History [his-tuh-ree]: noun, here defined as:
A long-winded & somewhat systematic narrative of past events related to Ted & Company.
It all began on a dark and stormy night back 1987 when Ted Swartz and Lee Eshleman found themselves teaming up to write and perform some short comedy pieces for a youth leaders retreat. Well, we don’t actually remember what the weather was like, but we’re storytellers, give us a break. Not only did the performances go well, the two became fast friends and eventual founders of Ted & Lee TheaterWorks.
For years, Ted and Lee wrote and performed some hilarious sketches, many of which you can now find in our DVDs Armadillo Shorts, Volumes 1 & 2. Eventually they found their niche, mining the Bible for humor, humanity, and, hopefully, fresh relevance.
By the late 90s they were best known for Fish Eyes, which debuted in 1994, and tells the story of some of Jesus’ most memorable moments through the eyes of Peter and Andrew, two of his disciples, as they live with Jesus and wrestle through his death. The play crossed boundaries of age, denomination, and theological stance, and has since been performed around the world by a variety of acting duos.
With the success of Fish Eyes, Ted & Lee spent the next several years writing even more sketches and performing them around the world. During this time, they teamed up with Ken Medema to write the musical Live at Jacob’s Ladder and partnered with Ingrid De Sanctis to create DoveTale, a fresh and funny look at the Christmas story.
But that came to a halt in 2007 when Lee passed away suddenly, leaving Ted to discover what was next. What is Ted & Lee without Lee? That’s when Ted & Company TheaterWorks was born. After discovering that his passion for writing and performing was still alive, Ted decided to team up with several other writers, actors, and musicians to develop new shows that look at everything from men and women in the Bible, to peace and justice, to the true meaning of church.
That’s our past but we’re not done yet. Watch for new, compelling live shows, along with new DVDs, video downloads, and scripts you can use to bring biblical storytelling to your home, church, or organization.