Conservatory Finale

The final performance of our students at the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory is now online. You can watch it below or by clicking here if you received this via email. My students' performance, which we created via sociodrama, is at 39:25. 

There's not much I taught Kathryn Higgins about dance, but her piece is at 35:38, based on one of my favorite verses: Isaiah 40:31. When they were asked for a title for their piece one of the dancers in the group heard that chapter and verse from Isaiah, not knowing what it was. It fits the choreography beautifully!

The pieces directed by my former student, Brad Cain, begin at 46:26, 1:03:05, 1:07:25, and 1:39:20.

I'm quite certain I taught Ryan Livingston absolutely nothing about visual arts, but he has incorporated drama into the presentation of his program's work. You can see that at 1:09:42 and 2:04:25. The form of the performance in the second section may be a world premiere! Ryan was inspired by sandbox art. He knew he wouldn't have time to set up a sandbox for the finale, so he created the work you'll see. I think it's unbelievable!

Mabel López-Cuevas attended one of my sociodrama workshops at a Christians in Theatre Arts Conference in Puerto Rico. She directed her students in creating one of my favorite choreodramas, which you can see at 1:33:43.

Students from the worship track created a song to go with our theme verse, Acts 1:8. You can hear the students who created the song singing it at 27:52 and all of our students singing it at 2:09:26.

You have to watch it on the main page to move to different times. 

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Conservatory Report

This morning I got to share a report about the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory, and I made reference to a series of Divine appointments that occurred yesterday, which you can read about here.

Pastor Jim Warren preached on Haggai 1:1-15, 2:15 and 18. Pastor Linda Warren opened with prayer and later led in commissioning new board member Eva P.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service:

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.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit

I teach annually at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers CampSubscribe to get a note that registration is open.

God just blew my mind!

We never got all four faculty members
who were my former students together
for a single photo, but this is
Jonathon Shaffstall, Brad Cain,
and Kathryn Ballantine. 
All week I've been performing, teaching and directing at the Salvation Army's TAM Conservatory, where we've been meditating on Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

This morning during the send out I shared with the community how the Lord had been speaking to me about his long-term plans with the Conservatory. The Territorial Commanders, William and Lorraine Bamford, addressed our students after many faculty and students shared, and Commander William Bamford pointed out that we're approaching 1500 students who have been trained at the Conservatory, and many have gone on to do great things for the Lord. This year four faculty members had been my students at TAMC years ago. I asked faculty members to stand who had previously been a student there, and I believe there were nine!

We had a BLAST catching up with
Sean and Cath Gaffney, who
taught me so much about writing,
acting, and teaching!
So, this morning I was on faculty at TAMC with Brad Cain, who had been my student at TAMC 15 years ago. Then, tonight Sean and Cath Gaffney messaged me that they were in NYC and asked if we were free. Sean was on the faculty at Regent University while Brad and Cath (Sean loved being a professor dating a student!) were working on their M.F.A.s in acting at Regent together.

But wait, there's more! Sean and Cath were in the city to see Samantha Sturm, who the three of us taught...wait for it... about 15 years ago! Samantha is now in her sixth Broadway show, CATS, and that's the Broadway show that brought Carol Jaudes, the founding director of TAMC and Susie Somerville Brown into their first collaboration.

OK, so now it gets really interesting: Samantha was 14 when we worked with her. On Thursday Susie worked with my students, who were 14 and up, and this morning a 14-year-old student of mine at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp a month ago was staying with her family at our place while we were at TAMC.

So the only four 14-year-olds I believe I've ever worked with were connected by this day.

Ryan Livingston was my student for
acting, and though he was on faculty
to teach visual arts he used his flair
for performance in the presentation
of their artwork.
Lord, raise up all of our students to co-create with You, the only One who could have even thought of arranging that many Divine appointments in a single day to blow my mind and encourage me to pray all the more diligently for my students, no matter their age!


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Full Circle

I've been having a blast performing, teaching and directing at my 13th Salvation Army TAM Conservatory. Our theme has been "Power to Be," based on Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth," and we've been seeing power and witness!

Early in our rehearsal for the finale there was a technical issue. I prayed that, since we've been learning to call upon the Power of the Lord, that He would help us with all of our technical needs. They fixed the problem so quickly that everyone got that it was the Lord and we all cheered!

Two of the actors and two of the dancers have trained this week not only to perform but to become leaders in the future. The quote that hit the slide before their dance was from Hudson Taylor: "The power of prayer has never been tried to its full capacity." That being said, our students did quite a lot of exploring!

Jonathon, Brad and Kathryn hanging
with me.
It's been such a privilege to be on faculty with five of my former students! Last night Jonathon Shaffstall and Kathryn Higgins made me laugh until the tears were streaming down my face with late night improv. The tears actually fell into my ears since I was a guest artist, playing a cadavre.

On Wednesday night Brad Cain taught a master class on directing. I felt like he put the brush strokes of a whole semester into the canvas of an hour!

Speaking of artwork, my former student Ryan Livingston brought his experience as a performer into his visual arts students' presentation of their work, including a board you just have to see to understand.

Mabel López-Cuevas attended one of my sociodrama workshops at a Christians in Theatre Arts Conference in Puerto Rico. She directed her students in creating one of my favorite choreodramas.

Friday morning I got to do a reading of John 4:1-45, The Woman at the Well, with Kathryn and her husband, Kyle Higgins. Then Kathryn's mother, Heather Ballentine, showed us the video at the bottom of this page. Heather and her husband Len led the Territorial School of Music and Gospel Arts (TSoMaGA). We talked this week about thin places, where we sense the reality of Heaven in a palpable way. TSoMaGA is one of the thinnest experiences I've known.

Heather reminded us that in non-Western societies miracles are being experienced more often: the lame are walking, the blind are seeing, the dead are coming back to life! She closed by inviting us to invite the Holy Spirit to have unfettered reign in our lives! It got seriously thin! We anointed each other with water, and waited on the Lord, who visited us palpably.

When our drama team gathered afterward we shared how the Holy Spirit spoke to us, and we did a couple of powerful enacted prayers.

Here's a powerful spoken word piece that was used early in the service:

If you received this via email visit (8/11/17) to see the video.

More reports at #TAMC on Instagram and Facebook.

Salvation Army Conservatory Chapter 17

This will be the 13th out of 17 years at which I've taught and directed at the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory. Carol Jaudes, who runs the program, was in CATS on Broadway for five years before the Salvation Army brought her on to facilitate using the performing arts in a greater capacity. There are several faculty members who have been more regular than I have been! Carol pointed out that we keep coming back because there's something very special here, and that it is so because we really focus on the students. I also think it's because creating with the Creator is catching a glimpse of Heaven.

I’ll be directing a piece from the Book of Acts. We’ll create a sketch through sociodrama, exemplifying the theme of the week: POWER TO BE, based on Acts 1:8…But you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Pray we tap into the unsearchable wisdom of the Lord and create something that reflects his brilliance. I’ll also teach a technique class using exercises developed by Sanford Meisner, which put an emphasis on listening. I’m going to focus on the importance not only to listen to our fellow actors but also to the Holy Spirit. I’ll also be teaching enacted prayer.

Pray for stamina, Salvations, rededications, calls to ministry and missions.

If you're in the area, you're welcome to join us for our finale on Friday at 6:30 or 8:30 at the Salvation Army College for Officer Training, in their Lecture Hall at 201 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, New York.

Though the conservatory is only open to members of the Salvation Army, I also teach each year at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Sign up for the announcement that we're taking registrations for 2018.