September 17, 2020
April 13, 2020
January 16, 2020
Seventy-five years before the Emancipation Proclamation [actually the main event of the play is 105 years before the Emancipation Proclamation], John comes to view slavery as against the will of God. His view is not popular. And mild-mannered by nature, he is reluctant to fight for his ideals. But aided by his guardian angel, he does. John not only has to confront the blatant bigotry of the alluring, devilish town bully, Amos, but also the innocent misconceptions of his mentor Mr. Worthington.
Swingle switched expertly from playing the nine-year-old Sarah Ellis [a character no longer appearing in the current draft], to the fire-and-brimstone abolitionist Benjamin Lay, to a dying slave, to more than ten other characters -- without changing his single, splendid period costume. It was easy to believe it had been an epic performance with a full cast of characters.
Of particular poignance was his re-enactment of an elderly slave's dream of freedom. She swims the Atlantic Ocean back to Africa and finds the village she grew up in restored to its original state, except now everything is made of gold. Swingle avoided the over-reverential treatment that a religious play can often take. He treated each character's experience with great integrity. The two hours flew by in the capable hands of this consummate storyteller.
Near the end of this show, John Woolman steps into the future and into the audience and engages them in a discussion about slavery. "How were the slaves finally freed?" "Was it peaceful or was there violence?" And the most telling question: "How are Negroes treated today?" It becomes clear that the show is, in part, crafted as an educational device for touring. As eloquently as Swingle handles this dialogue, it would be a waste of his considerable gifts to restrict him to a college and high-school circuit. His acting needs to be seen in larger venues. His ability to dramatize a story in his writing is another great gift that he should continue to develop.
...with Rich Swingle the audience are in the hands of a talented and professional performer and writer....
--James A. Lopata
Off-Off Broadway Review, January 1999 (Full Review)
Mr. Lopata gave the production highest marks for writing and acting.
1997 Off-Off Broadway Review about an earlier production of the play
*A Clear Leading is now available as I Dreamed I Was Free.
January 10, 2020
Head of Marketing
EastView Independent Senior Living Residence
Owned and operated by The Salvation Army
Observation after Rich led residents in a sociodrama.
New York City
October 09, 2019
Thank you so much.
M.A. in Classical Acting, LAMDA, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
June 27, 2019
February 20, 2019
Sister in Christ, Wanda Glaze.
December 31, 2018
I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I had an opportunity to watch your one-man show of Beyond the Chariots. What an incredible performance!!! Thank you for sharing this with us – we were highly entertained and inspired!—Mark D. Rasche
Wise King Media
Adventum, Johnathan Park Audio Adventures
October 15, 2018
--Mark Den Bleyker
Producer of the Hollywood Divine International Christian Film Festival
September 05, 2018
August 16, 2018
Student of the Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines
August 14, 2018
--Barbara X Smith
Please click on the tab 'HELP FOR THOSE WHO NEED MORE' and request Master Instructor Barbara X Smith USA direct @ 831.238.7708
July 23, 2018
Obviously very sincere in matters of religion, Swingle hasn't let matters of devotion get in the way of creating an entertaining, interesting, and moving theatre piece. He played Woolman as an older man and as a 19-year-old, as well as portraying his boss, Michael Worthington, two slaves, and a slaveowner and former chum, Amos Elkins. In the course of the play, Woolman develops from callow youth to thoughtful and independent adult. The presence of the other characters gives Woolman something to develop against, as, for instance, when one slave dies, unburdening himself most frankly against white slaveowners, under his care. Woolman's character is shown warts and all, and his life becomes a process of slowly getting rid of those warts and starting his own ministry.
None of this would have worked were Swingle not an extremely competent actor, able to bring all these characters to life with a minimum of props, a couple of set pieces, and authentic-looking costume.
Two notes that made the production especially interesting were a minute of Quaker worship during intermission (no one had a clear leading* and spoke up, though) and a question-and-answer session by John Woolman -- that is, Swingle still in character -- after the show.
Off-Off Broadway Review, August 7, 1997 (Full review)
Click here for a 1999 Off-Off Broadway Review of a later production.
*The play was titled A Clear Leading at the time of this review. It is now titled I Dreamed I Was Free.
July 03, 2018
May 18, 2018
Grace Brethren Church-Suntree
May 09, 2018
April 30, 2018
Actor, Director, Producer
TV, Film - Stage - Off-Broadway, NYC
April 10, 2018
November 19, 2017
Rich Swingle's skills do not end with his Theater, Film, and Acting Coach experienced accomplishments. He also projects a warm, cheerful attitude to everyone he comes into contact with. Rich has an amazing way of resolving conflicts and handle other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. In the community he goes out of his way to help people in need. He loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around him. I believe these characteristics represent all that is good in Rich Swingle, and I am blessed, pleased, and honored to work with him professionally and to know him personally.
Award Winning Actor, Producer, Director
August 30, 2017
We had a marvelous time and were greatly inspired through each and every story and heart on that stage. Great to see you in all of your Gideon action. Absolutely delightful, imaginative and was a great palette for painting with your gifts. Bravo. Joe and I are still talking about it all - a good sign. I was particularly taken with the fact that God is really still doing miraculous work in lives in such unexpected and HUGE ways. Talk about dramatic conversions! I’m so glad we got to be there and experience your work and God’s work as well. Many thanks and many congratulations!
July 28, 2017
July 27, 2017
July 19, 2017
|Portraying Ann Van Hine's husband in|
Five Bells for 9/11
--Ann Van Hine (widow of Bruce Van Hine, whose story is featured in the play)
*That line quoted in the Times Herald-Register.
Ann said the rest during her talk following Rich's performance commemorating the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
July 05, 2017
June 21, 2017
March 23, 2017
|Talking over a scene with Lindy Nelson.|
Photo by Heather Peterson.
Just finished an exhausting but incredibly memorable week in Bismarck, ND. I was privileged to spend several days on a film set with Christian actor, Rich Swingle! His passion in his work, and love for the Lord were a huge inspiration. The time I spent working with him deeply encouraged me; not only as an actress but also as a follower of Christ.
Lead in Living Word
I have been wanting to thank you again from my husband and I, both, for investing in our daughters, Lindy and Larissa, through the Living Word film project. They and many other young people have been inspired by you. I've heard story after story of ways you blessed those on the filming project and more at the [North Dakota Home School] Convention. Your love for Jesus shines so very brightly.....it simply is contagious. May God abundantly bless you and your dear wife for all that you do to reach out to young people and invest in them.
July 25, 2016
July 19, 2016
-- Stacey Bradshaw, Lead Actress in One Day
|Working as acting coach with Gwendelynn Martindale as she directs |
Connor Schexnayder and Andrew Hurt in One Day.
July 05, 2016
February 12, 2016
Read the whole review of Providence here: ‘Providence’ takes us silently into a sweet story
The Charlotte Observer
January 25, 2016
-- John Fornof
Writer and Director of The Dragon and the Raven
John has won two Emmy Awards for his writing
January 22, 2016
Rich and Irene–that would be just a straight out “WOW”! Both are truly professional and inspirational to work with. The three of us meshed perfectly for the scenes we were tackling . I couldn’t have asked for a better team to create this with. Am I forever grateful to just meet them, get the chance to perform with them, as well as all of the other wonderful talent in “Providence”? ASTONISHED!
Read the full interview here: In Their Own Words: Actress Juli Tapken of “Providence”
January 11, 2016
December 12, 2015
|With Juli Tapken.|
Honestly, enough cannot be said for all the actors present in this story, as again, there isn’t a single moment of speaking, and therefore it all has to come together through the actions each character takes. Each incarnation of life presented for Rachel and Mitchell is wonderfully dramatized, and the unfolding beauty of their first meeting as children to the moment of “yours forever” connection as adults is a wonder to watch through both the acting and the varying music that follows their journey lyrically and/or stylistically. ... Tapken and Swingle finish things as the adults in such a profoundly honest and frank way that the viewer cannot help but be entranced by all the events that lead them to the pivotal moments in their coming together.
December 01, 2015
--Point North Tidings
Providence: A Valentine Treat Coming February 12, 2016
It was amazing to get the opportunity to work with you on this film! I was not aware that this was actually your first time portraying the Lord, in a film! You were terrific! I am not going to lie, while we were recording the crucifixion scenes, I actually was getting choked up! When I watched through the camera, I just couldn't believe I was filming this!!
Thank you for allowing me this chance and thank you for taking the time to travel here and perform this part! I greatly appreciate your talent and passion for performing the role of Jesus!
Thank you again!
- Jeff McHale
Director of Photography for "The Messenger's Box"
October 11, 2015
-- Ralph Dixon
After the world premiere of The Messenger's Box
|Playing Jesus with Joseph Ouellette.|
A screenshot from the world premiere of The Messenger's Box
by Tricia Ouellette and used by permission of her and director Gary Bosek.
August 09, 2015
July 25, 2015
July 23, 2015
July 20, 2015
June 08, 2015
Director and actor, Through the Storm
Student of Rich at The Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp
May 17, 2015
May 16, 2015
Wirth Center for Performing Arts
St. Cloud, MN
May 05, 2015
April 27, 2015
--Irene Santiago Baron (Actress/Producer)
Adrenaline, Secrets and Lies, One Tree Hill
March 18, 2015
- Ralph Franco
San Antonio, TX
After viewing Rich's one-man play, The Acts
December 26, 2014
actor: Best Friends Eternally, Best Friends Recycled, Romans XIII
December 16, 2014
Harpist, Writer and Dramatist
December 15, 2014
Pastor Bay Shore Church of the Nazarene
I felt like I was sitting in that first assembly hearing the report for the very first time. It was amazing and it brought history to life. We have a rich heritage. Thank you for helping us to appreciate it.
November 14, 2014
actor: Remember, Polycarp, Mayflower II
October 23, 2014
October 10, 2014
October 02, 2014
Actor: Remember, Mayflower II, Polycarp: Destroyer of Gods, My Grandpa DetectiveA
Thank you, Rich Swingle. Brilliant work!!!
Choreographer of the 2014 MasterWorks production of the Firebird
Choreographer, Celine Dion's dance troupe
former principle, Dance Theatre of Harlem
Cirque du Soleil
September 11, 2014
"It was MAGNIFICENT!"
"MasterWorks has blessed me beyond what I dreamed possible. This is a beautifully annointed place, and I'm so glad to have been able to attend. I have never wanted to come back to a camp before, but I do pray (if it fits in God's plan) that I can come back. I will certainly recommend it..."
"I was encouraged to be around so many Christian artists; especially those with careers further along than my own."
"I learned to trust God more."
"I learned how to read a script for its ministry value; to evaluate every character as a spiritual being, and to be mindful of preparing my spirit for the role."
"I learned a lot about trust and humility."
"I really enjoyed how everything, even our art, was focused on God."
"The quiet time is a habit I had needed to set in my life, and that helped immensely. The quiet time I've had with the Lord has/is/will always be precious."
"I learned to let go and not ever worry about whether you look silly on stage or not."
"I learned to infuse prayer any time it's necessary/whenever I feel led."
"I enjoyed how often we took the time to pray and worship. That helped keep me focused on what's important."
"I loved learning to focus on God in the context of performing."
"I learned the power of prayer and standing up for what you believe."
September 08, 2014
Immanuel Baptist Church
August 23, 2014
July 24, 2014
June 16, 2014
April 03, 2014
March 31, 2014
Jonah, JONAH!!! Wow. We laughed so hard! Our eldest was close to the stage when the whale "vomited" Jonah out. He could not believe how high you jumped from all fours! Slapping each other with the fish was GREAT! Everybody laughed and thought that was great. Thank you so much for putting character and skin to the Bible. We seriously hope to see you again.
November 17, 2013
--Tim Craig Campus Staff - NYC Arts Ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
after seeing A Clear Leading at City College
August 09, 2013
I very much enjoyed the monologue (La Gente que Jesús Conoció
August 05, 2013
July 29, 2013
July 20, 2013
July 10, 2013
May 22, 2013
May 04, 2013
Sincerely, a fellow Nazarene,
Nazarene Missions International President
Warwick Valley Church of the Nazarene
After seeing the 15th Anniversary performance of The Revelation
April 12, 2013
April 09, 2013
--Dr. David Wallace
New York Philharmonic Senior Teaching Artist
Fiddler of The Doc Wallace Trio
February 03, 2013
I also missed having a guest artist performance like we did last year. The gentleman who performed last year (the one who travels to Israel) was so fantastic and truly challenged the students to dedicate their gifts in service to Christ, for His glory. Seeing faith in action in the real world is vital for these students.
I loved the workshops...My students missed having Rich Swingle there.
--From two exit surveys at the Christians in Theatre Arts (www.CITA.org) Secondary School Theatre Festival where I preformed in '11 and '12
February 01, 2013
Thank you for using your gifts to help equip, encourage and build up this part of Christ's body. Blessings!
Rich!! You, sir, are the bombdiggity!!!
Rich, Thanks so much for doing all of this! I'll pray that God blesses you forever!
Rich, Thanks for sharing your gifts and your passion!
Thank you for all your help!
Rich, Thanks sooo much for coming and teaching us more skills that we can use in the future!
Thanks so much, Rich! This was so much fun!
Thanks for sharing your skills and heart!
Thank you so much for being with us!
Thanks, Rich! Keep in touch I am thankful for your ministry.
God bless your ministry Rich! You have blessed us! Thanks you!
I was privileged to be able to attend this program last year. I cannot say enough good about it. The teacher, Kaelen Carrier, is amazing! The program itself is amazing! And you WILL walk away from it a better actor, person, and with a closer relationship to our Lord and Saviour. If there is even the SMALLEST chance you MIGHT be interested, don't hesitate! AUDITION!
September 23, 2012
It was so good to meet you all at the Grace2London, Beyond the Chariots (http://RichDrama.com/BeyondTheChariots) event, thank you so much for your service and proclamation of the Gospel in Europe and especially in my nation!
-- Katherine Jones
After seeing performances in London during the 2012 Olympics
September 14, 2012
September 12, 2012
New York City
After seeing the MasterWorks Off-Broadway performance of The Jeweler's Shop, directed by Rich Swingle