Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Gift of Sight

This morning Joyce preached on John 9 at our church, Westchester Chapel.

Opening and guitar by Bill H. Reflection by Liz H. Sermon in a Sack by Pastor Randy Solomon. Introduction to "Happy Birthday to Jesus" by Eva P.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

WCCC Christmas by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

 Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Now taking applications for the MasterWorks Festival theatre program: www.RichDrama.com/MWFTheatre. Training and performances in IN, PA and NYC, including an Off-Broadway theatre!  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Have a Blessed Christmas!

Every year that I perform Views of the Manger I'm so blessed to start immersing myself in the Christmas story early. This year my first performance was on December 1, so I started reading through the script early in November. But rather than getting tired of the theme, the impact of what the Lord did for us in sending His Son touches me on deeper and deeper levels as the day we celebrate His birth approaches.

This year I was asked to preach on Elizabeth. Joyce preached on Zechariah the week before. You'll have to listen to the sermons on my blog (Dec 15) to see why she got the guy and I got the gal, but we were both blessed to dig into their story of preparing the Way. As an opening illustration for my sermon I wrote a sketch which portrays Zechariah at the moment his voice returns after nine months of silence. Scripture says the first words out of his mouth were praise. The sketch shows what I think his next words might have been: telling his story of Gabriel's visit for the first time verbally. I hope others are as moved by the piece as I am. I haven't gotten through it yet without sobbing. I've now added it to the Views of the Manger lineup.

December 18 marked 20 years in New York City for me. You can read the first two entries in the journal I kept at the time, Farm Boy on Times Square. It blows me away to think of how that move as a 24-year-old opened the way for about 3,000 performances or workshops in over 40 colleges or universities, hundreds of churches and theatres, 39 states, five continents, 26 nations and more than 20 video projects that have reached out to people in countless nations. Thank you so much for your part in helping us share Truth in creative ways out across the land!

This year I added to the list with about 225 performances and workshops in 15 states plus Puerto Rico and Vanuatu. A highlight of the year was performing my play on Jonah with translation into Nafe, a language that is spoken by only about 4,000 people. Then, I preached a short sermon on Jonah which had been translated into Nafe. They then performed songs for us in English, Nafe, and Bislama, the language that ties the nation's 83 islands together. I'll never forget that trip.

I also performed in five other films in 2013: In His Steps, Polycarp: Destroyer of Gods, Confessions of a Prodigal Son, Creed of Gold, and Princess Cut.

This year was my last with a grandparent. I was honored to preach at Grandma Swingle's funeral. She lived to 97. For the last few years I was able to talk and pray with her once a week as my schedule allowed, and I know she's enjoying her first Christmas with Christ.

Joyce continues to serve as lead pastor of our church, Westchester Chapel. I've had some wonderful pastors over the years, but she surpasses them all... though I'll admit a great deal of bias. You can catch her sermons on our church's website, my blog and iTunes (search "Joyce Swingle"). Her ability to capture hearts and minds with the Truth of the Word continues to grow. She also continues to change lives through her counseling.

We realized the year almost slipped away without a honeymoon, so we're going down to Philadelphia the week between Christmas and New Years for our 17th.

These are just a few of the highlights of a full and fulfilling year. For those of you on Facebook you can see our top 20 posts for the year.

For 2014 we're looking forward to leading a team of performing artists to Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics. In April I've been invited to perform and teach at an educators' conference held at The Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. My grandparents had served there, and my mom and aunt attended school at that academy for about six years. We have invitations in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria. We'll get to as many as possible. For more information, and to support this trip, visit www.RichDrama.com/Africa.

Have a very blessed Christmas, and a bright New Year!
Rich and Joyce

P.S. If you didn't get this in your inbox, you can subscribe to future updates at RichDrama.com/Updates.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

20 years in NYC





Sunday, December 15, 2013

The John the Baptist Triptych

After Joyce preached on Zechariah, I preached on Elizabeth. You'll have to hear our sermons to see why she got the guy and I got the gal...

Joyce on Zechariah:


Rich on Elizabeth:


Both preachings were from Luke 1 at Westchester Chapel.

The triptych was completed by Pastor Linda Warren, when she preached on their son, John the Baptist (Luke 3:1-22):



Have a blessed Christmas, everyone!

WCCC Christmas by RichS on Grooveshark Now taking applications for the MasterWorks Festival theatre program: www.RichDrama.com/MWFTheatre. Training and performances in IN, PA and NYC, including an Off-Broadway theatre!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Great article on Princess Cut

A fantastic article just came out on Princess Cut in which I play suave real estate agent Nigel Livengood. In the article Jenn Gotzon calls this team “The most excellent production crew I have ever worked with on a faith-based film. In the production, in the coordination, in the communication, in all the pre-development, to on set through all the departments, they ran as excellently as Ron Howard’s Oscar nominated crew [Gotzon appeared in Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon in 2008]." 

Here's the full article: Princess Cut Heads Into Post-Production.

Now taking applications for the MasterWorks Festival theatre program: www.RichDrama.com/MWFTheatre. Training and performances in IN, PA and NYC, including an Off-Broadway theatre!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Creed of Gold


Now available in Walmart.
Daniel Knudsen had left the set of Indescribable before Joyce and I got there to play Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Lehman, but the set was abuzz about his upcoming film, Creed of Gold.  I met Daniel when I performed in Christmas Grace. We had a great chat about the power of film to impact society with Truth. By that point he had already finished editing Creed of Gold, so I was surprised when Daniel later picked me up at the Detroit Airport for a Christians in Theatre Arts conference. He asked if I would play the voice of a reporter for Creed of Gold. He'd tweaked the footage and needed something different. We pulled into a parking lot, he turned his car into a recording studio, and now I have a credit in the film!





Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sunday in Manhattan

About a dozen years ago I performed several roles for the soundtrack of my friend Brent Grosvenor's play Sunday in Manhattan, which is available on DVD.

In the trailer below mine is the only voice that's not Brent or his daughters.


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Zechariah

While I was performing Views of the Manger in Fishkill, NY, Joyce preached on Luke 1:5-25 at our church.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

WCCC Worship 12/1/13 by RichS on Grooveshark
We were introduced to "God in Flesh and Blood" this morning. It isn't in Grooveshark yet, so I couldn't put it in our worship lineup above. Instead I'm sharing it via the artist's YouTube channel:
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad. Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Now taking applications for the MasterWorks Festival theatre program: www.RichDrama.com/MWFTheatre. Training and performances in IN, PA and NYC, including an Off-Broadway theatre!

 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

St. Patrick gives thanks



Roger Nelson was one of my greatest sources of inspiration for spending the past 18 years performing one-man plays. He shared his one-man play The Confession of St. Patrick at our church this morning. You can see excerpts of the play below, preceded by my introduction. Pastor Jim Warren opened and closed the service. Guitar background by Bill H.




This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

Roger's products can be ordered at A1ManPlay.com.

WCCC Worship 11/24/13 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

Now taking applications for the MasterWorks Festival theatre program: www.RichDrama.com/MWFTheatre. Training and performances in IN, PA and NYC, including an Off-Broadway theatre!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Isaiah

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Isaiah 6. Opening prayer by Pastor Linda Warren.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

WCCC Worship 11/10/13 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.  Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Now taking applications for the MasterWorks Festival theatre program: www.RichDrama.com/MWFTheatre. Training and performances in IN, PA and NYC, including an Off-Broadway theatre! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In His Steps premiere

I play the role of John Gray, the owner of the White Cross Kitchen, in the upcoming film In His Steps.

The film will premiere in Montrose, Colorado, on December 7. It will be available on DVD December 3, and can be preordered now



Monday, November 04, 2013

Princess Cut

For about twenty years I've wanted to be a part of a project that tells the power of purity in building a fantastic marriage. Fall of 2013 that prayer was answered when I was cast in Princess Cut. Joyce and I got to see three rough cuts of the film at various stages, and and then I saw it at the 2015 Christian Worldview Film Festival, where it took Runner Up for Best Feature and Runner Up for Audience Choice. Then it was screened at the Salvation Army's TAM Conservatory where I was teaching and directing.

After a theatrical-on-demand release in August it is now available on DVD and Video on Demand:

Christian Cinema
Christian Movies
Princess Cut Official Website

I performed the role of Nigel Livengood, a suave realtor. It was filmed in the Winston-Salem, NC, area. Principle photography was originally slated for earlier in the year, but the Lord's timing brought gorgeous fall foliage to enhance the already beautiful backdrop.

It's a fabulous, moving and important film!

In the article "Princess Cut Heads Into Post-Production" in Christian FilmJenn Gotzon calls this team “The most excellent production crew I have ever worked with on a faith-based film. In the production, in the coordination, in the communication, in all the pre-development, to on set through all the departments, they ran as excellently as Ron Howard’s Oscar nominated crew [Gotzon appeared in Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon in 2008]."




Photo by Jillian Bowen. © Copyright 2013 by Princess Cut.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Drama saved his life

I was tagged in this note by a former student:
...this video just saved my life. I have been lost now for a pretty good length of time and drama was something I let go of to get away from God, but I just wanted to say after watching this and the real video I'm back to the one thing that kept me strong in my faith and that's drama. Thank all of you for the impact you have had on my life and thank God himself for TAM Conservatory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANimBMRiQaM
 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vanuatu

I just got back from Vanuatu, performing Jonah with translation into Nafe, a language spoken by only a couple of hundred people. I also got to preach a brief sermon on Jonah in Nafe. Unbelievable!

This nation that practiced cannibalism 150 years ago has been voted "The Planet's Happiest Country," because missionaries introduced them to the Prince of Peace.

Except for the lack of cannibalism and the addition of cell phones and four-wheel-drive trucks it felt like we were going back 150 years! Most of the homes were built as they had been then, and there were no paved roads on the side of the island I visited.

Of the 31 nations I've now visited I thought it to be one of the loveliest places I've ever seen!


Bio for Rich Swingle

Rich Swingle
Photo by Fritz Liedtke
Rich Swingle has performed and/or taught on five continents, in 28 nations and in hundreds of venues, mostly with a dozen one-man plays he has written or helped develop: A Clear LeadingBig Fish Little WormThe RevelationThe ActsAlien Immigration TrainingViews of the MangerFive Bells for 9/11Journey to the GardenParadise LostGod of HopeShepherds Reflect on the 23rd Psalm, and Beyond the Chariots, which he's performed Off-Broadway, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the largest arts festival in the world), in LA, Toronto, Hong Kong, Shangai, Transylvania, and in Beijing, Vancouver, Singapore and London while those cities hosted the Olympics

Rich has been immersed in the life of Eric Liddell since 2000 when Liddell's niece Peggy Judge gave him a tour of the Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh, where he pored through family photos and out-of-print biographies. The Edinburgh Fringe performances were in the lunchroom where Eric Liddell ate his meals at the University of Edinburgh. It was transformed into a theatre space, and it was 100m from Liddell's dorm room and 100m from McEwan Hall, where Liddell graduated. Rich's performances have also taken him to Le Stade de Colombes in Paris, where Liddell broke the world record, and to Tientsin, China, and a track Liddell designed, the home where he lived and a church where he preached. He's interviewed people that remember Liddell on four continents, including all three of Liddell's daughters, two of his wife's siblings, one of his students, and numerous people who were interned with him in China.  

Rich was a writer for the documentary Olympic Hero in China: The Eric Liddell Story, for which he recorded the English narration. He is working on turning some of his one-man plays into feature films.

Rich has lived in New York City since 1993, where he's acted in a number of productions for stage, film, radio, and several of the films in which he's performed have been aired on television.  He has been featured in over 20 film projects, most notably the lead role of Mitchell Little in Providence, (shown in select AMC Theatres February, 2016), the lead role of Frederich Lehman in Indescribable, the featured role of Dr. Bonneville in Beyond the Mask, the featured role of Claud in A Christmas Snow, the principal role of Coach Sean Ryan in For the Glory, and the featured role of Sheriff Hanson in the award-winning Pawn's Movethe featured role of John Gray in In His Steps, the featured role of a land speculator in Alone Yet Not Alone, Hollywood director Forrest Woods in The Screenwriters, a quirky clerk in Christmas Grace, a lead in the short film Settledthe featured role of Dr. Bonneville in Beyond the Maskthe featured role of a land speculator in Polycarp: Destroyer of Godsthe featured role of a homeless man in Confessions of a Prodigal Sonthe featured role of a newscaster in Creed of Gold, and the featured role of Nigel Livengood in Princess Cut. For the complete lineup visit IMDb.me/RichSwingle and RichDrama.com/Films.

He performed as The Apostle Paul for CD and DVD in 
God of Hope. He played the narrator and all other roles in Paradise Lost, which was featured at the International Double Reed Conference. In the "audio movie" The Dragon and the Raven he performed three featured roles and one principle in a cast with John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings, Beyond the Mask), Helen George (Call the Midwife), and John Bell (The Hobbit). He and Brian Deacon (Jesus in The Jesus Film) played brothers. For the Beginners Bible video series, distributed by Sony Wonder, he did 20 roles including Jesus, Adam, and the Serpent. He recorded two projects related to the September 11th attacks: Crossing Barriers and Stage Shadows. He has performed voice-overs and on-screen roles in several commercials. He originated the roles of Simonides and Pontius Pilate in the musical Judah Ben-Hurin Singapore, and he performed five poems by George Herbert at The Kennedy Center.

Rich has co-directed with John Kirby (acting coach on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, DéJà Vu, Count of Monte Cristo) on Tartuffe and Our Town, during which Rich performed the role of the Stage Manager, and The Miracle Worker. He worked with Patricia Mauceri (Broadway: Othello with James Earl Jones, film: Don Juan de Marco  with Johnny Depp and TV: One Life to Live) to direct The Crucible, The Jeweler's Shop by Pope John Paul II, Twelve Angry Jurors, and Much Ado About Nothing. The last three plays were performed in Theatre 315, and Off-Broadway space.

Rich's shorter works have shared the stage with numerous musicians including Margaret BeckerBob CarlisleThe Martins and Fernando Ortega.

Rich was on the planning committee for Media and Arts at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa, and he is on the board of Christians in Theatre Arts, through which he was selected as a leader and Featured Dramatist for CITA to the Nations, a trip to Jordan and Israel in which he taught, directed, performed and organized others to do the same for students in Amman, Jordan. Then they performed biblical sketches where they took place in Jordan and Israel.

Rich is a Freedom Finder for Graceworks, helping presenters in a variety of fields overcome stage fright and connect with their audiences through seminars and project coaching.

He has performed and/or taught workshops in over 40 colleges and universities, including his alma mater, George Fox University (rated the number one Christian college in the US by Forbes and US News and World Report), University of Memphis, Namseoul University in Korea, Singapore Bible College, and Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in the Philippines. Each spring he teaches a workshop at Princeton University. Rich also spoke at the Ivy League Congress on Faith and Action, hosted by the Harvard University chapter of Christian Union.

He received his master's degree in theatre from Hunter College, where he studied under Eric Bentley (C. S. Lewis was his advisor at Oxford), Tina Howe (playwriting: nominated for the Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Guggenheim Fellowship), Patricia Sternberg (sociodrama: a student of sociodrama's inventor, Jacob L. Moreno), Jerome Coopersmith (screenwriting: screenwriter for An American Christmas Carol and many of the original Hawaii Five-O episodes), Jonathan Kalb (criticism: critic for the New York Times).

For more photos visit RichDrama.com/Photos.

For updates go to RichDrama.com/Updates.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Schooled on an Off-Broadway stage

I'm looking forward to sharing my play A Clear Leading (www.RichDrama.com/AClearLeading) tomorrow night at City College: www.RichDrama.com/Schedule. I've been performing the play for 19 years, and the first time I heard about modern slavery was after one of my Off-Broadway performances. In the play I perform about a dozen different characters, including John Woolman, who spoke against slavery 100 years before the Civil War. I stayed in character after the play and answered questions. One night a woman asked, "John Woolman, what do you think of modern slavery." I was floored! I said, "Why don't you tell me." I got my first lesson in the reality of human trafficking while standing on an Off-Broadway stage.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Joyce's Sermon / Rich's Sendoff

This morning Joyce introduced our new sermon series at Westchester Chapel. Rachel Hetrick led worship, shared and prayed.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

WCCC Worship 10/9/13 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad. Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I'm legal!

I performed my first one-man play early in 1992. So I've now been performing them for over 21 years. That first piece was a very different version of the Jonah section of what has become Big Fish Little Worm, which I'll be performing at the Christians in Theatre Arts conference in a couple of weeks: RichDrama.com/Schedule.

Watch Joyce and I play the parents of nine...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Joyce honored for honoring the children

During this morning's service Joyce honored the children and children's workers of our church, Westchester Chapel. At the end of the ceremony Eva P., who runs our nursery program honored Joyce. You can hear her kind words and prayer in the service below.

The service opens with a spoken word poem by Tida Wright, who also led worship with Damaris Rivera. Pastor Randy Solomon preached on Matthew 7:21-23.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

WCCC Worship 9/29/13 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Living as a Foolish or a Wise One?

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Matthew 7:24-29. Opening prayer by Bill H. and communion by Pastor Linda Warren.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

WCCC Worship 9/22/13 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recognize False Prophets

Pastor Joyce Swingle preached on Matthew 7:15-20. Opening prayer by Bill H.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.



WCCC Worship 9/15/13 by RichS on Grooveshark Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.  Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.  Watch Joyce and I play the parents of nine...