Discovery: A Comic Lament

Discovery: A Comic Lament

We’ve grown and adapted…

In 2017, Alison Brookins wrote Discovery: A Comic Lament, based on the Doctrine of Discovery. Over the next two years, Ted Swartz and Michelle Milne performed it over 30 times across the US and Canada. In the process of performances and conversations with audiences along the way, the show continued to grow as only live theatre can. As of September 2019, the show has been adapted, rewritten, and re-staged… check out the new and improved incarnation, We Own This Now, and learn about how you can bring it into your communities.

We look forward to the next leg of this journey!


Archival information from the original production of Discovery: A Comic Lament


About the People

Ted Swartz, actor and producer, is a theologian of a different sort. Both theater and seminary trained, Ted has found a unique and entertaining discovery; at the intersection of humor and biblical story is often a greater understanding of the text.  Or, at the very least, a different understanding.  Call it “comedic exegesis.” Ted is the owner and creative director of Ted & Co Theaterworks.

Blending poignancy and humor with biblical story, Ted has an uncanny ability to bring archaic biblical characters to life in a way that helps anyone identify with people who were at one time only names in a big Book. It’s through this portrayal of these life-like characters that comedy emerges and audiences see God’s story in a whole new light. Ted has written or co-written more than 14 shows and the book Laughter is Sacred Space.

Ted lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Along with writing and acting, his loves include his wife, Sue; three sons, Eliot, Ian and Derek; daughters-in-law, Katrina, Hannah and Chelsea; his grandchildren Mona, Hattie, Josie, Ezra… oh, and baseball.

Michelle Milne, actor & movement director, has worked as a performer, director, writer, and educator across the US — including both coasts and regions in between.

She recently directed highly physical and immersive productions of Every Brilliant Thing, Brontë (Drammy Award for Best Production, Portland), Eurydice, Macbeth (at a prison in Oregon), Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet (SB Tribune Regional Best Production), The Best of Everything, and several ensemble-devised productions.

She has toured her original writing with musician Heather Kropf in We Know There Are Oceans: A Travelogue; has performed her poetry as “Carmelina du Jour” in Chicago’s Poetry Bordello; and appeared as Supervisor McCrae in the sci-fi TV show pilot Decktechs. Her original piece about the US-Mexico border, For Those Who Cannot Fly, premiered in San Francisco; she is expanding that piece for further touring under the title Edge Effects.

Michelle is a Feldenkrais Method practitioner, and has taught theatre and movement at colleges, universities, prisons, and jails, and to the general public. For the past six years she has been navigating three geographic homes and life on the road as part of her ongoing writing project, Traveling Home.

Alison Brookins, writer, is a pastor and playwright who is still figuring out what the difference is. As pastor of Chicago Community Mennonite Church she strives to live into a theology of justice, joy, and humor, dreaming of holy spaces where people can tell the truth and engage as their full selves. She mastered divinity at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (MDiv 2017). During seminary she arm-twisted Ted & Company TheaterWorks into an internship where she wrote Discovery: A Comic Lament and this last year she worked with Toronto-based Theatre of the Beat on the show #churchtoo, which will hopefully make it to the States before long.

Phil HeadshotPhil Weaver-Stoesz, director, works as a theatre director, arts educator, and creative facilitator. He is a recent MFA recipient from ASU, where he assisted Liz Lerman in teaching a cross-disciplinary course that devised performances from current science research and stage managed Sojourn Theatre’s The Race, an 8 hour civic experience on election day directed by Michael Rohd.

While at ASU, Phil was awarded the Creation Grant for his research in theatre and creative computing, as well as the PAVE Arts Entrepreneurship Grant for starting Catalyst Creative, a production company that creates performances, installations and festivals through facilitating artist/researcher collaboration. He also specialized in new play development, where he worked for 16 months on a new work, working with the playwright from the first draft all the way through a fully produced main stage production.

His latest work, The Source Project, brought together sustainability researchers and artists to co-create a Planet Celebration Festival at the Desert Botanical Garden. He is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Keep up-to-date on Ted & Co events and performances with periodic alerts (no more than once a month)