The Swingles' Dramatic Developments
We perform, teach and speak around the world. This is a travelblog plus reviews and observations, living in New York City. To follow this blog, click the "Follow" link above. You can also receive updates quarterly or whenever the blog is updated. To subscribe go to:
Thursday, May 31, 2007
DC at sunrise
Friday, May 25, 2007
Front Page today
Thursday, May 24, 2007
A Walking Miracle
I was in Singapore in October of 2001 to perform in the musical Judah Ben Hur. Before I met Art Sanborn I was told that I would never guess that he was a quadraplegic and had no feeling in much of his body. I thought, "Yeah, right!" It was well into my conversation with him at a dinner thrown for newly arrived cast members that his name came up and it dawned on me that the guy standing before me, munching from his plate of hors d'oeuvres, was the quadraplegic, Art Sanborn! He'd been injured to the same severity as Christopher Reeve, but his strength, coordination and feeling were miraculously returning.
Today he's running 12-minute miles and continues to have feeling return. He's just come out with a book about the experience: A Walking Miracle.
Thousands of names memorized
In his book The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell claims that humans are only capable of remembering 150 names and relationships at any given time. Traveling and meeting as many people as I do I know this number can be expanded. Rich Liedtke (father of my good freind Fritz blows my list out of the water! He was recently featured on NPR because he knows the name of a majority of more than 3,000 people that attend his church: Vancouver Man's Persoanal Touch Encourages New Members.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Wheels in Poland
I have been involved with an organization called Joni and Friends. This organization was founded in 1978 by a young woman who sustained a spinal cord injury in a diving accident. This group ministers to people with disabilities both in the United States and abroad. One part of the work that they do is to deliver used and refurbished wheelchairs and other equipment such as walkers and canes to parts of the world where these items are difficult to obtain, if not impossible, without outside help.
I have been on three separate trips to Cuba and one trip to Peru as a seating specialist. It has been my responsibility to help each person to receive the wheelchair that they need. Many people come to us with difficult circumstances, crawling or being carried. Some have very little opportunity to leave their home or their bed because they have no means of getting out. One young mother described to me that she went to school with her child every day and held him on her lap so that he could learn. One man, in his 50's scooted in on his bottom. There are so many stories. Often family members, and the recipients cry tears of joy when they receive their gift of a wheelchair. In addition to the gift of a wheelchair, each person is cared for by team members from their country. They are offered the gift of a Bible and spiritual care and support. People and their families are touched by the gospel, and there are many who receive salvation.
I am currently planning a trip to Poland for June 8-21st, 2007. I am going with a small team of seating specialists, mechanics, and support persons to do deliveries of 400 wheelchairs in 8 different cities. Poland is a country with a struggling economy, and a health system that experiences many shortages in supply and personnel. I would be extremely grateful if you would pray for this trip- that God's will would be done, for spiritual, emotional and physical protection for the group, and most of all for the recipients- that they would come to know the love of Christ and be fit especially well for their new wheelchair. If you are interested in contributing to the cost of this trip (It will be around $3,000) you can make a check out to: Joni & Friends (put my name and Poland 2007 on the memo line).
Thursday, May 17, 2007
100 on our 100th
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
From the Prairie Schooner in Texas to a City Flat in New York
Friday night I'll portray CB Jernigan for the District Assembly of the Metro New York Church of the Nazarene. We're celebrating our centenial, and Jernigan was the District's superintendant in the 1920s. He, like I, moved from the country to the biggest city in the US. Most of the words of Jernigan's speech on Friday is taken directly from his book From the Prairie Schooner in Texas to a City Flat in New York. I stumbled upon the text of the book online. Click here.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Another Chariots of Fire moment
Sunday, May 13, 2007
If we lived in Portland...
Gorgeous on the Gorge
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Eric Liddell runs in Edinburgh again!
We're bringing Beyond the Chariots to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest arts fest in the world. We secured a venue on the Edinburgh University campus, where Eric Liddell studied.
If you've always wanted to get to Scotland, mark your calendar for dates between August 13 and 27. Tickets go on sale June 11.
There is the potential to share the inspiring story with people from all over the world.
There are producers looking to pick up shows, and we're hoping for some to catch the vision for taking the play to the Beijing Olympics.
We're investing about $US6,000. We're going as an outreach of our church, so if your interested making a donation, make checks payable to Westchester Chapel. In the memo line write Emmaus Arts--Fringe. Send to:
214 Central Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
Rich & Joyce
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Nothing Short of Amazing
Last year the MasterWorks theatre program was blessed to have John Kirby as one of our master class instructors. He has 30 years of experience in Hollywood running his own acting studio and working on 17 feature films including Narnia, Deja Vu and The Count of Monte Cristo. He's launched the careers of Cameron Diaz, Jim Caviezel and many others. For all this and much more, he's considered one of the best acting coaches in Hollywood.
Despite his weighty credentials, John made every effort to encourage students in and out of his master classes. His great wisdom is delivered with great care. I was thrilled to see that he enjoyed his time with us so much that he flew himself and his assistant Nathan Nesbitt back from LA to see our final performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I figured if he saw our vision that clearly he might be open to returning, as indeed he will be.
Patricia Mauceri of One Life to Live, will put her Julliard training to work directing us in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. When I was a college student our school's production of the play impacted me so strongly that I wrote a play directly influenced by Miller's brilliant work. The themes of justice, morality and guilt are quite powerfully penned, and it's my prayer that many will come away inspired as I was at my first encounter with it.
Ken Wales is returning to teach some master classes. He was the producer of Christy and a dozen films. Most recently he produced Amazing Grace, the powerful story of how William Wilberforce spearheaded the abolition of the British slave trade. Ken will teach a couple of master classes and is looking forward to spending time with individuals talking about their dreams. It's no wonder he enjoys giving back: Walt Disney himself did the favor for him when he was a budding artist.
Our annual improv night is about to kick it up a notch. We're bringing in Mark Oppenlander, who was the team captain of the improv troupe for Taproot Theatre, the professional Christian theatre company in Seattle, which has sent us a number of great artists in the past. Mark is going to spend several sessions getting us up to speed and will take part in the final performance himself.
Susan Somerville Brown, who performed on Broadway in CATS will lend her buoyant spirit to the faculty once again.
I so wish I could have attended something like this when I was a young actor!
The deadline is extended to May 20. Apply now, and/or forward this to someone who might be interested. Go to MasterWorksFestival.org for an application and more info.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thesis mentions Liddell
Peter Anderson just posted a thesis, which mentions Eric Liddell: Communicating the News in China today.