Another Hallelujah

I always loved the original version of this song, but the lyrics were actually a bit confused, so every time I'd find myself singing it, I'd change my tune. Then, before performing at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, near Annapolis, Maryland, I was delighted to hear them singing this new version by Lincoln Brewster. I'm sure that was one of the reasons I felt like if I weren't a believer I would have dedicated my life to the Lord that day.

Christmas Colors

So glad we made it home in time to see The Empire State Building dressed for Christ's birth.

Sunrise Sunset

We had a glorious sunrise as we descended into San Francisco for our transfer, and now a smog enhanced sunset meets us in NYC.

We had a marvelous, restful Christmas vacation, and I landed to voicemail detailing work with Graceworks ( http://GraceworksInc.com ) that starts Wednesday. Also, Joyce gets back into her masters internship soon, so we're hitting the ground running!

Happy New Year!
Rich & Joyce

OLYMPIC HERO IN CHINA IN MEDFORD

Press Release

OLYMPIC HERO IN CHINA IN MEDFORD

Rich Swingle, who was born and raised in the Medford area, helped develop a documentary about Olympic champion Eric Liddell with a production company in Hong Kong. The film will make its West Coast premiere Sunday, December 28, in Medford.

The four-time Academy Award winning film, Chariots of Fire, tells how Eric Liddell broke the world record in the 400m at the Paris Olympics in 1924. Olympic Hero in China: The Eric Liddell Story shows the bigger picture of his life: how he was born in China and returned there after Olympic glory to serve the Chinese people until his death in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

Swingle has performed Beyond the Chariots, his one-man play about Liddell in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Medford. It was through his Hong Kong and Shanghai performances that Good News Communication, International discovered Swingle’s work. They hired him to write the initial draft of the documentary, which was then fine-tuned by a Chinese writer to target Asians more specifically.

China recognizes Liddell, who was born to Scottish parents, as the first person born in that nation to win an Olympic gold medal. In January 2007 the first Olympic insert in China Daily, the national Enlish language newspaper, led with an article on Liddell. His story was previously told through a documentary on their national television, CCTV. NBC also aired a brief documentary focused on Liddell’s connection to China during summer Olympic coverage.

The first release of Olympic Hero in China came in time for the Beijing Olympics, and narration was in Cantonese and Mandarin. When Swingle was in Hong Kong to perform his play during the Games he recorded the English narration, which will be shown on the 28th for the first time outside the New York City area. Swingle has lived in Manhattan since 1993.

A graduate of Phoenix High School, Swingle also connected the production team with people who knew Liddell. Numerous relatives and acquaintances of the athlete/missionary have now seen Beyond the Chariots. Swingle wrote questions for many of the interviews in the documentary and interviewed Mary Previte, the daughter of Hudson Taylor, a pioneer missionary to China. Previte lives near New York City and was interned with Liddell by the Japanese.

Her brother, Dr. Jim Hudson Taylor, III, was also interviewed regarding his memories of Liddell in the internment camp. A pre-war student of Liddell, an Olympic torch-bearer and daughters of Liddell are among those featured in the documentary, which was filmed in China, Hong Kong, Toronto, Scotland, England and New Jersey.

The greater vision for the project includes dramatizations in which Swingle will portray Liddell, but filming permits were not granted in the run up to the Olympics.

Olympic Hero in China will be shown at Medford Friends Church, which Swingle attended before enrolling at George Fox University. The single screening of the 45 minute film will be during the 9:30am service on Sunday, January 28.

Rural pedestrian


My brother, Bob and I went out for a five mile run, missed our turn-around and transformed it into an 8.5 miler! It was good for both of us, but especially him, as he is training for the Mickey Marathon in Orlando in a couple of weeks.

On the way back from our run, five deer crossed the road in front of us. This last one had a bit of a limp. She walked right up to the fence and seemed to plead with her friends to go a different way, but then she easily did a standing jump over the fence and cleared the five foot (with the embankment) barrier with apparent ease.

Something you don't see in NYC, though I have seen raccoons and a fox in Central Park.

Photo by my brother, Bob Swingle.

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends and Family:

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and wondrous New Year.

Here's our year at a glance:

A huge blessing – especially as we go into the economy to come – was the culmination of our 10-year wait for an apartment at the Manhattan Plaza. This federally and locally subsidized housing was initially built as luxury housing in the 70s. Resistance to the relatively rough (at that time) neighborhood (called “Hell’s Kitchen,” clue, clue) forced the developers out and the government in. The complex, which includes two large buildings, a greenhouse, outdoor playground, pool and gardens, became housing for performing artists, the elderly and those displaced by the erection of the complex in the beginning. Rent is determined by your income (one-third of estimated earnings, up to a cap that lies well below market rates). We were blessed in June with a lovely, large 1-bedroom apartment at close to $900 less/month than we had been paying; we recently learned that we will pay 46% less in 2009 than even this (a reflection perhaps of the market’s pummeling of our savings but welcome nonetheless). A great view (from our bedroom) of the Empire State Building can be found at RichDrama.com/MP.

For our new address send an email.

Another blessing was the culmination of a long-standing dream to bring the story of Eric Liddell, man of God and Olympic athlete with ties to Britain and China, to China during this Olympics season. We traveled with a lovely friend from our church Ava-Gaye Parkes to Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing and Dandong in China, telling Eric’s story through Rich’s play Beyond the Chariots, which tells of Liddell’s post-Olympics tenure in China and through the presentation of a documentary, Olympic Hero in China, for which Rich wrote the initial script and recorded the English narration. Our adventures, which were many and rich, are told in our blog at RichDrama.com/NewsBlog in the archives for August and September.

Joyce continues to complete the Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling by focusing on her internship (RichDrama.com/ReconciliationRoom). Currently, I have two sites at which I work: Nyack’s Undergraduate Manhattan Campus, where I work with those students who desire counseling and at Westchester Chapel, our home church in White Plains (WestchesterChapel.org). Anticipated graduation is May 9, 2009 but two large comprehensive exams remain to be conquered (yikes). I’m still considering whether I will be pursuing licensure, which requires a lot more hours a week than I am currently doing and would probably prohibit any pastoral work.

On the pastoral front, we continue to serve at Westchester Chapel, where Joyce is an Associate Pastor and Rich leads the drama ministry. We love our church family and are proud of all that God has done for His people there!

Rich continues to press on in his ministry, performing while writing more extensive work, such as a documentary about Eric Liddell, Olympic Hero in China, which he'll show in it's West Coast premiere on Sunday: RichDrama.com/Itinerary. He's also writing a screenplay for a movie about Eric Liddell. This latter project, which is a true labor of love, seems to have attracted some serious investment and could well be developed next year.

Rich also continues as Director of the Drama program at the MasterWorks Festival (MasterWorksFestival.org), where he co-directed last year’s play Tartuffe and will do the same on this year’s Our Town. It is a special joy and privilege to serve these budding artists and young Christians in their professional and spiritual walks.

We have most especially been blessed this year with the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose healing in our lives has enriched our joy immeasurably. In particular, He has blessed us with a special understanding of how to live in His strength and joy on a daily basis and we now know this is the true treasure of Christmas. Our prayer is that He touches you in this way as well.

In His Love,
Joyce and Rich Swingle

15 years in the city

On this day in 1993 I pulled into Manhattan for the very first time. I'm celebrating the 15th year of city living in an orchard.

Wheels for the World

At lunch today in Medford, OR, I ran into Brent Olstad and his son Abel. His other son was in a wheel chair with "Wheels for the World" on the side. I mentioned to him that our friend, Teresa Smith has gone to Peru, Cuba & Poland with Wheels for the World, helping fit the poor with donated wheelchairs. Brent remembered Teresa from one of his six WftW trips to Poland!
For more info on this fabulous ministry visit JoniandFriends.org.

I won!

Joyce's flight was delayed.

From sub-zero to sublime

Yesterday I woke up to snow.

Today I'm driving to Medford for Christmas with my family. I'm trying to beat Joyce to the Medford airport. She's flying several times faster than me, but I think I've allowed enough of a head start.

Another miracle flight

I knew today would be tricky.

I was scheduled to fly from Chicago to Minneapolis to Seattle to Medford, OR, where I was raised. The flight from Minneapolis to Seattle was canceled, and the only available seats to Medford weren't available until Christmas Eve. Another wrinkle was that there were three different carriers handling my flight and they all kept sending me to the others. Finally Kasha, a wonderful woman from Poland secured a seat for me on a flight to San Francisco, which is close enough to drive to Medford. Kasha walked with me to the carrier whose flight was cancelled and insisted that they clear that flight for me, which they finally did.

It wasn't until I boarded the plane that I thanked the Lord for Kasha's miraculous upgrade to a fully reclining business-class seat.

Woohoo!

Swingle Christmas plays in two time zones

This morning I performed Views of the Manger during the 10am hour, Central Time in Chicago. During that same hour, Joyce performed her one-woman Christmas play, The Shepherd's Daughter, in the Eastern Time Zone at our church ( http://WestchesterChapel.org ).

Though there were none in my service that indicated that they'd dedicated their lives to the Lord, the pastor said two people approached him saying they're closer to making that decision.

Pray for their readiness and willingness.

The miracle performance

Because of the miraculous was I was able to get to Chicago, so I had high expectations for the performance last night.

One hundred and forty-six people braved the weather, which was on it's way down to five below zero with a wind-chill factor of 25 below (and it's not called the Windy City for nothing).
Most wonderful of all was that a woman rededicated her life to the Lord, after walking away from Him for many years.

That's what it's all about!

Shining the Light in Chicago

Lunch with the Sheriff

Jim Cruz is a deputy sheriff for Cook County Court House. He was my host for lunch before my performance tonight ( http://RichDrama.com/Itinerary ).

He goes in early every morning to minister to inmates at Cook County Jail, the largest in the US. Once a week he stays late to disciple those that have committed their lives to the Lord.

He's seen a lot of fruit over the years. He often hears, "Cruz!" when he's recognized on the street by those who have been released, and many of them are still walking with the Lord.

Once, as he was escorting a prisoner away from the courtroom, where the man had been sentanced to an extremely long term, he said to Jim, "If it would have been anyone but you I would have gone off."

Cruz is Spanish for "cross". Pray for him as he shines the Light of The Cross in dark places.

The drama is over...

..now the play can begin: http://RichDrama.com/Itinerary

Touchdown Chicago...

..where everyone has a snow plow!

Last prayer request of the day: that my luggage catch up to me.

Safe flight to Philly

I had a safe flight from Portland, OR, to Philadelphia, PA. Now I'm on board my flight to Chicago, and we seem on target for an on-time departure. They're reporting light snow, but don't seem concerned.


The flight attendant was taking classes at the Charlotte, NC, campus of my seminary, Gordon-Conwell.

The guy I sat next to may hire Graceworks: http://GraceworksInc.com

Marvelous Divine Appointments that came through such great prayer coverage! Thanks so much!

Best in the US

Besides being one of the most beautiful places on earth, Oregon boasts PDX, voted the best airport in the US.

My flight is still posting an on-time departure...and, on the 4 hour, 38 minute flight, "Beverages available for purchase." Thanks again, Joyce and Lord, for swinging the free upgrade to first class!

Keep praying for the flights! Thanks to the award-assisting free Wi-Fi (take a hint, airports that charge!) I see that the winter storm advisory is still in effect for Philadelphia & Chicago.

Off to a good start

So far this flight is on time, and Joyce's AMAZING move to get me the free upgrade to first class (see post on 12/19) has already saved me buku time at check-in.

Requesting prayer for Friday flights

My flight tomorrow was canceled, and there were NO flights from PDX or any nearby airports to Chicago, but my AMAZING bride got them to put me in first class on a flight via Philly. I'm totally doing a happy dance over that, and now praying (quite earnestly) that they don't cancel that flight as there are weather advisories in all three cities!

The Cube Gallery

Today I'm working out of The Cube Gallery: http://theCubeGallery.com

My brother and his wife run it as a sideline and as a place to sell their fine art. Right now my brother's photography is on display.

The little building used to be the dentistry office for the father of Doc Severenson, thus the bandleader's nickname.

Checking out the winter wonderland

My brother and one of his Weimaraners watch the snow fall.

The fruit of cancellation


Though I'm still bummed tonight and tomorrow have been my first two cancellations due to weather that I can remember in 13 years of doing this full-time, I did have a great time reconnecting with Ben Crisman (MWF '05) and Brandon Langeland (MWF '0?-'08).

Ben's sister, Katie, met with me to plan a retreat in January on the Oregon Coast, where I'll be performing A Clear Leading, among other things. Also, Ben and I are going to perform a piece I wrote in college in the late '80s.

Ben was there for a read through of our script and Brandon met us there.

As always it was an amazing MasterWorks reunion.

The Java Log

Another innovative idea: my brother and his wife use logs made of coffee bean husks. They burn for hours with a very nice aroma.

Okay, so my award-winning brother takes better pictures:

My brother WORKing out


My brother and sister-in-law run an award-winning company called Lightbourne that creates book and CD covers and interiors as well as doing web site and ad design.

To get more exercise they bought a stationary bike with handles that could be adjusted to hold their laptop and a keyboard. They switch back and forth and each ride about two hours a day at an easy pace as they're prepping for the Mickey Marathon in Orlando next month.

The next step: wire it to generate electricity!

Camas and Newberg performances canceled

Performance of Views of the Manger have been canceled for tonight and tomorrow night due to snow falling on ice. I heard from a friend that there are only about five snow plows in the whole Portland metro area!

The good news is that we've already rescheduled performances for January: RichDrama.com/Itinerary.

Mt. Hood

We're beginning our descent into Portland.

I've been blessed to visit 24 nations and 49 states, and I still think this Oregon, where I started, is among the most beautiful places on earth.

Our former capitol

Annapolis was only 8 miles from where we performed, so we had lunch there. There was a group of Singles on Sailboats that packed out the largest room of our restaurant, so it makes you wonder how many people sail in total!

Annapolis was our nation's capitol (and remains the capitol of MD). Their State House used to serve as the US Capitol Building.

Sailboats

Here you can see the masts of the sailboats in the distance.

Daughter of an Olympic Champion

After tonight's performance, Julie Gallimore (pictured here) bought a copy of Running the Race (available at http://RichDrama.com/BookStore). Her father, Richard E. Howell, won the gold medal in swimming for the 4x200m freestyle relay at the Paris Olympics in 1924. He died before Chariots of Fire, which covers those Games from the viewpoint of several British runners, including Eric Liddell. I tell about the rest of Liddell's story in my play Beyond the Chariots (http://RichDrama.com/BeyondtheChariots). Gallimore said her father did get a biography about Eric Liddell by DP Thomson in the early '70's. John Keddie, the author of Running the Race, helped compile Liddell's track record for that book.

The photo is by Dr. Timothy Beal, the pastor of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, where I performed Views of the Manger: http://RichDrama.com/ViewsoftheManger. We attended one of their worship services this morning and I was so moved that if I weren't already a Christian I'm sure I would have given my life to the Lord today! One of the reasons I was so touched was that Dr. Beal's message was on Joseph, who's story is at the middle of the five-character play. So many of the points Dr. Beal made paralleled things in Views of the Manger that I knew would reinforce his message. The Lord set it up!

In DC

We're going to hang out with Joyce's family down here before our performance near Annapolis on Sunday: http://RichDrama.com/Itinerary

The tree is lit

Tree lighting

We're experiencing another perk at Manhattan Plaza ( http://RichDrama.com/MP ): The tree lighting cereony. We're singing Christmas carols with The Manhattan Brass Quintent. They've been doing this for the past 15 years.

We were delighted that they focused on carols proclaiming the birth of Christ.

The Jingle Bell Jog

I went out for a morning run to find people warming up for The Jingle Bell Jog right outside my hotel. So I ran it. I've been training to play Eric Liddell in the spring for the dramatizations we'll add to our documentary: http://RichDrama.com/OlympicHeroinChina

But I over-estimated what kind of shape I was in and let the leader drain me in that first km, but I managed to stay in 8th place and brought home a 2nd place medal for my age group. My time for the 5k course was 19:55, way off my college times, but I haven't raced at this distance since then, so I guess it wasn't too bad. Most of the run was on the Austin Peay State University campus. Their banners proudly encourage: "Go Peay!"

Clarksville


From Clarksville, TN

What an amazing place I found Clarksville to be. I often create albums separate from this blog when I visit foreign cities because I find myself taking so many photos. This is the first US city for which I've created a separate album. It's that picturesque. A lot of the photos are from their extensive Christmas lights: Clarksville, TN.

Clarksville by way of Nashville


From Clarksville, TN

I had performances in Clarksville, TN, but I got to fly into Nashville, so I drove through Downtown to reminisce.

For my first visit I parked in this parking lot before hitting the town. It was on one of my first nation-wide tours and we'd driven a long way that day. My friend, Steve Prusko, and I took a nap so we'd be fresh for the sites. When we woke up everything was closed! We had to leave for a performance the next day, but I was able to return for a Compassion artists retreat at Michael W. Smith's ranch and to teach DJs a class called Theatre of the Mind at the Gospel Music Association.

You've read the book, now see the film!

James, the Movie!  My wife, Joyce, has been leading a Bible study on the Book of James over the last few months.  We're closing with a review of the book, including James the Movie, which I performed when I was a student at George Fox College ( http://GeorgeFox.edu ).

It will all happen this coming Sunday, November 30, in our 9:30 a.m. Bible Study.    

Come prepared to participate (if you want to) in this entertaining and incisive look at The Book of James.  You'll be encouraged and edified.

For directions visit http://WestchesterChapel.org

Fasting coffee

An alumna of MasterWorks ( http://MasterWorksFestival.org ), who is
now working for Compassion ( http://RichDrama.com/Compassion ) just
featured on Compassion's blog: http://blog.compassion.com/fast-for-food/#comment-4105

She and her colleagues are fasting coffee for a month and donating the
money they would have spent to The Global Food Crisis fund: https://www.compassion.com/contribution/giving/global-food-crisis.htm?referer=51090

I donated, and now I'm joining them in their coffee fast...until
Thanksgiving.

Olympic Hero in China


We finished our documentary Olympic Hero in China: The Eric Liddell Story in time for the Beijing Olympics. I interviewed Mary Previte, Hudson Taylor's great-granddaughter, and provided questions for most of the interviews.

I had opportunities to share before and after screenings in Hong Kong and Macao during the Games.

While I was there I got to do the English narration. We screened it in the fall of 2008, November 14 in New York City and November 20 in White Plains, NY.

Altogether we were in Asia for five weeks surrounding the Olympics. You can see updates in the August and September archives on my blog. I also posted some things long after returning in the October archive.

Article on Views of the Manger

The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle just ran an article on my upcoming performances of Views of the Manger

Dinner theater spotlights Christmas theme
The only thing they got wrong was that they speak of The Lamb's Repertoire Theatre as if it's still happening.  She looked at an old bio.  The current one is at http://RichDrama.com/Bio.

Schools

These are schools or student organizations where I have taught, performed and/or directed:

Colleges and Universities

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, NJ
Graceworks workshop for the School of Architecture (annually since 2008)

COLLEGE FOR OFFICER TRAINING, CUBA
Workshop on Drama in Ministry

NAMSEOUL UNIVERSITY, KOREA
Performance
Workshop

ASIA-PACIFIC NAZARENE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, THE PHILIPPINES
Chapel
Lectures

SINGAPORE BIBLE COLLEGE, SINGAPORE
Workshop

SCHOOL FOR OFFICER TRAINING, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Enacted Prayer Workshop

INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF OFFICERS, LONDON
Enacted Prayer Workshop, performance of Beyond the Chariots

GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY, OR (Rated the number one Christian college in America by Forbes and US News and World Report)
Chapel--Big Fish Little Worm
Introduction to Acting -- Developing Characters
Introduction to Sociology -- Sociodrama
Systems of Social Work -- Sociodrama
Introduction to Social Work -- Sociodrama
Playwriting -- Writing for stage and screen
Oral Interpretation of Lit. -- Cartoon Voices
Technical Theatre -- Theories on Technical and DirectingTies

GEORGE FOX SEMINARY, OR
Using Drama in Ministry (workshop and later a one-credit course)

BIOLA UNIVERSITY
Beyond the Chariots
Journey to the Garden for their Easter Chapel

FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Spoke on a panel with Patricia Mauceri, Lauren Yarger and Retta Blaney

COOPER UNION, NYC
Performance for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS, TN
Graceworks Workshop for the School of Music

PRATT INSTITUTE, NY
Annual Graceworks workshop

REGENT UNIVERSITY, VA
Workshop for students visiting NYC

ASBURY UNIVERSITY
Addressed students visiting NYC on two visits

CITY COLLEGE, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
A Clear Leading as a part of the Price of Life

FURMAN UNIVERSITY, SC
Performance

BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY, MS
Beyond the Chariots
Workshops

PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE, VA
Panel after a screening of The Screenwriters

ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY, OK
Video conference lecture

NEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Public presentation workshop for staff and students
Public presentation workshop for student leadership retreat in the Poconos.

WILLIAM CAREY INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, CA
Performance, Beyond the Chariots

MISSOURI BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, MO
Workshops

SPRING ARBOR UNIVERSITY, MI
Performance, Big Fish Little Worm

FREED-HARDEMAN UNIVERSITY, TN
Video conference lecture

GRACE COLLEGE, IN
Performances in Rodeheaver Auditorium

BETHEL COLLEGE, IN
Big Fish Little Worm for Chapel
Acting workshop
Two enacted prayer workshops

EARLHAM COLLEGE, IN
Open Forum -- Reaching Others Through Art
Humanities -- Tragedy
Earlham Young Friends -- Performing Arts
Human Existence -- Theatre Ministry and Christian Faith
Counseling and Psychotherapy -- Sociodrama
Introduction to Theatre -- Theatre as Ministry
Quakerism -- John Woolman and 17th c. Quakerism

WILMINGTON COLLEGE, OH
Quaker Lecture for students and community -- John Woolman
Introduction to the Bible -- Jonah, Gideon, The Vine and theBranches
Introduction to Acting -- Christian Theatre Trends
Prison Campus Extensions – Sociodrama
(three visits)

CONCORDIA COLLEGE, MN
Drama workshops
Performance

WHITWORTH COLLEGE, WA
Chapel
Workshops

CRICHTON COLLEGE, TN
Performance
Workshop

MONTREAT COLLEGE, NC
Performance
Workshops

CLEARWATER CHRISTIAN COLLEGE, FL
Performances
Workshops

ANDERSON UNIVERSITY, SC
Chapel
Drama workshop

NORTH GREENVILLE COLLEGE, SC
Sociodrama and drama workshops
Performances

LIMESTONE COLLEGE, SC
Drama workshops
Performances

TABOR COLLEGE, KS
Drama workshops
Performance

STERLING COLLEGE, KS
Performance
Workshop

GENEVA COLLEGE, PA
Performance
Theatre workshop

SOUTHERN ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY, TN
Chapel
Performance
Workshop

FRIENDS UNIVERSITY, KS
Chapel
Drama workshops

FONTBONNE COLLEGE, MO
Performance
Drama workshop

NYACK COLLEGE, Nyack and Manhattan, NY, campuses
Sociodrama workshops

ALLIANCE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NY
Chapel
Sociodrama workshop
(two visits)

GUILFORD COLLEGE, NC
Chapel
Workshops

TULSA COMMUNITY COLLEGE, OK
Guest lecturer

Arts Programs and Conferences

IVY LEAGUE CONGRESS ON FAITH AND ACTION, Hosted by Harvard University, MA
Presented on the panel for Arts and Entertainment
Students from all eight Ivy League schools attended the congress

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTIAN FILMMAKERS CAMP, CO
Teaching film acting and auditions
coaching and writing short films
(since 2014)

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, CUBA
Workshop on Drama in Ministry

EASTERN TERRITORIAL ARTS MINISTRIES CONSERVATORY, NY
Performances
Directing
Workshops
(since 2001)

MASTERWORKS FESTIVAL, IN
Theatre Program Director (ten years)
Theatre faculty or master class instructor (16 years)

CREATIVE ARTS SERVICE TEAM (CAST), A MINISTRY TEAM OF EASTERN TERRITORIAL ARTS MINISTRIES
Directing
Teaching
(three years)

CANADA/BERMUDA TERRITORIAL SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND GOSPEL ARTS, ONTARIO, CANADA
Performances
Directing
Workshops
(three years)

SOUTHERN TERRITORIAL MUSIC INSTITUTE, OK
Performance
Guest directing

ONTARIO DIVISIONAL SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND GOSPEL ARTS, ONTARIO, CANADA
Performances
Directing
Workshops

YOUTH QUAKE, SC AND WA
National Quaker Youth Retreat
Performances
Workshops, including one on Conflict Resolution

CAMP TACONIC JUNIOR HIGH CAMPS, NY
Performed numerous sketches
Taught drama workshops

NAZARENE YOUTH INTERNATIONAL MIDWINTER RETREAT, NY
Performances
Sociodrama for Conflict Resolution

High Schools

SEOUL FOREIGN SCHOOL, KOREA
Assembly
Performances and workshops

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, KOREA
Chapel performances
Sociodrama for faculty
Evening performance for the community

GYEONGGI SUWON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, KOREA
Acting workshops
Chapel presentations

GYEONGGI ACADEMY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, KOREA
Chapel performance with Q/A

TAEJON CHRISTIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, KOREA
Workshop
Assembly

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL OF UIJONGBU, KOREA
Workshop
Assembly Performance

MORRISON ACADEMY, TAICHUNG, TAIWAN
Spiritual Life Week with my bride, Joyce Swingle

MORRISON ACADEMY, TAIPEI, TAIWAN
Big Fish Little Worm for Assembly
Guest teacher for six classes

MORRISON ACADEMY, KAOSIUNG, TAIWAN
Big Fish Little Worm for Assembly

AMMAN BAPTIST SCHOOL, JORDAN
Led a team of teachers and performing artists to present two evenings of drama and three days of performing arts classes
Evening performances for the community

KING'S COLLEGE, NEW ZEALAND
Chapel

ST PHILIP'S CHRISTIAN COLLEGE, AUSTRALIA
Workshops on Shakespeare and Discernment in Media

CONCORDIA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SHANGHAI
Acting workshop
Chapel presentations

YEW CHUNG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SHANGHAI
Acting workshop
Chapel presentation

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, HONG KONG
Drama workshops
Chapel presentation
(three times)

FAITH ACADEMY, THE PHILIPPINES
Drama workshops
Chapels
(two times)

TRAFALGAR CASTLE SCHOOL, WHITBY, ONTARIO, CANADA
 Beyond the Chariots
Acting workshop

WESLEYAN SCHOOL, ATLANTA, GA
Beyond the Chariots
Warmups for a speech class
American movie class lecture
Sociodrama as guest director for Our Town

DAYSPRING SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
Big Fish Little Worm with talkback

CLARKSVILLE ACADEMY, TN
Spoke to an acting class

SOUTH PARK HIGH SCHOOL, PA
Theatre workshop

ANNONDALE HIGH SCHOOL, VA
Various workshops and performances
(multiple visits)

BRIAR WOODS HIGH SCHOOL, VA
Performances
Acting coaching
(multiple visits)

STONE BRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL, VA
Performances
Drama workshops
(multiple visits)

LOUDEN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL, VA
English/Drama -- Cartooning
German I -- Sociodrama/Cartooning
German I & II -- Sociodrama
(multiple visits)

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DARDENNE, MO
Big Fish Little Worm

Elementary Schools

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, KOREA
Chapel performances

SINGAPORE YOUTH DAY
Performed Beyond the Chariots at Joyden Theatre for children from around Singapore

NORWEGIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, HONG KONG
Performance

FRIENDS CHILDREN’S SCHOOL, IN
K-2nd Grade -- Miming and Cartooning

EVANGEL SCHOOL, NY
Third Grade -- Sociodrama
Sixth Grade – Sociodrama

ST. ANN’S CATHOLIC SCHOOL, VA
Performance

MEMORIAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PA
Guest director

ABUNDANT WATERS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM, NY
1st-8th -- Sociodrama and acting workshops

SAY Yes AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS, The Lamb’s Church
K-6 -- Sociodrama and reading series

PUBLIC SCHOOL #76, QUEENS, NY
Grades 3-5 -- Operation Return: Big Fish Little Worm andSociodrama

For quotes by people who have studied under Rich, visit RichDrama.com/Workshops and RichDrama.com/TheySaid.

MWF Theatre: Past, Present and Future

Last night at the world premiere of my voice over for our documentary, Olympic Hero in China: The Eric Liddell Story, we had four people from MasterWorks ( http://MasterWorksFestival.org ). Patricia Mauceri, of One Life to Live, and I are part of the current theatre faculty. Keri Taylor is an alumna of the theatre program. She's now living in New York and helped found the Haberdasher Theatre company ( http://www.HaberdasherTheatre.com ). And this summer Mac Nelson will be a master class instructor. His book Memoirs of a Hollywood Adventure is set for publishing just before the Festival begins.

A nice walk home

I took this shot as I returned from My Vaudeville Man!, a delightful two-person musical in production at St. Peter's Theatre. And I was humming its tunes all the way home.

It was a great mix of song and dance, humor and heartbreak.

It's based on Jack Donahue's "Letters of a Hoofer to his Ma," and it shows the relationship of Donahue with his "mudder" before he became a star. The confessions of "Mud" to Father Dennis contained various careers she'd told people that her son was pursuing...since they were only in her imagination.

One of the things I liked most about it was the laudable job they did of portraying sin in such a way that it isn't the least bit attractive.

Zipcar

Zipcar has been such a huge blessing to us here in NYC! The price includes insurance and gas. They have a gas card right in there. We've consistently found them cheaper than rentals and so much more convenient. You just hop online, find the car you'd like for as little as half an hour at a time, and away you go. They're all over the US now and also in Toronto and London. Click the button below and we'll both get a $25 driving credit!

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving

Kingdom Coming

One of our MasterWorks Festival theatre students is now working with Compassion in Australia.  She sent me a link to a free download by Shaun Groves. It's a great song, and quite inspiring. Shaun is a Compassion artist, and I've heard artists like him share music like this at a number of Compassion artist retreats. This brought me right back there.

Sanborns' double feature

The latest newsletter by Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA.org) has a link to an article on my friend Retta Blaney's blog: A Walking Miracle.

It tells the miraculous story of how Art Sanborn was healed (and continues to discover new levels of healing) from a paralysis at the level of Christopher Reeves. He's now jogging I think four miles every day!

I performed in Judah Ben Hur, which the Sanborns produced in Singapore. I was told that Art was paralyzed to the same degree as Christopher Reeve but that I wouldn't notice. I was blown away to meet him and discover that they were right!

I experienced another miraculous story in my friend Mac Nelson, whose story is written up in Waiting for My Fingers. Mac, who has performed with Liz Taylor, Jerry Lewis and the like, was losing use of his arms through a disease called stenosis. His doctors were shocked to find his recovery well beyond what they expected.

After a month in release Fireproof is still #11

Going into it's fifth weekend, Fireproof is maintaining it's place of #11 at the box office, and the film with a $500k budget has now crested $24M according to Variety.



Tale of Two Cities is a big hit on Broadway

I'm glad to see there are others that share my thoughts about Tale of Two Cities.  Here's what I blogged after seeing it:

My favorite theatrical hours of late were spent at the new musical, A Tale of Two Cities. While creating our documentary on Eric Liddell (details will be announced soon for our Western Hemisphere debut) we discovered that Liddell was meorizing the last three chapters of Dickens' masterpiece. It truly is worth meditating on the story of a man giving his life for another. The whole cast was great, but James Barbour, who played Sydney Carton, was extaordinary. Right from the start he was making choices that were absolutely captivating.

Rich

Begin forwarded message:

Could Tale of Two Cities be the Next Les Miserables on Broadway?
Teresa Neumann (October 30, 2008)

"The musical...honors the central theme, taken from Christianity, of sacrificing one life to save others." After performances, audiences stand, cheer, and weep.
Sounding like shades of the French Revolution—oppressed peasantry vs. jaded royalty—
World Magazine has published an article exposing the deep cultural divide in America as it relates to the new Broadway musical A Tale of Two Cities, based on Dickens' seminal masterpiece.

Writes reporter Marvin Olasky: "The
 [New York] Times sneered at the production based on Charles Dickens' novel...another reviewer, from Toronto, complained about the reaction of apparently ignorant theater-goers: 'The audience stood and cheered . . . some even wept.'"
"That's what happened the night I attended," Olasky remarks. "The singing and staging were excellent, and the colorful Dickensian plot moved along and moved attendees. Afterwards, I wasn't surprised to find that most of the 85 online responses to the
 Times review gave the musical five stars (out of five) and included comments like 'the best of times despite The New York Times.'" 
Olasky wonders if the criticism from New York elites is due to the fact that 
Jill Santoriello, who wrote the new show's book, lyrics, and music is a self-taught novice (a threat to the inner circle of well-educated and well-groomed professionals). Or, muses Olasky, it could be that theology plays a role considering the main theme of Dickens' novel is self-sacrifice centering on the Scripture"I am the Resurrection and the Life."
Regardless, it seems the people have spoken, and in New York—as it is everywhere—if they continue to come, the play will go on.
Source: Marvin Olasky - World Magazine







Cooper Union's IV


Last night I portrayed The Good Shepherd and Joyce preached on John 10 for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (http://www.intervarsity.org) at Cooper Union. In the documentary Changing Lives: The Peter Cooper Story I got to do the voice of Peter Cooper, who founded the school. It continues to operate on his principal that the college should be free. I'm sorry to say they don't offer a degree in theatre! So that students appreciate the value of their education, they are each awarded a full scholarship, which declares it's value at $30,000.

What a great group of students we met! Their worship and fellowship was so heartwarming. It made me wish I would have attended a student fellowship when I was in school. I remember making the choice not to attend because I was so busy, and because I had my own church. But the value of knowing some fellow Christians on campus, worshiping with them and lifting each other up in prayer would have been so valuable.

Should I ever be called to another degree at a secular school, I'll know what to do!

This group was started by a young man from our church. It started last year as six students in his living room, and now they've already divided into two groups to accommodate schedules, and the one we attended had over thirty!

If your school doesn't have one, consider starting one. Joy Freschly can help. Her email is on the Contact page of http://MasterWorksFestival.org.

Fireproof still at #11

In its fourth week in theatres, Fireproof has only slipped to #11 at the box office, and it has now crested $20M according to Variety.



Everywhere you look there's beauty!

Beautiful!

Sunrise

My Treo can't come close to doing this justice!

It's easy to worship an Artist that paints like that!

Waking in WI

I'm here near Kenosha for Salvation Army's Central Territorial Worship Conference: http://usc.SalvationArmy.org

The air's a little crisper here, the leaves are certainly more beautiful, and it's great to be among a people ready to worship!

Fireproof still in top 10 after 3 weekends

I was delighted to see Fireproof stay in the top ten at the box office for it's third week. Their $500k investment has now made almost $17M.