I'm weeping inconsolably because the Lord stood up for me just now.

I've had bronchitis for a dozen days, and this morning I woke up without much of a voice. The plan was to perform an excerpt from Beyond the Chariots today for about 250 pastors and church leaders here in Denville, NJ. I decided to show an interview with Liddell's former student, HK Cheng (soon to be posted at, but I got several people praying for me, and my voice was miraculously restored! Keep praying, I'm not out of the woods, but in that moment I really felt the Holy Spirit carrying me. I'm still inconsolable thinking about it.

Then, the Lord gave us another miracle! After my performance the speaker, Dr. Larry McKain of New Church Specialties, leapt to his feet and said, "I've seen Roger Nelson's play about John Wesley, and I think everyone should attend!" The Nazarene leaders (Nazarenes came from Methodists who came from Wesley) have grown to love Larry all through the day. I know his words carried great weight.

If you're online now pray that many will grab our postcards and posters when it lets out at 3pm EST. Pray they bring large groups to FireOffBroadway!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Opening at Gateway Cathedral

I just got off the phone with Tim Mercaldo, one of the pastors at Gateway Cathedral. He watches Chariots Of Fire every year and Eric Liddell is a huge hero of his! He invited me to perform an excerpt at two of their services on March 26.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Press Release

Dual “Gold” Comes to Off-Broadway Theatre 315
April 17-23

What do a 20th Century Olympic “Gold Medalist” and the 18th Century “Golden Boy” of Methodism have in common? They are both the subjects of off-Broadway, one-man plays appearing at Theatre 315 (315 West 47th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in New York City) from April 17 through April 23.

Critically acclaimed actor Rich Swingle’s new play, “Beyond the Chariots,” takes up where the Oscar-winning (Best Picture, 1981) movie, Chariots of Fire, leaves off. In dramatic style, he chronicles the incredible adventures of 1924 Olympic Gold medal runner Eric Liddell in war-torn China. Swingle recently performed the play in Hong Kong, where Dr. James Hudson Taylor, III, saw it. As a boy Taylor was with Liddell in the Japanese concentration camp featured in the play. Taylor called the performance, "authentic, moving, thought provoking!"

On alternate performances, you can enjoy the wit and wisdom of pioneer John Wesley as he rides on horseback 250,000 miles across the 18th Century British Isles. In “The Man from Aldersgate,” award-winning actor Roger Nelson recreates the life of the founder of the Methodist Church—as only Nelson can in 1,300 performances, in 32 countries, and all 50 States!

And to make sure these glittering performances really do shine, Broadway lighting designer David Lander (Dirty Blonde and Golden Child) will be working his magic.

Beyond the Chariots will appear on April 18 at 7:00 pm, April 19 at 8:00 pm, April 21 at 8:00 pm, April 22 at 2:00 pm, and April 23 at 7:00 pm.

The Man from Aldersgate will appear on April 17 at 8:00 pm, April 19 at 2:00 pm, April 20 at 8:00 pm, April 21 at 2:00 pm, and April 22 at 8:00 pm.

For more information on these productions or to order advance tickets, visit Order by March 17 and save 20%. Seniors and students save 25%. Group discounts are available also.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

True Sportsmanship

Eric Liddell's youngest daughter, Maureen, sent me the following:

Here is a story my Father would have loved and I thought you might too: True Sportsmanship.

In the research and interviews I've done with people that knew Eric Liddell, I've found that he was the kind of man this story is about.

In Christ alone,

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Five years of attendance

While getting ready to perform Beyond the Chariots a while back Kathy (pictured in the white hat) gave a big wave. After the performance she told me that she and several friends (some of whom are pictured here) had come to Rock Hill Church of the Nazarene just to see my last performance there (The Revelation). They've been attending the church ever since.

Kathy Smith - white hat
Phyllis Givens - white coat
Ijoema Odema - next to Phyllis (her daughter)

Monday, March 06, 2006

A century ahead of Lincoln

I just performed A Clear Leading here in Washington, DC. The play is about John Woolman, a Quaker, who spoke against slavery 100 years before Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

There was an African-American gentleman in the audience, and after the play I told him how uncomfortable I always feel when portraying the racist characters in the play. He told me about an interview he once saw with a man who beat a slave in the mini-series Roots. The actor said it was the hardest thing he'd ever done, and when the scene was over he ran to his trailer and sobbed.

There were several in the audience yesterday that wept.

I'm glad for a play that makes people cry.

It's my prayer that through our tears we can see clearly to overcome our past and have a future of reconcilliation.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

John Kirby offered to stay a second day

I just got off the phone with John Kirby, acting coach for Jim Caviezel and Narnia. He offered to stay a second day, practically doubling the benefit to MasterWorks students this summer.

Sign up while there's still room:

Please forward this to friends.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Some snow

I missed New York City's deepest snow storm on record as I was performing and teaching in TN, OR & HK. So it's actually nice to have a bit of the white stuff here in Rochester.