Drama and Sociodrama in Orlando

I'll be performing and teaching a master class at the Christians in Theatre Arts National Conference in Orlando next month.

Here's the description of my class:

Sociodrama with the Impoverished MASTERCLASS and Theatre Impact Project
Rich Swingle wrote his masters thesis, The Effect of Sociodrama on a Population of Men in Transitional Housing, in 1997. Since then, he’s led several sociodrama workshops at CITA conferences that either dealt with that study or brought the benefits of sociodrama into acting, directing and even writing. This year, Rich will bring you into the heart of what sociodrama was created to do: help people with social challenges grow through structured improvisation. We’ll start in a CITA classroom, where Rich will give some background, and then we’ll move to Compassion Corner, where we’ll join their clientele in a sociodrama. Class size limited to 15 people.

I'll be performing The Acts at the Salvation Army Orlando Citadel Corps that evening.

King David connection

This morning I got to share about my friend David Sanborn's Off-Broadway run of his one-man play King David at our church.

Visit KingDavidMusical.com to see the trailer, read reviews (including the New York Times and the newest from Broadway After Dark) and find more information.

For a discount through FaceBook, click here.

Practice for Killing Giants

Mallory did a phenomenal job leading worship last night. There was a moment that she was speaking of how God's love overwhelms us. I was hoping she'd lead us in How He Loves, and, in fact, she did!

Tony Cruz was the evangelist that followed.

I got to speak about the amazing event this morning in our call to worship at Westchester Chapel:

Here are my notes from his sermon...

It was titled, "Bring the Cheese!" based on I Samuel 17.

The time is urgent. God is raising up believers who will follow Him, whether they're 13 or 30.

He preached about David and Goliath.

He pointed out how Goliath shouted his "usual defiance." Tony said the enemy comes against us daily to whisper his usual defiance and lies that we're not good enough.

God is raising up giant killers.

He pointed out how David used a sling because that was what he trained with when he was tending the sheep. He said nobody practices war during war. We have to practice worshiping, studying the Bible and connecting to God now, because if we don't, then when the battles of life hit us...and they will...we won't have any Power.

The most dangerous people are those who have nothing to lose and nothing to prove. If you have nothing to lose and nothing to prove you are dangerous in the hand of God.

David was the delivery boy. He was sent to bring bread and cheese. The dude was a Dominoes delivery boy. He went from delivery boy to deliverer.

You become a product of whatever you're committed to.

There's a difference between being interested and being committed.

There are giants for you to kill, but you have to bring the cheese: you have to do what you're called to do.

You have to live convinced. It doesn't matter how hard you're holding on but what you're holding onto. If you're holding onto the things of this world, they'll break away. Hold onto Jesus.

Your giant must be defeated if you're to do anything for the Kingdom of God. Cowards think of what they can lose. Champions think of what they can gain. Courage isn't the absence of fear but the absence of self.

There are things in your life that will kill you if you don't kill them first.

David went from running errands to running the show.

What do you need to do to drop everything and follow Him?

After his sermon Mallory and I had a surprising delight: MasterWorks theatre instructor, Patricia Mauceri joined us!

Mallory's Triumph

Mallory LaBoy was a part of the MasterWorks theatre program last summer. She came to us by way of Aquire the Fire, where she'd performed in front of audiences as large as 35,000, not to mention those that saw the events televised. She had no problem with stage fright. But when it came to leading worship, she was terrified. Through MasterWorks and other experiences, she's been leading worship and has come to NYC to do just that!

Her friend David (on the left in the photo) heard Mallory audition for leading worship years ago. She didn't get picked, but David remembered her voice and recommended her for this event!

For those of you in the area, here are the details:

May 15th Friday @ 8pm
May 16th Saturday @ 6pm
May 17th Sunday @ 8am 10am 11:30am and 7pm
Consuming Fire Ministries
Van Nest Assembly of God
The Bronx, NY
No charge

I'm going Saturday night, so post a comment here if you'll be there then, and I'll look for you.

Last week of Reel Religion

The Museum of Biblical Art in NYC ( http://MoBiA.org ) is hosting an exhibit of posters from films with a biblical theme through May 17.

It's a great collection, which includes costumes and props from the Ben Hur with Charleton Heston.

She's ahead of me

She now has one more masters degree than I have.

Hundreds of Christians spilling out into the world!

There she goes with her diploma!

Congratulations, Joyce!

Rev. A.R. Bernard-saved out of Islam

Voted the most influential clergyman in NYC, Rev. A.R. Bernard is receiving his masters from Nyack College alongside my bride today. Rev. Bernard also received an honorary doctorate and is the commencement speaker.

He told a joke about the girl whose science teacher wanted to demean Christianity, so she made a point of saying that it is biologically impossible for a whale to eat a man. (By the way, there are fish capable of the feat). The little girl waited until class was over and asked the teacher, "If it's impossible for a whale to eat a man, what about Jonah?" The teacher said that the story was false. The girl said, "Well, when I get to heaven I'm going to ask him." The teacher mockingly asked, "What if he went to hell." The little girl thought about it and said, "Then you can ask him." Rev. Bernards said, "Thank God for strong Christian students."

He was saved out of the Nation of Islam. He asked God, "Do I need to be whimpy as a Christian?" God said, "No, I'm just going to sanctify your passion."

What is Christ's relationship to culture, and ergo what is the Christian's relationship? While we debate, millions of babies are being aborted (Rev. Bernard's mother decided not to go that route), and marriage is falling apart. But Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself." That became our mandate in the world. The pattern is simmple: God sent his Word to heal a broken world. He challenged the graduates that Christ in them is the transformer of culture. He closed with, "Be Salt, be Light, be Christ in culture."

Two dreams redirected

Dr. J.K. Warrick preached at our District's Ordination Ceremony.

His text was Matthew 16:24, "If anyone would follow me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."

He pointed out how the cross has become a piece of jewelry, but it was an instrument of death. When Jesus said "Take up your cross," He meant we must die to ourselves in order to truly live.

He told about two young men who had big dreams. The first wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and take over the family business. He wanted to make it bigger than his father had and leave his mark on the business world. One night at a holiness revival he sensed that God was calling him to lay down his dreams and follow God's call to become a pastor. At the end of the evening he went forward and kneeled at the altar, declaring to the Lord he would do just that. He went on to be a pastor in China in the '20s, planting seeds that have helped grow the Church in China to the millions that are in it today.

The second young man wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a preacher. He wanted to have a bigger church than his father had and leave his mark on the world. One night at a holiness revival he sensed that God was calling him to lay down his dreams and follow God's call to go into business. At the end of the evening he went forward and kneeled at the altar, declaring to the Lord he would do just that. He went on to found an insurance company that has helped millions of people.

Dr. Warrick told the graduates that their ordination is a reminder that they laid down their dreams for God's.

Their ordination is recognized by two million Nazarenes in 23,000 congregations in over 150 nations.

Say no to yourself, take up your cross, the instrument of death to self, and do the thing He's calling you to do.

I'm so proud of all Joyce has accomplished since her ordination.

Plays in NYC

I have a friend who just graduated with a degree in playwriting. He's about to leave the NYC area and asked what play/s to see before his sad departure.

I thought I'd post the observations I sent him:

We LOVED The 39 Steps. Read my review at http://RichDrama.com/NewsBlog . You can watch Hitchcock's classic for free on http://Hulu.com and then see the play for a great lesson in adaptation. They made some choices to make it a bit racier, but it's still within the bounds of decency, and in fact emphasizes the theme of marriage more clearly than hitchcock.

Another great piece is my mentor, Tina Howe's Chasing Manet (Off-Bway), which I also reviewed at http://RichDrama.com/NewsBlog .

We loved 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda, who is now a committed Christian. My friend, David Lander (who was lighting designer for my play, Beyond the Chariots, for its Off-Broadway run), designed their lighting, for which he was just nominated for a Tony.

God of Carnage is quite well written (except for the all-but-constant profanity, which I believe is inferior writing no matter what you think about the Lord).

The Philanthropist was a HUGE disappointment. It would be a good example of bad writing.

I have a dear friend who's doing a one-man play Off-Broadway called King David. The New York Times gave it a favorable review. I have a link to that review on http://RichDrama.com/NewsBlog .

I have three friends who review NYC plays, all from a Christian perspective:

Lauren Yarger: http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com (She just posted the Tony nominations, which would be another great guide.)
Paul Cozby for http://About.com
Retta Blaney: http://uponthesacredstage.blogspot.com

Sweet Sixteen

She's getting her second masters by the time she turns 16! On this day in 1993 Joyce gave her life to Christ, and as John 3 explains, she was re-born. What amazing and wonderful things God has done through her since then! Can't wait to see what happens when she becomes an adult!

The Towel

From Joyce's Hooding Ceremony

All 54 graduates received a towel with their name sewn into it as a reminder that they are prepared to serve, even as Jesus washed his disciples' feet (John 13:1-17).

For more photos of Joyce's hooding ceremony, click here.

Proud of my accomplished bride!


More awards

She also made The Dean's List, was honored for her achievement on The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (she was 2nd in the nation!) and The Honor Society, for which she received this stole.

Excellence in Clinical Skills

Joyce was just awarded for "Excellence in Clinical Skills".


We're at Joyce's hooding ceremony for her graduation from the Alliance Gradudate School of Counseling.

Tony nomination!

David Lander, who designed lights for our Off-Broadway production of Beyond the Chariots ( http://RichDrama.com/BeyondtheChariots ), was just nominated for the Tony Award for his lighting design on 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda.

Huge congratulations, David!