Moses at Sight & Sound


We got a sneak peek of a filmed performance of the Sight & Sound production of Moses, which is heading to movie theaters on September 13 and 15.

I've wanted to see a Sight & Sound production for about 20 years, and I noticed some obvious differences between Sight & Sound and Broadway: Sight & Sound's stage is about twice as large as the average Broadway stage, they have at least twice the cast of the largest Broadway shows, and Sight & Sound has real animals: goats, sheep, horses and even a trained rat.

The only way Broadway trumps Sight & Sound is that they don't have Broadway stars, but that just puts the focus more clearly on The Star: the Lord.

The staging far surpasses anything I've seen on Broadway or the West End. Set pieces which would be too big for Broadway leap on and off stage, and video transitions are mind-blowing! Moses' staff, the burning bush, and the plagues are wonders!

I thought about how to depict the running in my one-man play Beyond the Chariots for months. I ended up going with running in place, which I've been told is effective, but one of the ideas that I explored was a treadmill. They have one, and it helps Moses run or walk in any direction at key transitions. I was most impressed!

I'd always heard about the spectacle of Sight & Sound, but what surprised and delighted me was that the script, music and performances fill those massive set pieces very well! There are lines that made Joyce and I gasp they were so insightful and poetic, and I'm still whistling the theme.

Another impressive element is the costuming! The variety of styles and color is dazzling!

I cry at the drop of a hat, but I've found personally that the bigger the spectacle the less likely I'll be moved to tears. This one got me! It's because it's not just moving the heart but the soul. Many times and in creative ways they point forward to Jesus.

I think I can objectively say this is best stage production I've ever seen.

Oh, here's another difference between Sight & Sound and Broadway: Broadway is twice the price. For the difference, a family in Manhattan can drive to Lancaster and stay overnight. But on September 13 and 15 people all over the US can go to theaters and pay a fraction of the cost of Broadway. Visit www.MosesEvent.com.

Parents should know: Some stage violence.






See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance. No treadmill, but it's an amazing story!

Joyce teaches on Jeremiah in Oslo

Joyce taught on Jeremiah for the Church of the Nazarene in Oslo, Norway. It is a Portuguese community with people from Cape Verde, Brazil and Norway.

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



Before Joyce taught, Rich performed Jonah. We were both really moved to share with this community.

Afterward we got to see the city, including the Oslo Opera House, which is in the photo above. That's Joyce in the far right.

We were in the city to perform I Dreamed I Was Free at the Nordic Black Theatre. Everyone seemed to feel that it went really well, and we're talking about a return with a longer run. Here's my report...


This is the first of a series of posts I'm planning that will share details from this trip with performances in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany: Europe2018.




A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.


American Abolitionist Heading to Oslo

Lørdag 1. September kl. 19:00 setter Nordic Black Theatre opp forestillingen «I dreamed I was free» av og med den New York baserte film- og teaterskuespilleren Rich Swingle.

Swingle er en kritikerrost skuespiller og teaterforfatter, og i has stykke «I dreamed I was free” forteller han historien om John Woolman som tok til orde mot slaveriet i de amerikanske koloniene over ett århundre år før den amerikanske borgerkrigen gjorde slutt på slaveriet på blodig vis.

Woolman, som selv var en kveker, ble tidlig overbevist om at slaveriet var en ondskap som måtte fordrives og dedikerte sitt liv til å overbevise andre kvekere om å slutte med trelldom og støtte til menneskehandel.

Swingle spiller en rekke karakterer og får fram Woolmans ensomme, vanskelige, men fredelige kamp for å påvirke en hel bevegelse om sin overbevisning

Swingle har reist Jorden rundt med forestillingen, inklusive forestillinger «off-Broadway» i New York og en omfattende turne i England.

Gå ikke glipp av denne engasjerende og gripende historien om en ekte amerikansk helt!

I Dreamed I Was Free vises lørdag 1. september kl. 19.00 på Nordic Black Theatre, Hollendergata 8, 0505 Oslo. (tel. 22 41 95 00 / 98 80 18 84)

Forestillingen er på engelsk.

Turneen inkluderer også forestillinger i Danmark, Sverige, Finland, og Tyskland.

For mer informasjon og bilder, se www.RichDrama.com/IDreamedIWasFree


English:

The Nordic Black Theatre will host New York City film and stage actor Rich Swingle in his performance of I Dreamed I Was Free on Saturday, 1 September 2018 at 19:00.

Swingle is a critically acclaimed actor and playwright. His play I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of real life John Woolman who advocates ending slavery in the American colonies more than a hundred years before the American Civil War settled the matter with bloodshed.

Woolman, a Quaker, became convinced of the evils of slavery in his youth and dedicated his lifetime to convincing Quakers to cease owning slaves and supporting the slave economy.

Playing a number of characters, Swingle chronicles Woolman’s lonely and difficult but peaceful battle to convince an entire denomination to move against slavery.

Swingle has performed the play throughout the world, including Off-Broadway in New York and on a tour throughout England.

Don’t miss this stirring portrait of a real American hero.

I Dreamed I Was Free will be performed Saturday, 1 September at 19:00 at the Nordic Black Theatre, Hollendergata 8, 0505 Oslo. For directions call 22 41 95 00 or 98 80 18 84.

The tour will also include performances and workshops in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Germany.

For more information and photos, go to www.RichDrama.com/IDreamedIWasFree

Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines

I've been praying for years that I could teach there, and recently that prayer was answered, and it was much more fulfilling than I'd imagined! Isn't that always the way with the Lord?

I guided almost forty students as they created four separate sketches through sociodrama.

After our final rehearsal I suggested that two or three of them should close us in prayer. Over an hour later they reluctantly went to bed. One of our students realized her headache was gone. We prayed and laughed and wept in the joy of the Lord. Revival! Sweet revival! Friday morning they announced that lunch would be delayed 15 minutes, so Mark Hamby, the director of the Guild invited students up to testify. Within seconds a student behind me said, "Your prayer was answered!" The night before I'd prayed that our students would get the chance to share! On the shuttle to the bus station Peter Fecteau, his son and I counted up 24 distinct miracles we'd observed this week. Moments later He made it an even 25! I was able to get the earlier bus, and the gentleman waived the change fee!

I just got a note from one of the students saying he and some others are going to collaborate on an audio drama! Praise the Lord!

Here's the film our students created:


I helped with casting and wrangling extras.

Visit www.LamplighterGuild.com for more photos and info.


I'm happy to do workshops anywhere in the world: www.RichDrama.com/Workshops.

Beautifully Broken


We saw a screener of this film about a true story, and it's just incredible! Be sure to put it in your calendar for August 24 and see it in a theater.

Child sponsorship is a central part of the plot, so if you are inspired to sponsor a child, visit www.RichDrama.com/Compassion.


Because of the subject matter parents of pre-teens should take care, but it very creatively explores heavy events by giving you enough to know what's going on and no more.



I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War. Follow us as we bring the play to the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway: www.RichDrama.com/Updates

Courage to Face What's Ahead

This morning I got to perform Revelation 1:9-20 at Westchester Chapel.

Dr. Linda Warren taught on Revelation 1:9-20. She shares from the pain of a miscarriage they endured, and how the presence of the Lord gave her courage to speak about it. Pastor Jim Warren opens and prays over Joyce and I as we prepare for our trip to Scandinavia.

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 www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.

Moses is coming!


We got a sneak peek of a filmed performance of the Sight & Sound production of Moses, which is heading to movie theaters on September 13 and 15. I'll post my review on September 12, but don't wait to reserve your tickets: www.MosesEvent.com.



I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Courage to Walk in the Impossible

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Matthew 14:22-33. Pastor Rachel Taylor shares announcements, including information on the Swingles' upcoming missions trip to Scandinavia.

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.

We showed this video just before the sermon:



If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.


Help us take I Dreamed I Was Free to the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway: www.RichDrama.com/Scandinavia

Scandinavia

This outdoor performance was steps
away from what used to be
John Woolman's orchard.
My one-man play I Dreamed I Was Free  (formerly A Clear Leading) has been accepted for the fall lineup at the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway!

The theatre focuses on stories about people of color, and I Dreamed I Was Free tells the true story of how John Woolman spoke out against slavery a full century before the Civil War in America. 

In addition to renting the theatre in Oslo, Rich is hoping to offer workshops which will help local Christian actors develop and perform their own dramas.

The Nordic Black Theatre is holding the date of September 1, and they've given us until the end of June to secure funding. 

Please pray about partnering in ministry to the most secular nation in Western Europe. It is estimated that 45% of Norwegians are atheists, as compared with 5% in the US. 

Funds will go toward 
*Theatre rental
*Travel, board and lodging for Rich and Joyce Swingle. Joyce will serve as stage manager and production manager.
*Travel, board and lodging beyond Oslo. Our goal is to perform in every Scandinavian country as opportunities unfold. 

Visit www.RichDrama.com/Scandinavia to give.

We are not a non-profit organization, so donations are not tax deductible. 








I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Jehoshaphat: The Word of the Lord Overcomes Fear

This morning at Westchester Chapel I read from Acts 2:1-12, 41 as a part of the celebration of Pentecost. Dr. Linda Warren explained the connection between the Christian celebration and the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavuot). Tamara W. read from Ruth 4Adrianne Garcia danced with banners to "Holy Spirit (You Are Welcome Here)."

Pastor Jim Warren preaches on 2 Kings 3.

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 www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.




I Dreamed I Was Free has been accepted for performance at the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway, but we need your help to make it happen: www.RichDrama.com/Scandinavia

"Prophet of Fear" this Sunday

Performing "The Prophet
of Fear" atop Mt. Carmel
in Israel.
I'll be performing my one-man, one-act play "Prophet of Fear" this Sunday at The Crowne Plaza in White Plains, NY. It tells the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on top of Mt. Carmel and the fear that struck his heart when he came down from that mountaintop. Afterward, Joyce will be teaching on that passage. If you're in the area, we hope you can join us!

We'll post her teaching, but not the drama. Feel free to book it for your community!

There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp, but we need to close registrations on May 6.

Elizabeth Becka will answer our questions

Elizabeth Becka will be answering our questions at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp this year. She served as acting coach on War RoomLike Arrows (which won Best Feature and Best Audience Choice at the Christian Worldview Film Festival this year), and Unbroken: Path to Redemption. She will do a video conference while she’s on location during rehearsals for a yet-to-be-announced film. She runs Insight Actors Studio in Atlanta (www.InsightActorsStudio.com). For more on her acting and 30-year teaching career visit www.IMDb.me/ElizabethBecka.

We'll continue to register students through May 6 or until we run out of spots.



There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Fear from Comparison

Joyce teaches on 1 Samuel 18:1-30 at Westchester Chapel, showing the source of King Saul's jealousy over David as he rises toward the throne. Opening and announcements by Pastor Randy Solomon. Melanie S. leads in worship.

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 www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Treasure Seekers Shine THE Light

Tomorrow I'll be teaching our young Treasure Seekers at Westchester Chapel about Matthew 5:14-16. Bring your little ones if you're in the area! Details at www.WestchesterChapel.org.

In this episode of our online Treasure Seekers Trevor the Treasure Seeker illuminates the passage to give children something to think about as they get ready.

Click the arrow below to play this episode of Treasure Seekers, or if you got this in an email visit www.Blog.RichDrama.com (4/14).



See more episodes at www.WestchesterChapel.org/TreasureSeekers.



There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

I Was in Prison


A friend asked if I was scared to perform on Rikers Island, so I wrote this:

...the closest I came to being scared was when I offered to play basketball with them because they had an odd number of guys who wanted to play. I didn't want them to have to rotate into the game. I told the fellow who was leading that I'd be happy to play, but he told me it was our first time with this group, so it might be dangerous to jump in there. It gave me a reminder that they are all there because they committed a crime, and many of them were convicted of violent crimes. Other than that I can't remember feeling afraid. I've been visiting prisoners since I was in junior high (www.RichDrama.com/HildaMiller), so knowing what to expect was part of that, but 1 John 4:18 in the New Testament says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." Because I've given my life to the Lord his love for people flows through me in a supernatural way. I wanted to perform for those young men because of the great love the Lord has for them, but I feel that love for people too as I obey the things I know He's called me to do. Everyone on our team was there to express love to them, and I know they sensed that.

He pointed out that "Amazing Grace" says, "'twas grace that taught my heart to fear" to which I replied:

Yes! Grace taught my heart to fear God.
Fear of God liberates us from fear of man.
What can man do to my immortal soul? (Psalm 56:8)
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed that Jesus Christ has saved my soul.
To live is Christ; to die is to gain eternity in his presence. (Philippians 1:12)

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Hallelujah! I just heard back from Rex, who runs Prison in the Wild and hosted my performance yesterday (my earlier report follows) in the gang unit on Riker's Island. He said all ten of the guys who saw my play attended the Bible study that night. "UNHEARD OF!" he shouted! He shared his testimony (you can catch a sense of it in the video at the bottom of this page), and afterward he invited them to close their eyes, bow their heads, and if they wanted to give their lives to the Lord to raise their heads. EVERY ONE OF THEM DID!!! So they all prayed aloud with passion to dedicate their lives to the Lord! Rex circled back to the guards who encountered them on the way back to the dorm and heard reports that they were gentlemen! Other groups typically start trash talking and causing trouble as soon as they leave the Bible study and are out of Rex's sight, but this time was different!

We started a Christian community in that dorm! Pray with us that they will turn negativity into a focus on the Lord! They all have access to Bibles, so pray they start a daily reading plan. Rex is excited about starting them on The Bible Project's reading program that includes their amazing videos: www.TheBibleProject.com.

The DVD player wasn't working, so they'll show "A Matter of Perspective" later. I'll share a report through the more frequent updates list. Be sure you're subscribed at www.RichDrama.com/Updates.

Here's my report from yesterday...

I got to perform again in a gang unit on Riker's Island through Prison in the Wild (www.PrisonInTheWild.org). They're doing some great work! Please consider giving to their amazing ministry! I met their founder in Cuba, and I've posted a video of their work below.

My grandmother took me to visit inmates when I was in junior high. You can hear her telling the story here. I know that gave me confidence that I can talk to anyone and that eternity is more important than fear. This year I've been reading through her Bible, and in yesterday's reading she had underlined Psalm 81:10: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."

So I prayed that He would when I opened my mouth to perform my 1-man piece on Jonah. Afterward I told them that, just like Jonah, God has a special calling on each of their lives. I urged them to use their time in prison (their belly of the big fish) to grow in their understanding of that calling. They all came up to pray with team members afterward. I left them with a copy of "A Matter of Perspective." We've developed small group discussion questions, and we adapted them for their community. I'm really excited to hear how it goes, especially since it follows the themes of Jonah quite well!

Here's my report from my first visit in July 2017...

I got to perform for gang members incarcerated at Riker's Island. Upon arrival there was some kind of a fight which required a lockdown: No one was able to move from place to place anywhere in the facility. So we started late. The half-hour I'd prepared to fill was reduced to about 10 minutes, so instead of the 20-minute Jonah followed by a message I did Lazarus and just followed it with an altar call. 

There were about 30 guys, and after telling them that the same power that raised Lazarus and Jesus from the dead could empower them to overcome any darkness in their lives. Then I invited them to give their lives to the Lord. I told them that if they already knew the Lord to pray aloud so people would know. One guy on our team said though he didn't look around during that prayer his sense was that some may have come in as Christians but they all left as new creations in Christ! Pray the Lord speaks into the new commitments and that they all attend the Bible studies that are offered!

Another prison connection happened last month when I got to accept the award for Best Animated Film at the International Christian Film Festival. I accepted it for a teenager: Garrison Hill. His family produced A Matter of Perspective for which I won Best Actor in a Short Film. You'll have to watch this four-minute film to see its connection to prison.




Video Highlight: REX from HillsongNYC on Vimeo.

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A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

It's a Life Worth Living

I had a great experience playing the role of Charles, who--throughout the film--interviews the main character about his life, which is very much worth living.

What I've seen so far has been stupendous! Sign up for the announcement of its release at www.RichDrama.com/Updates.

I performed in Keith Perna's first feature film, Christmas Grace, and this has been our fourth collaboration.

This will be my fourth project with four others, Adam TerrellJoseph OuelletteGary Bosek, and Jared Withrow, who is one of Joyce and my 22 screen children. It's my seventh film with both Timothy Jones and Ryan-Iver Klann, and it's my tenth with Tim Kaiser. This will be my 13th film with Rebekah Cook! I worked with Heather Peterson, who I worked with Heather Peterson on "Living Word." Her sister Rebecca has also been helping with pre-production, and she will be a student of the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. William and Morgan Willer, will serve on crew, and they are also alumni.



There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.