Heading north (and south)

It's been wonderful to spend some time on my family's farm.

Last night I had three childhood friends at my performance. Steve and I would speak in Russian accents and enact pro wrestling moves at our desks. On band trips Rodney and I would try to impress girls speaking in an accent of our own invention (Yankovician, inspired by Weird Al).

Rodney is now going to have a foreign accent in Haiti. He and his family (Michele, was Rod speaking Yancovician when you met?) have been raising support to be missionaries there. The earthquake has increased the urgency of preparation.

If you've been wanting to help Haiti in a significant way, pray about helping the Geislers get there. For more information click here.

Performing tonight in my home town

Phoenix, Oregon. Scroll down the blog to see how this was set up.

I've been cast as Claud

I've been cast as Claud in the upcoming film, A Christmas Snow. I hope you'll become a Facebook fan of the film and help build momentum for the film's release at the end of the year: Facebook.com/AChristmasSnow.

Performing in Southern Oregon

I forget how excited I get to land at the Medford Airport. It's really one of the most beautiful landings in the world, but the most exciting thing is visiting family and all the fond memories of growing up around here.

At the airport I ran into one of my high school teachers, and then at dinner I ran into the parents of a friend in New York! They've moved here.

I'll be performing twice this week in Phoenix and Talent: RichDrama.com/Itinerary.

The Wednesday night performance was established because of another Divine Appointment: The pastor of the host church just happened to be lunching with the lead elder of the Beijing International Christian Fellowship in Angelo's Pizzeria at the same time I was having lunch there for the first time in years. I often had lunches there when I was in high school. He had hosted my performance at his church during the 2008 Olympics! The local pastor and I thought we should definitely follow that kind of a lead. You can read more about that encounter here: What Are the Chances?

If I told you about these performances in the past, be sure to notice that the performance time on Sunday, 1/24, has been changed to 7pm to accommodate a missionary from Austria. And the address of the first venue has changed. Well, the church hasn't moved, I just sent people to the pastors house earlier!

Here are the (real) details:

January 24, 7pm
Big Fish Little Worm (http://RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm)
Talent Bible Chapel
303 E Main Street
Talent, Oregon

January 27, 7pm
Big Fish Little Worm (http://RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm)
Central Neighborhood Church
4777 S. Pacific Highway
Phoenix, OR

At both performances I'll be talking about upcoming dramatic adventures in Vancouver during the Olympics (RichDrama.com/Olympics) and Cape Town, South Africa, during the Lausanne Congress (CapeTown2010.com).


I just landed in my beautiful home state for performances and to teach a one-credit class at George Fox Seminary: www.RichDrama/Itinerary.

Compassion in Haiti

I represent Compassion when I perform, and they just sent me the following update on their work in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake...

Begin forwarded message:

Here's the latest info for you from Compassion's Crisis Management Team, who are doing a GREAT job keeping us connected to what's going on. Keep praying for clarity, wisdom and discernment as God uses them and our field staff to make critical decisions during this time.

So far, here is what's going on:

From the Field
  • Still only limited communication from the field.
  • Dan Woolley: Still in a hospital in Miami being treated for "non life threatening injuries." We expect Dan and Christy to be home this week.
  • David Hames: David is still missing. Compassion continues to communicate with the teams working at the hotel and with officials and hospitals in Haiti and DR.

Compassion Haiti Staff
  • ALL CI Haiti staff members in the PaP area are alive and accounted for! Praises!
  • Staff is working out of the Compassion office parking lot
  • They are awaiting EMI to assess building damage

Compassion ICPs
  • As many as 50 projects may have been seriously impacted
  • Estimated 15,000+ Compassion children directly impacted by quake
  • Contact made with 22 projects
  • No specific information on individual children
  • More projects were visited yesterday and we should have info soon

The Disaster Response Team will take the lead on compiling information coming in from the field on needs and on specific projects or children, communicating that to sponsors and donors and getting those needs met.

Price Points

$25 – helps provide clean water to a family for a week
$50 – helps feed a family with food such as rice, beans, canned meat and oil for a week
$100 – helps provide basic medical supplies for a church partner to treat up to 50 patients
$500 – helps provide critical life items like temporary shelter, blankets and clothing for 10 families
$1500 - helps to rebuild a home

You can sponsor a child or give through Compassion at http://RichDrama.com/Compassion.

Smoky Mountains and Twelve Tribes

This terrain was covered with snow when we landed on Monday, but there was smoke on the mountains (Psalm 104:32) as we met with the Lord and saught his vision for Lausanne (www.CapeTown2010.com).

Our host for dinner shared how he and his wife have long had a heart for Haiti. They discovered 40 groups with a similar heart in the Knoxville area, and they had, long ago, prepared a team to visit Haiti. They left for the airport earlier than we did this morning with plans adjusted from what they were months ago. They're connected to a couple dozen churches there, and they reported that a care facility run by one of those churches is overrun with over 1500 people fleeing Port-au-Prince in fear of more aftershocks.

In the evening I performed part of Big Fish Little Worm (www.RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm) and Hyatt Moore shared his amazing art, his story and his heart. He's best known for The Last Supper for Twelve Tribes (www.HyattMoore.com). He told us that he didn't know what color to paint Jesus, so each time he finished one of the disciples, representing a different people group, he used some of that color on Jesus. So in the end, Jesus has some color from each of the different people groups.

Hyatt went from art director for a surf magazine to short term missionary to head of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Then one day he was stopped at a light and saw a painting. He thought to himself, "I can do that." Now it's his full-time profession.

Here's a video on how Hyatt created The Last Supper for Twelve Tribes:

If you want to be a part of that feast at the end of time, read on: www.RichDrama.com/MyPassion.

Enacted prayer for Haiti

We had a great planning session today in the Smoky Mountains for Lausanne in Cape Town this October. Thank you to those who were lifting us up.

In the arts group we focused on the breakout sessions that are going to be taking place in the afternoons in Cape Town. There are three areas, which will hold from 500 to 1500 each. There will be 21 different breakout sessions people will be able to choose throughout the week. They are all asked to incorporate the arts in some way. We're all feeling a bit overwhelmed.

At dinner we were devastated by news of the earthquake in Haiti. After performing an excerpt from Beyond the Chariots and explaining bibliodrama I led an enacted prayer for the effected Haitians. A woman from South Africa played an injured Haitian, and a man from Egypt played a Christian rescue worker. At a certain point he requested help from the audience, and a gentleman from LA stepped in to help. In the end, the Haitian was brought back to health and God enveloped her and the rescue workers in a hug.

Lift us up for Wednesday's session as we'll discuss incorporating arts in the daytime plenary sessions.

Over dinner, I sat with a gentleman who was a part of the first Congress (this will be the third). He said before it took place in 1974 Evangelicals weren't involved in social action, and there was little unity among Christian organizations. He's seen that change directly happen through Lausanne as it forced leaders of denominations and organizations to work together to achieve unity for the Congress. It's exciting to see that happen now, in preparation for Cape Town.

Several of us (including myself) are struggling with sore throats. The point person for the Opening and Closing sessions (which are going to be amazing), has laryngitis. The fellow running the evening plenary sessions (which are going to be amazing in a different way as they will express stories and issues from various world areas) is getting over shingles. We're a part of such significant work, we're not surprised to have opposition. We appreciate you holding up our arms from afar.

Planning in balmy Knoxville, TN

I'm meeting with people from around the world in Knoxville to plan the Lausanne Congress in South Africa over the next two days. Pray for us to catch the Lord's vision for evangelizing the world. I've been blown away by the vision and passion of the team, which includes Paul Eshleman, head of Campus Crusade for Christ and the Jesus Film outreach, which has tripled the size of our denomination (Church of the Nazarene) in about a dozen years. During a time of open prayer, I was just about to pray that the upcoming Congress be the next Pentecost, since 4,500 delegates are gathering from 200 nations, when a gentleman prayed that The Holy Spirit would send tongues of fire to ignite us. Lift us up as we seek the Lord's vision.

Racing through the Charlotte Airport

We raced to our gate in Charlotte only to wait.

We're heading to Knoxville where we'll be planning the Lausanne Congress for Cape Town in October: http://CapeTown2010.com.

Zion Workshop

I'm excited about an upcoming workshop I'll be offering near Winona Lake, Indiana, home of the MasterWorks Festival, where I direct the theatre program. I'll be doing sessions on enacted prayer, The Physical Actor, and through Sociodrama we'll create a sketch which may be used at the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa.

You can click the form below to download a pdf of the flyer/registration form with dates, times and more information.

You can also send people to RichDrama.com/ZionWorkshop.

Happy Epiphany!

Hope your celebration of the Three Kings is going well.

If you missed our Christmas eCard here it is...

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.

George Herbert at the Kennedy Center

A friend of ours is going to have some George Herbert poems performed at her wedding. I mentioned to her that I had performed some of his poems at the Kennedy Center, and she asked to know which ones. I'm posting them here:



Having been tenant long to a rich Lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented leave, and cancel the old.

In heaven at his manor I him sought:
They told me there, that he was lately gone
About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possession.

I straight returned, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts;
In cities, theatres, gardens, parks, and courts:
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
Of thieves and murderers: there I him espied,
Who straight, "Your suit is granted," said, and died.


Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I Lacked anything.

"A guest," I answered, "worthy to be here."
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I the unkind, the ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on Thee."
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marred them. Let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.


When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honor, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts in stead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.


I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or star, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things, or all of them in one?

My God, what is a heart?
That thou shouldst it so eye, and woe,
Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?

Indeed man's whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heaven and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sun-beam I will climb to thee.


"Sweet peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
Let me know once."
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And asked if Peace were there.
A hollow wind did seem to answer, "No,
Go seek elsewhere."

I did, and going did a rainbow note:
"Surely," thought I,
"This is the lace of Peace's coat.
I will search out the matter."
But while I looked, the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy
A gallant flower,
The Crown Imperial. "Sure," said I,
"Peace at the root must dwell."
But when I digged, I saw a worm devour
What showed so well.

At length I met a rev'rend good old man,
Whom when for Peace
I did demand, he thus began:
"There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase
Of flock and fold.

"He sweetly lived: yet sweetness did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of his grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat:
Which many wond'ring at, got some of those
To plant and set.

"It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth:
For they that taste it do rehearse,
That virtue lies therein,
A secret virtue bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sin.

"Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you;
Make bread of it: and that repose
And peace, where everywhere
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
Is only there.

Write a sketch for the world!

I'm on the Media and Arts planning committee for the Lausanne Congress for Worldwide Evangelization, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, this October. I'm also on the board of Christians in Theatre Arts, and they've agreed to use our Sketch Writing Competition as a way for us to consider material to be incorporated into the Congress. So some may be performed in Cape Town for 4,500 delegates from 200 nations: CITA.org. The deadline is February 5, so get writing!

Midnight Clear

We just watched Midnight Clear, which was cast by MasterWorks faculty member Bev Holloway. What a phenomenal way to start the New Year! It's quite well done!

If you have a Netflix account you can watch it instantly.

Happy New Year!

If you missed our Christmas eCard, visit RichDrama.com/MerryChristmas.

My Treo has the ability to stitch together up to three photos. In this case, it took three different light readings, for an interesting effect, I think.

The pole on the tower behind us is where the ball dropped last night.