Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Remember

This was the first film by the team creating Mayflower II. It's absolutely stunning! Despite the $25M difference in budget we liked many elements better than The Giver, which describes a similar dystopia.

Here's Lee Duigon's A Review of "Remember" a Christian Sci-Fi Film.

Soon 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, August 24, 2014

Preach the Gospel

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Romans 10:1-15. Communion and announcements by Pastor Randy Solomon, who revealed that Men's Group will resume September 6. Guitar background by Tim B. Pastor Joyce gave a report on the Swingles' time on Mars (played by Calgary) in the upcoming film Mayflower II. Pastor Joyce makes reference to her testimony, which you can hear at the bottom of her bio page.



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've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options


WCCC Worship 8/24/14 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.

Soon 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, August 10, 2014

Creation-Inspired Worship

Pastor Linda Warren kicked off our Leadership Bible Study on worship, via our outdoor service. She and Pastor Joyce Swingle led us through Psalm 19 as we explored creation and the Ten Commandments for reasons to worship the Lord. Report on the Salvation Army conservatory by Rich Swingle, and request for prayer for Mayflower II by Pastor Joyce.



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've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options

WCCC Worship 8/10/14 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.

Soon 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, July 27, 2014

The Privileges of Adoption

Joyce preached on Romans 8:12-17. Opening prayer by Bill H. Pastoral prayer and communion by Pastor Randy SolomonRich Swingle gave a report on MasterWorks. You can read more details at www.RichDrama.com/MWF.

"All Hail the Power" written by Edward Perronet, 1779. Music by Oliver Holden1793. Performed by Bill and Liz 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 7/27/14 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.
Soon 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!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mayflower II

Joyce and I performed the rolls of Ferris and Danae Chapman in this outstanding film shot in and near Calgary.

This is the fourth time we've played husband and wife, and the third this year! Our characters are the parents of a young man who turns us in for being Christians, and I actually coached Jeremiah McFarland, who plays that young man for his audition as a part of the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp in Norwood, CO in June. His sister, Hannah, also went up to play a member of our cell group, an illegal Bible study in a futuristic world where North Americans must read from a government-approved Bible and attend an official church.
With my students from MasterWorks and
Rocky Mountain ChristianFilmmakers Camp

Nathan Clarkson played a government official. He was a student at the MasterWorks Festival in 2005, the first year I directed the theatre program. I performed in his film Confessions of a Prodigal Son, starring Kevin Sorbo, almost exactly a year earlier.


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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MasterWits 2014



[Share this page with others via RichDrama.com/MWF.]

We had another stellar MasterWorks Theatre Program, this year producing Much Ado About Nothing in Winona Lake, IN, Bethel Park, PA, and NYC in Theatre 315, an Off-Broadway space pictured above. Susan Somerville Brown choreographed a dance number in our production, and Patricia Mauceri co-directed with me and met with students to talk about the spiritual lives of their characters.

Katie Leigh, who plays Connie Kendall in Adventures in Odyssey, coached our students for voice over work. In this photo she's playing Connie with our students in an Odyssey episode.

Katie and Torry Martin, a writer and performer for Adventures in Odyssey, joined our students performing during our annual Improv Night. Torry preceded the comedy with a very funny talk entitled "Discovering Your Calling/Finding Your Gift." Faculty and students made reference to that talk numerous times throughout the rest of the Festival. In this shot, Torry and student Esh Ryans are laying down a commercial. Torry, who's performed in numerous films, said that he'll recommend Esh to play his son if such roles come his way.

We had a great MasterClass with Bobbie Merritt, a NYC manager, and Laura Bergquist, a Broadway music director. They had such encouraging things to say about our students, confirming what we already knew: The quality of our students keeps rising year after year! Bobbie wrote, "It was a true blessing to be with the kids! They encouraged and edified me and gave me real hope for the future! I truly believe it IS in their hands! And from that group, I am so hopeful that the LORD's name will be high and lifted up, and that there will be revival in the land! (2 Chron. 7:14) Hallelujah! Let the Believers say AMEN and AMEN!"

We also had a breakfast panel with Mastermedia, which included some outstanding influencers in media, including a former writer for Saturday Night Live, a NYC actor/director, a newscaster, the founder of a NYC networking group for Christian actors, a NYC actor/director, and former MasterClass instructor John Forbes, who has produced Off-Broadway and performed and directed around the world.

Ann Van Hine, whose late husband Bruce is one of the characters in my one-man play Five Bells for 9/11, pointed our students toward the source of her Hope and Peace, just before flying to Japan to minister to families of victims of 3/11, which marks the devastating tsunami and earthquake that destroyed much of their island nation.

In the midst of Ann's tour of the 9/11 Memorial Christina Doerr performed a monologue about Hope in the wake of 9/11.

Our students shared their purpose statements as a part of our closing sessions. They were challenged to make observations about how elements of the program will help them in the future. Our MasterWorks instructors were mentioned and quoted, including John and Paula Kasica (both their devotions with theatre and John's campus-wide talk on the orphan spirit and the Father Heart of God), and my bride Joyce, who serves as pastoral care director. 

They also mentioned appreciation for the focus on prayer and keeping the Lord central, lunchtime faculty devotions and worship. 

Here are some quotes: "Expectations were exceeded." "We meet God through fellowship." "That (reconciliation) wouldn't have happened if I hadn't come to MasterWorks." "God's love became overwhelming." "You only have to be loved by God, and I didn't know that until I was here." "It's taught me to trust and be vulnerable." "I've never felt so loved in my life." "I thought you could be an artist or be a Christian. Now I know a revival in the arts world is coming because you guys are going to be in it." "It's made me want to start every day with worship and go deeper in the Word." "The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

A theatre program alum said, ""Much Ado About Nothing" was absolutely outstanding! I was very impressed with all that you guys put into it. Every single character was real and well-developed. There were so many really great moments in it!"

One of our student's parents said of the play, "what a great performance last evening! Seamless, fun, dramatic, touching, faith-building."

Patricia Mauceri said, "Oh, how powerfully the Lord is moving at MWF. He is stirring hearts and refining gifts, deepening our understanding of what creative arts look like from a heavenly perspective!! This has been a truly amazing 2014 MWF!!"

We’ve been pleased to watch our students get into well-respected acting programs like the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Biola University, Regent University, Belhaven University, Gordon College, Azusa Pacific University, University of Southern California, the American Shakespeare Center, Media Village in South Africa, Melbourne’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Academy of Art University's School of Acting, Sight and Sound Theatres Conservatory, Stella Adler Studio (where another alumna teaches), Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the list keeps growing. 

We also send out casting calls to Christian films and have seen our students performing speaking roles in feature films such as In His Steps, Christmas Grace, For the Glory, Polycarp, Confessions of a Prodigal Son and Mayflower II.

We're already approved to perform in PA and NYC again next year, so start spreading the word!

For a report from last year's program, click here.





Soon 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!

Jesus Is the Reason We're Here

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Romans 8:5-11. She draws upon some of our MasterWorks experiences.



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.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Soon 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!

Conclusion to Big Fish Little Worm

Though I didn't record this live, I wanted to upload the essence of what I felt led to share after my performance of Big Fish Little Worm for the Salvation Army's Times Square Corps, which meets in Theatre 315, the Off-Broadway space in which the MasterWorks Festival theatre program just performed Much Ado About Nothing.



Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Director's Notes for Much Ado About Nothing

Resurrection! Sean Benson has found it in fourteen of Shakespeare’s plays. Sometimes the theme is spot on, as when Juliet is drugged so as to appear quite dead before coming back to a tragically short life, but in Shakespearian Resurrection: The Art of Almost Raising the Dead, Benson says Shakespeare “repeatedly evokes Christ’s resurrection from the dead when long-lost characters reunite.”

Spoiler alert! It’s also a central theme in Much Ado About Nothing.

Because this is a student production memorized in three weeks we needed to chop a lot out of the script, so we focused on the theme of resurrection, found not only in Hero’s storyline, but also in that of Beatrice and Benedick. Their interest in -- maybe even their ability to -- love has died, yet, with the help of friends, love springs to life.

For the third consecutive year we’ll be performing our play at  South Hills Church of the Nazarene en route to our performances in an Off-Broadway theatre (www.MasterWorksFestival.org/tour.html). Pastor Ken Culbertson hopes the play will prompt love in the church body, as well as among those married couples whose interest in and ability to love needs resurrection.

There is another beautiful picture of Christ in what is not in the script: Beatrice and Benedick need to know that they are loved by the other before they will dare to love. But Christ loved us while we were yet his enemies (Romans 5:10). He was willing to risk rejection by lavishly giving his All. Won’t you receive the Lord’s love for you at a deeper level, or maybe for the first time? Allow that yearning for the eternal, which C.S. Lewis called the “God-shaped hole” to be filled with Christ’s Love. Resurrection!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Amp up your World Cup experience!

For the Glory, in which I play soccer coach to Olympian Kurt Kuykendall, is now available for digital download. Invite World Cup fans over to see this inspiring story of a failed basketball player who became a world-class goalie.

If you're anywhere near Winona Lake, Indiana (halfway between Fort Wayne and South Bend), Pittsburgh or New York City, I hope you'll attend the MasterWorks Festival Theatre Department production of Much Ado About Nothing: www.MasterWorksFestival.org and www.MasterWorksFestival.org/tour. Our students are hilarious! South Hills Church of the Nazarene is hosting the play as the culmination of their 50th anniversary celebration, putting the emphasis on the celebration of marriage. 

On the way into the theater to see Alone Yet Not Alone I stopped my bride Joyce and said, "We've been praying for years for this moment." So we stopped and praised the Lord for my first nationwide theatrical release!  I play a land speculator, and the Academy Award nominated film is still playing in a few theaters. Catch it while you can. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Faculty Devotional: Into All the World!

Here are links to the things I'm talking about in today's faculty devotion at The MasterWorks Festival.

Penn Jillette: "How much do you have to hate someone not to share what you believe?" 
Hollywood Reporter interview with Emmy winner Tony Hale: Tony Hale on 'Arrested 
Development': 'It Didn't Satisfy Me' Like I Expected 
Peter Hitchens: The Rage Against God
Our performance in Sochi during the Winter Olympics: WhoistheFish.com.

Catch a performance of our production of Much Ado About Nothing: www.MasterWorksFestival.org/tour.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Interviews on The Dove

Last week I was interviewed for radio and television on The Dove, and it just posted:



I talked about our work in Russia during the Winter Olympics, the MasterWorks Festival and Alone Yet Not Alone, the film in theaters right now in which I play a land speculator.

I mentioned the resurrection theme in Shakespeare's plays, and according to Sean Benson it can be found in fourteen, as he explains in Shakespearian Resurrection: The Art of Almost Raising the Dead.

Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel were nominated for "Best Song" at the Oscars for "Alone Yet Not Alone," before it was rescinded. You can hear the song and find out more at www.RichDrama.com/AloneYetNotAlone.

Here's my previous interview on the show...


Here are links I've mentioned in other interviews:

MasterWorks Festival
MasterWorks Festival Theatre Program
Report from Last Year's MasterWorks Festival Theatre Program
Freud's Last Session (for performances in LA with Judd Hersch and Tom Cavanaugh)
Freud's Last Session (for performance rights through Samuel French)
Beverly Holloway (casting director that has spoken at MasterWorks)
Joyce Swingle
Nazarene position on ordination of women
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Times Square Church
Hillsong NYC
Mastermedia (LA/NYC)
Nations Where I've Performed
Our Performing Arts Troupe for the Sochi Winter Olympics
Christians in Theatre Arts
Eric Metaxas' Testimony
Our Adventures During past Olympics
My Films
My Plays

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Jesus Is the Reason We're Here

Joyce preached the opening sermon at the MasterWorks Festival on John 1:35 - John 2:11.



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.

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.

Soon 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, June 01, 2014

The Gift of the Gospel

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Romans 5:12-20. Musical 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.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our cast for Much Ado About Nothing

After much discussion and prayer we have cast our MasterWorks Festival production of Much Ado About Nothing with the following cast:



Understudy
Benedick Esh Ryans Craig Fairbanks

Beatrice Isabella Cardine Tiffany Rott

Claudio Timothy Bartlett Zachary Mull

Hero Rachel Marley Kelly Stagner

Leonata Morgan Robertson Sophia Pearson

Don Pedro Samuel Carr Rich Swingle

Don John Zachary Mull Samuel Carr

Margaret Emma Baker Morgan Robertson  
Borachio Craig Fairbanks Timothy Bartlett

Concetta (Younger sister of Borachio) Tiffany Rott Christina Doerr

Major Francesca Vickie Smith Rachel Marley

Dogberry Kelaiah Baggot Kaitlynn Newcomb

Vera Kelly Stagner Emma Baker

Balthasara Christina Doerr Kelaiah Baggot


If you're in Northern Indiana, the Pittsburgh area or NYC we hope you can see a performance: www.RichDrama.com/Schedule.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer Sendoff

This morning I had the opportunity to speak briefly about my upcoming work at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and The MasterWorks Festival, including our performances in an Off-Broadway theatre in late JulyPastor Randy Solomon preached on Romans 5:1-11. Joyce opened with prayer.  Pastor Linda Warren prayed over my work and closed the service.



Pastor Randy used illustrations from Engineering Ethics: The Challenger Disaster and the Story of “The Five Lepers,” The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, God's Not Dead, which is still in theatres after nine weeks, and John G. Paton: An Autobiography.

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 5/25/14 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.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Report from Sochi

We just received this from the folks that organized our work in Russia during the Olympics...

Engage Sochi partners and friends -
We have just finished working through all of the contact sheets for the Engage Sochi project and have been crunching the numbers. As you know, it was our goal that Engage Sochi would be primarily about church planting, specifically in the host city of Sochi. And, the goal of this phase of the project was to generate new contacts so that IMB church planters in Sochi could follow-up and host events that will draw these new people into English Clubs, Bible studies, etc. While statistics do not always paint a complete picture, I think that you can see that the goal was achieved.
Through February and March we hosted approximately 230 volunteers,
14 IMB personnel, and 2 MKs. We estimate that the combined group distributed between 17,000-17,500 evangelism pins.
During the Olympic period, we saw 5 people make professions of faith!
The group recorded approximately 400 individual contacts, some of which did not contain enough information for church planters to be able to make follow-up contact, so 371 contacts.Of those contacts, 94 percent of the people came from Russia. Of that 94-percent, 47-percent (164 people) were from Sochi; 33-percent (115 people) were from European Russia. Siberia and the Far East each had 3-percent of the contacts. And 14-percent (50 people) gave contact information but did not include from which city the contact came.
Six-percent of the contacts came from countries outside of Russia and included: Kazakstan, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Australia, Latvia, England, Spain, France, Turkey, Canada, and Japan.
Kellye reports "Every one of these folks was interested in being contacted, especially about English clubs. But reading the stories was a holy experience, as time and time again, people were interested in how God is at work in the lives of His people. I have cried some tears of real joy. To God be the glory--great things He has done!!"
Thanks to each of you for the role you played in making this project possible. It has been exciting to see God’s hand at work through this entire project and know that there is much more fruit that will come to bear as a result of the Engage Sochi project.

We're planning to bring another team of performing artists to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics, so make sure you're signed up for our updates so you won't miss the announcement.