Amazon.com Widgets The Swingles' Dramatic Developments: August 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We LOVED Sydney!


We were blown away by Sydney's aquarium, saw 130 Aussie species at an animal park, looked down on Sydney from The Tower, and watched The Mikado at the Sydney Opera House.

But the real highlights were performing The Revelation with the Sydney Staff Songsters on their 20th anniversary celebration in downtown Sydney, performing Lazarus and a bibliodrama with them at a local corps (Salvation Army church), and performing Sheepish: the story of Gideon, at a Salvation Army rehab center, The William Booth House. The residents, and Songsters, brought some very touching requests to us for enacted prayer. After we prayed for the end of human trafficking and snuff films (people are paying to watch people killed) a police siren went blazing past, and one of the residents yelled out, "God's answering our prayer!!!"

The Songsters are such a high caliber choir, which performs all over the world. They're getting ready to tour Hong Kong. They gave their all at Congress Hall in downtown Sydney, at the Rockdale Corps, and at the William Booth House. They are a shining example of excellence. When they finished the main section of the program (many residents came back for more enacted prayer) with "We Are Not Alone" most of us had tears streaming down our faces. What a privilege it was to partner in ministry with such amazing group of people on and off the stage. We will forever be grateful for Graeme and Neryl Press for forging this group into such a mighty Weapon in God's arsenal, and for bringing us out to partner with them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chasing the sun

We had a bit of a delay (though no worries about a connection since this flight goes all the way to Sydney), so we took off at sunset. This shot was taken about two hours into our leg to LA.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seats together!

Because Joyce is flying to Oz on frequent flyer miles we weren't able to choose seats together before getting to JFK. Prayers were answered, and we're together all 20 hours to Sydney!

Now we're praying for seats together on 5 more legs, none of which offered a choice of seats for either of us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The future of the Army

Those at the alter have come foreward to express an answer to a call to leadership in the Salvation Army. The Divisional Youth Secretary, Captain Chip Johnson, said if you can steam up a mirror in the morning God can use you. I was blown away by all the potential!

Success has many fathers

Commissioner James Osborn addressed four soldiers (members of The Salvation Army), who are about to enter their School for Officer Training. The Commissioner pointed out how many in the Division had encouraged them to take this step saying, "Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan."

NEOSA Family Camp

I landed in PA, had lunch in WV, and performed in OH, all within 8 hours.

I performed The Acts, Sheepish: the Story of Gideon, and taught Enacted Prayer at Camp NEOSA for the Salvation Army's family camp.

As a bonus I was able to reconnect with several TAM alum (scroll down to see more about TAM).

Clawing our way home

I'll only be in NYC for a bit over 24 hours before we're in the air once again, this tim bound for Australia and New Zealand!

We'll take off from JFK Monday at 07:10 PM and will arrive 22 hours, 15 minutes later (20 hours, 35 minutes of flying), which is 07:25 AM on Wednesday, their time.

By the way, that's not a PhotoShop effect. My Treo's camera stops the prop in midair.

Follow our adventures here or get updates on your FaceBook main page by signing up at www.FaceBook.com/RichDrama.

Coming back will be worse. It will only be 17 hours, 15 minutes of flying, but we'll have a 9 hour, 15 minute layover in LAX, making it 26.5 hours, tarmac to tarmac.

The Halo Affect

We got to connect with MasterWorks alum, Bobby Nicholson, the other night. He was passing through NYC after returning from a tour of Europe with the Halo Ensemble (HaloEnsemble.org), a group made up of MasterWorks alum and faculty. They performed at a European version of MasterWorks in Hungary as well as in Finland.

Bobby told us that many expressed how blessed they were through their music At a coffee house in Helsinki two women said the music moved them in a way they had never experienced before. It gave them opportunity to share the Source of their inspiration.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Commissioned

The closing sermon at TAM was preached by Commissioner Moretz, who oversees the Eastern Territory of the Salvation Army.

He preached from Collossians 3, and sent them out challenging them to:
*Remember your identity (Col 3:1)
*Renew your thoughts (Col 3:2)
*Recognize your old life is dead (Col 3:3-7)

Move from the shadows to the substance.
*Release past habits (Col 3:8-11)
*Replace them with new ones (Col 3:12-14)

Identity

Lois Garcia preached on Jesus' struggle in the Garden of Gethsemene.

She said that, as performers, we need to place our identity in who we are, not what we do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1 of 3 performances in Melbourne

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Unmasked

Here's my team! Out of the 80 performers in Unmasked I got to direct these students for two scenes.

We're done

Jolene Cox and her mask are as wiped out... and as exillerated as the rest of us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tetelestai

Major Kevin Stoops preached on Jesus' last word on the cross, "Tetelestai," whis is translated, "It is finished."

It's what merchants would stamp on a receipt if something had been paid in full.

Kevin pointed out that, in Jesus' time, a carpenter's last step of preparation was to wipe the sawdust off. Then, he would fold up his cloth and rest it on the work of his hand to show that it was finished, and the one who had commissioned it could pick it up.

When the disciples ran to Jesus' tomb, all they found was the grave clothes neatly folded and lying where his head had been.

Through his word and action Jesus was saying, it was finished.

He accomplished what He came to do: to make a way for sinful people to be acceptable to a Holy God

So, though we wear our masks, and hide our worst from others. Our the Lord sees the good, the bad and the ugly, and He loves us just the same, because, for those who have received this amazing gift, He paid it all. Telestai.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tech Rehearsal

We're in our tech rehearsal for tomorrow night. It's such a unique production! We're praying for it to have a powerful impact.

Unmasked
Friday, August 14th, 5:30 & 8pm
Salvation Army Montclair Citadel Corps
13 Trinity Place
Montclair, NJ

No charge.

Hope you can join us!
Rich

We're here!

We've arrived at our venue, a brand new corps (Salvation Army term for a church). One more day!

Preview of Oz

A couple of us are sneaking off campus for dinner with the Stokers. Chris was on the TAM faculty for a number of years, and he has a really cool salt water fish tank. We won't end up having time while performing in Australia to get to the Great Barrier Reef, so it was cool to see Nemo and friends in a small community. And the Stokers make amazing fajitas!

Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Come and See!

It's coming together

Tomorrow we move to the venue.

Don't miss Unmasked

The students are performing their scenes from Unmasked. If you are in the area you really shouldn't miss it!

Details posted on August 4.

Un-masked

Steve Ditmer, one of the faculty here at TAM, read how Peter denied Christ, and then the rooster crowed, and his mask came off. He read how Jesus told Judas to go and do what he planned, and his mask came off.

Then he pulled up images of an article which reported how a drug ring was taken down near Albany 30 years ago. Then he blew up one of the paragraphs to show that he, at 22, was one of those arrested. His mask came off and everyone at his corps (Salvation Army's term for church) knew that he was only putting on a show on Sundays. In handcuffs he prayed, "God, if this is all I can do with my life, I want You to take it. Now he's a respected officer (Salvation Army's term for pastor), based at their Territorial Headquarters.

I'm praying his example will ignite a Fire in the students at tonight's improvised worship and enacted prayer.

Fish Eyes

Jonathan Shaffstall and Ian Evans just performed a two-person play about the life of Christ, called Fish Eyes by Ted & Lee. Jonathan was a student of mine at TAM in 2001, and Ian is a current instructor. It was hilarious, poignant and is available at a church near you!

You can book them at www.theTAMjam.com .

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Self consciousness

Carole Jeanne Bate gave her testimony this morning. She said she pulled away from the arts for a long season because she was so self conscious. Then one day someone told her self consciousness wasn't part of the curse, it was the curse. As she has grown in her relationship with the Lord she has unapologetically returned to the arts, sharing confidently who God created her to be.

I got my mask

Instructors get to perform, too!

Do you feed your spiritual self?

Lincoln Hawk is one of the leaders of a prayer walk we're doing this morning.

He asked us all if we spend 30 minutes a day prepping our physical bodies by taking care of our appearance or eating. Then he asked if we spend that much time developing our spiritual selves. He challenged us to develop spiritual disciplines so we can be spiritually strong.

Doug Berky

Our featured guest artist this week (www.RichDrama.com/NewsBlog 8/8/09) is Doug Berky, who was a master class instructor at MasterWorks (www.MasterWorksFestival.org) last year. Last night he shared his testimony. He came to the Lord while he was studying at the Del Arte School of Physical Theatre. He was so impacted by Jesus that, like me, he thought he should be a pastor, until he discovered that God wanted him to express His Truths through the talents God had given him.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

CAST

The Creative Arts Service Team, which I got to work wih just before MasterWorks, performed a powerful choreodrama they developed with Becky Phillips, who's been an instructor at TAM longer than my six years.

08/08/09

One year after the Beijing Olympics began, we're in the opening ceremony of TAM Conservatory ( http://theTAMjam.com ).

Carol Jaudes (CATS on Broadway) has directed this program for nine years. Check out my post on August 4 to see how cool it's going to be this year!

It was jus announced that we'll have 80 masks on stage for the entire performance.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Unmasked

Next week I'll be teaching and performing at this...

...if you're in the area, I hope you can join us.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Living Water


This fountain is created on what used to be a prayer labyrinth two blocks from our apartment. I've been blessed by a number of labyrinths around the world. As you journey to the center you focus on drawing closer to God. On the way out, you pray that you will more effectively take the presence of God to the world.

We were eating dinner next to the fountain tonight, and we decided to make it an enacted prayer: That as people splash in its waters, the Spirit of Christ, honored in the former labyrinth, would wash over them, making them long for Living Water.