Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happily Single Before Happily Married

Our friend we worked with in Singapore on the musical Judah Ben Hur, Diane Wigstone, just came out with a new book...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Vancouver 2010


I've been invited to perform Beyond the Chariots in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics through More than Gold. During the 2008 Olympics I got to perform in Beijing alongside world-record-breaking Olympic champion Madeline Manning Mims, who coined the phrase "More than Gold," so this for me is a really cool connection.

Beyond the Chariots 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.

Here's our performance schedule while there: MoreThanGold.ca/event/beyond-chariots.

All performing artists, including professionals, are asked to raise our own support for this endeavor which will reach people coming from all over the world. Beyond the Chariots has been translated into Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and Korean, so this play about a man who set aside Olympic glory to serve the Chinese people will be well placed.

If you would like to give toward this opportunity visit RichDrama.com/Donate. If you'd like to receive a tax credit, you may give through our church: Send a check payable to Westchester Chapel Community Church of the Nazarene, PO Box 265, White Plains, NY 10606. In the memo line write, "Olympics."

We expect our total costs to be about $1500. You may want to cover an airline ticket at $400, a night in the Artists' Village at $100, our registration fee of $50, or any number of transit shuttle passes which we'll need each day at $5.

Once our expenses for the trip are met we'll put any excess toward the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Thanks so much for helping us reach the world in Vancouver, BC!

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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Thank you so much for your prayers for us throughout the year! Despite the economy this year has been rich and full.

Joyce finished her second masters, this one in counseling. We were thrilled to discover that she placed second on one of her national exams!

She was the lead counselor again for the MasterWorks Festival, where Rich directs the theatre program.

If you missed Rich's report from last year's festival be sure to check it out: The Amazing Month of MasterWorks.

Joyce is now developing a counseling clientele, so if you know of anyone in the New York City area who could use counseling, send them to JoyceSwingle.com.

Rich performed, directed or taught almost 200 times in a dozen states, but the highlight was our trip Down Under. Rich was invited to perform The Revelation for the 20th anniversary celebration of The Salvation Army's Sydney Staff Songsters, a group that has performed all over the world. The Australian magazine, Creative Ministry reported the event on page 9 of their October issue.

And here's an excerpt from the performance, filmed by audience member Gay Wilson...


Venues were added to the itinerary in Newcastle, Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand. Our blog postings are in the August and September archives.

Rich has been invited to perform Beyond the Chariots in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics through More than Gold. During the 2008 Olympics Rich got to perform in Beijing alongside world-record-breaking Olympic champion Madeline Manning Mims, who coined the phrase "More than Gold." All performing artists, including professionals like Rich, are asked to raise their own support for this endeavor which will reach people coming from all over the world. Beyond the Chariots has been translated into Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and Korean, so this play about a man who set aside Olympic glory to serve the Chinese people will be well placed. If you would like to give toward this opportunity visit RichDrama.com/Olympics.

Rich was also asked to be on the board of Christians in Theatre Arts and the planning committee for Media and the Arts of The Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2010. He was able to connect their visions around CITA's annual sketch writing competition, so that scripts submitted to CITA will be considered for performance at Lausanne. Click here for more info.

We wish you and yours a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year, and we appreciate your prayers for us in 2010.

We woke up to a white Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Interviewing a Hero


Joyce and I drove from Denver, where we're celebrating our Lord's birth with her family, to Nebraska to interview Tad Nagaki, one of seven paratroopers who liberated the internment camp where Eric Liddell died. Tad will be 90 years old next month and is still farming!

We connected with him through Mary Previte, the great-granddaughter of Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission. She was a member of the New Jersey State Congress and was asked to speak at a Memorial Day service for the China-Berma Veterans Association. She had been a 12-year old girl in the internment camp, when the seven paratroopers dropped into a field nearby. That was Tad's second jump. The first was in active duty over Burma. They didn't know how many Japanese guards there would be facing them, but after 1,500 internees rushed the gate, the guards lowered their weapons and went back to their barracks.

After telling that story to the veterans Mary asked, "Are any of my heroes here today?" The room went silent. That began a search which connected her to all six American jumpers or their widows. The one Chinese jumper, Eddie Wong, is believed to be in China, if still alive. Tad was the first living member of the team that Mary contacted.

We connected with Mary through her brother, the late Rev. Jim Hudson Taylor, III. He saw my play, Beyond the Chariots in Hong Kong in 2006, which was set up through fellow George Fox grad Brian Van Tassell. Rev. Taylor was also in the internment camp, and the first thing he said after I finished my play was, "It was softball. We didn't have enough room to play baseball." I changed the script.

Here are some articles we found in preparing for the interview:

Soldier Becomes 'Armored Angel' Freeing Prisoners
Tad Nagaki

Find dozens of more articles by visiting Weihsien-Paintings.org and searching for "Tad Nagaki".

Monday, December 21, 2009

En route to a hero

We're driving through Nebraska to interview Tad Nagaki, the last surviving member of the seven-man paratrooper team that liberated 1,500 Allied civilians from untold Japanese guards after their emperor surrendered, ending World War II. The internment camp they liberated had held Eric Liddell, featured in my play Beyond the Chariots, until he died six months earlier.

If you look closely at the photo you'll see three crosses atop the bluff.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Remember what the Lord has done

My friend, who is a scientist, gave me permission to share this here...


Remember what the Lord has done!
Merry Christmas!

love, JoAnn

[image is of a section of the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is involved in memory.]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NYC MWF reunion @ MMI

I had someone snap this photo at a MasterMedia International event. Another MWF (www.MasterWorksFestival.org) faculty member, George Merritt, had already left.

1200 degrees

Here's a photo I hadn't posted from our trip to New Zealand, where I taught and performed in Auckland.

We stopped at a glass blowing factory. The hottest kiln heats the lava to 1200 degrees C or 2192 degrees F.

Launching forth

We're off for Denver, where we'll celebrate Christmas with Joyce's family.

Friday, December 11, 2009

biggest box office draw


From my friend, Lauren Yarger, who reviews Broadway plays from a Christian perspective (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com):
Subject: picking your brains Hi! I am researching a project and am gathering opinions about which Christian vocal artist people would most like to see star in a regular Hollywood film (singing is required of the actor). Could you send me your ideas of who might be the biggest box office draw? If possible, could you ask your readers to let us know what they think? There's a poll on our blog at http://www.facebook.com/l/5c61f;christianperformers.blogspot.com/ or they can email us at masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.
Thanks for your help.
Lauren

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tennessee Williams

Just heard celebs tell memories of Tennessee Williams. My favorite was when he went to the debut of one of his films. The woman asked him where he was from (wanting to know what studio), and he said, "Mississippi." She called him a wise guy and turned him away until she heard Eli Wallach (who was telling the story) say, "Tenn, tell her who you are." She gasped, and said, "Are you Tennessee Williams!?" When he nodded she said, "Why didn't you tell me who you were?" "You didn't ask me that," he replied, "You asked where I was from."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Find Me

This is the first film by Tracy Trost, who will be directing A Christmas Snow early in 2010.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Christmas Snow

I just auditioned for an upcoming film, A Christmas Snow, with two other MasterWorks faculty members: Mac Nelson and Patricia Mauceri.

Here are links to our auditions, which you can view when signed in to Facebook:

Patricia Mauceri as Kathleen's Mother
Mac Nelson as Sam
Rich Swingle as Martin
Rich Swingle as Claud
Rich Swingle as Andrew

If you're on Facebook, we'd love it if you'd vote "Like" for our auditions and post positive comments there to raise the director's interest.


If you watch the video here, after it's done, click here to vote "Like" and leave a comment.

Thanks!