Performed in Northern Ireland

I got to celebrate Independence Day in Northern Ireland with high school friends, David N Tricia Howell. It was significantly cheaper for me to fly into Dublin than London for The Dragon and the Raven, so I planned an extra night in Ireland, hoping to connect with the Howells, who minister an hour south of Dublin. They told me they'd be at Summer Madness, 2.5 hours north of Dublin. I asked if they might like to use one of my dramas. They weren't a part of leadership but encouraged me to contact them. I sent an email to info@WhateverTheWebsiteSaid.UK.Co, and I was shocked when the founding director of the 28-year-old festival sent a note the very next day asking me to pitch ideas. I went ahead and booked a rental car in case it worked out. I praise the Lord that it didn't since I arrived after that program began! I was waiting to let the Howells know I'd be there until I knew for sure whether or not I'd be performing. They didn't get internet access, and Facebook was the only point of contact I had for them. So after hearing a phenomenal teaching and worshipping the Lord with 2,000 young people I started looking for my friends in the dark tent. Just when I gave up and was walking to the stage to ask about using their mic there was Dave! What a happy reunion! I was actually quite astonished at how many there celebrated with us independence from their rule! Great fun! They have friends who use American terms like trash instead of rubbish on the Fourth. smile emoticon
I also got to perform Sean Gaffney's "Lazarus" for the 30+ youth the Howells had helped bring up from Ireland. That was significant since this month marks 20 years in which I've made my income exclusively from the performing arts and applied theatre, and that was kicked off when Sean asked if I'd drive with him from NYC to Seattle for him to start work as managing director of Traproot Theatre. Sean and his wife, Catherine Pleis Gaffney were in London while I was, so it was a bummer our schedules couldn't coincide, but it was delightful when one of my colleagues in The Dragon and the Raven asked if my last name was Swingle. He was on his way to tea with Sean and Cath!

Hear my report on these stories and more here

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1 comment:

Rich Swingle said...

The next morning I drove along the gorgeous Northern Ireland coast, sans GPS navigation. I passed under a mammoth work of art in Belfast that I remembered from the drive north, so I knew I was on the right track and put my mind on autopilot... until I got to a roundabout and Dublin was not an option! I whipped out the map and had NO idea where I was, but the Lord sent my eyes right to a tiny town that was offered on one of those roundabout signs. I was WAY off course and was seriously concerned about arriving on time for my flight! But I remembered the talk from the night before about God being totally trustworthy, and I heard the Lord whisper into my soul: "Didn't I take care of you the whole week?" I relaxed, even when I saw my first sign to Dublin, hoping upon hope that I'd already crossed the border into Ireland where the distance was in KM. No. I was still in Ireland where they measure in miles, so I was still way off schedule but I trusted the Lord. When I checked in the woman told me to run to security, which I did, but once I got through security I discovered there was a second security for us Yanks so we would be forced to take off our shoes. Once I cleared second security I saw I had to go through customs! (European travelers be warned!) All the while I just trusted the Lord and praised him. A man asked if anyone was flying to NYC. My hand shot up, but I wasn't on the flight he was bringing to the front of the line. Finally my flight got to take cuts. As I walked up to my gate they called my section of the plane. The Lord once again proved He is trustworthy!