What a great day!

We had a wonderful lunch with my relatives and then drove .4 mile to interview Mary Previte. She's the great grand daughter of Hudson Taylor, and was in the internment camp with Eric Liddell. I was so moved by her stories!

Then we went to the University of Pennsylvania and filmed the plaque that declares the school motto: "In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurels of victory there is glory to be found." Liddell ran at the Penn Relays there and quoted that motto when he spoke. We also met a fellow named Dan who was kind enough to run against me as Eric Liddell.

Interview with Ben Stein

Here's a recent interview with Ben Stein about his film, which opened this weekend, about how scientists and teachers who believe in Intelligent Design are being censored: Ben Stein is Expelled!

Good films

Joyce and I just watched August Rush. We were both quite moved, and I was a complete mess. It's got some profound stuff in there about how God creates great beauty out of bad choices and orchestrates (pun intended) divine appointments.

We're also going to try to catch Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which Ben Stein
...realizes that he has been “Expelled,” and that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the “crime” of merely believing that there might be evidence of “design” in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance.

For a trailer and theatre locator visit ExpelledtheMovie.com. Encourage Hollywood to make more of this kind of film by seeing it opening weekend.

Amazing Grace - Just the Black Notes

John Newton was a slave trader before he became a Christian and wrote Amazing Grace. Ken Wales' film Amazing Grace tells part of Newton's story. I watched it again the other night and was moved deeply all over again. This clip shows how the tune that Newton used for Amazing Grace most likely came from a Negro spiritual. It's eight minutes long, but you can get the essence of this profound connection in the first half. The rest is a beautiful rendition of the song.
When I was in Guatemala with Compassion we visited a Compassion site that provided pure drinking water for local residents. This clip shows another group that's working to provide drinking water around the world. Jennifer Connelly's character shows the profound reality of how blessed we are in developed nations.

Theology dramatized

One of my students at MasterWorks told me before joining us that he wanted to focus on being a theologian rather than an actor. I told him the program would enhance his abilities to express theology. I'm glad to see Sadler Mahan is proving that out with the help of another MasterWorks alum, his brother, Cody.

Eric Liddell's story told during the Olympics

Things are shaping up to take Beyond the Chariots to Asia during the Olympic Games this summer.

The play tells the rest of the Chariots of Fire story: How, after breaking the world record in the 1924 Olympics, Eric Liddell spent the rest of his life as a missionary in China.

The play has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and translators are working on Portuguese, French and Korean.

I'm also working on a docudrama about Eric Liddell with a group in Hong Kong. I've written a rough draft of the screen play, and now I'm working to incorporate our newest interviews. I'll get to play Eric Liddell in the dramatizations.

Because the Hong Kong Dollar is linked to the US dollar, the money they've raised for the project is not going as far as they hoped. Also, many funds have been rediverted to help earthquake victims in that region. I've decided to raise some funds to cover my expenses to make their budget go further and therefore raise the quality of the film.

If you'd like to make a donation for either of these endeavors, make checks payable to Westchester Chapel. If you want the money to go toward performances during the Olympics write "Emmaus Arts--Olympics" in the memo line. If you want it to go toward the docudrama, write "Emmaus Arts--Docudrama" in the memo line. Send to:

Westchester Chapel
214 Central Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606


To keep up to date on developments, sign up at RichDrama.com/Updates.

Filled with Hope,
Rich & Joyce

The following is an excerpt from the Off-Broadway performance.