Blog

  • A Cover

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    Laughter is Sacred Space front cover

    A cover. So the cliché is not true. You can, in fact, judge a book by its cover. Or that’s what I’m being told. I’ve had some say they couldn’t buy the book, or a distributor wouldn’t carry it, because of the cover. I wrote a book which was published last year. This is the cover:  […]

  • Laughing in Church

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    Recently I was guest at the congregation my sister Tina and her family are members, Germantown Mennonite. I wrote a reading Doug Brunk, Tina and I performed. The text was The Prodigal Son parable. We, of course, were mining the text for humor and perhaps another angle to an excruciatingly familiar text. Here is an […]

  • Greetings for the Christmas/Holiday Season

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    War on Christams

    Christmas…I love the idea of God entering humbly into our lives…I detest the whole Santa Claus BS…as well as the manufactured War on Christmas: It’s about time we should declare war, or at the very least a “police action,” on civil religion masquerading as faith, and take your inflatable Santas and once a year indignation […]

  • The Story of the Hat

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    Shepherds copy

    This hat…it’s called a toboggan in certain parts of North America…a woolen hat with ear flaps. We bought them in Ontario for the show DoveTale, written with Ingrid De Sanctis in 1997. They are more common now across the US, but in 97, especially in the lower states, not so much. Something happens to me […]

  • Why I go to church

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    veils

    Someone asked me recently why I still go to church. The question came out of a conversation where the asker had stopped going, a result of several factors – rejection of fundamentalism, hypocrisy of attendees, a middle aged opening of the mind to the possibility of doubt. My answer was in part: “ You never […]

  • When Actor and Audience Find Themselves in a Show

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    _HJZ8644_v1 copy

    Our newest show, Laughter Is Sacred Space, sold out its premier shows in Harrisonburg on Sept 14 and 15.  Of course, like most premiers, there was anxiety. But when it’s an original work there are questions you don’t find with other shows, mostly around the script—is it sharp enough? Is it too long? Does it tell […]

  • Discovering and Re-discovering Laughter IS Sacred Space

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    Laughter has always been a huge part of my working career, working as a writer and actor in comedic theater. Most etymologists, those who study where words come from, believe that the word humor is derived from the same root as in the word human, humility and — my favorite — humus, meaning “of the […]

  • Laughter is Sacred Space: A Tour and a Gift

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    In the fall of 2012 I am kicking off a tour of Laughter is Sacred Space, a multi media show based on my relationship with Lee Eshleman, my creative partner of 20 years.  It reflects the joy of discovering comedic soul mates, illustrates the struggles and euphoria of creating a career together, and explores the […]

  • The Clarence Jordan Symposium

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    CottonPatchGosepl

    In 1986 while living in Pennsylvania, Jessie Glick, member of Plains Mennonite church where Sue and I were attending, handed me a VHS tape. It was The Cotton Patch Gospels written by Tom Key and Russell Treyz with music by Harry Chapin. The musical which played off-Broadway was based on the writings of Clarence Jordan- The […]

  • Peace Pies & Prophets

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    Peace-Pies-and-Prophets1

    In the fall of 2005 a graduate student in the Center for Justice and Peacemaking (CJP) in Harrisonburg, Va, Odelya Gertel, came to me with a suggestion. “Why don’t you and Lee take the principles of CJP and the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience) program and create a show?” The result of that […]