RABBIT TRAILS: DISPATCHES FROM THE SHED
Updates, news and blog stories from around the Ted and Company universe.
by Phil Weaver-Stoesz “I don’t really know how to begin,” Michelle says, “Does anyone want to share any memories of Deanne?” Fourteen theatre creators are sitting in our first rehearsal. It’s 2008, I’m a first year at Goshen College, and a few weeks ago, my friend Deanne died. Many of her friends are in the room – we had acted with her, laughed with her, been irreverent with her. And now we are all sitting in a circle, on the first day of rehearsal, without her. Our show – The Saint Plays by Erik Ehn – includes a newly written piece that honors and remembers Deanne’s story – her electrifying energy and positivity. Deanne would have resonated with Ehn’s focus on Catholic saints and social justice, which led our director, Michelle Milne, to ask if he had a play about Deanne’s saint. “No,” he had said, “but I can write…Read More →
By Alison Brookins Exactly a year ago I first set foot in Harrisonburg, VA. I was an anxious little intern, unaware of the whirlwind of joyous creative energy about to be unleashed within myself and within Ted & Co. Now, after hours of mulling and writing in solitude, laughing and dreaming with Ted, I am back in town for production of the show I somehow managed to write over the past year, Discovery: A Comic Lament. It is an unusual honor to see one’s work picked up and made public. Writing is usually so intimate. It is born out of your body and mind working in concert; it is a wholly personal, private endeavor. And yet, if you want your writing to take on its own life, if you want it to grow, becoming more than you thought possible, it cannot stay private. It must be seen, heard, challenged, accepted,…Read More →
April 22, 2017: Steven Stauffer and I begin the 2017 Laughter Is Sacred Space Human Faces Tour in Tucson, AZ at Shalom Mennonite Fellowship, to an almost full house. I could feel, despite the loss of amplification, an audience leaning in to absorb the story I had to tell and give back their empathy and spirit. We were humbled again by people’s vulnerability regarding their stories of struggle and perseverance in the face of mental illness. In the talk-back, one of the questions was answered by a woman from the audience, “If you want to know what a church could do in regard to educating themselves about mental health and mental health, ask me…someone who is mentally ill. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who knows really well what a congregation might need to know.” Yes, wise words. It might get uncomfortable and messy when we ask for the truth,…Read More →
It’s an American idiom for a reason. Steven has been on the Laughter is Sacred Space: Human Faces tour with Ted for the month of September as photographer, driver, helper, and Nature Slim advice-giver, assisting the crew to survive the wilderness of the journey. His photographs are the highlight of this tour – opening space for faces and voices to be seen and heard, coming out of the darkness to humanize our struggle with mental health. By Steven Stauffer There are lots of things we could discuss about Ted. He’s a good talker, especially when he can use his hands. He’s nailed the “touch of grey” look, and he will adamantly defend his right to wear cargo shorts. He’s also mastered the ubiquitous sound effect that’s a bit like a “frrrrp”. You know the one. But I’d rather talk about his story-telling: the way he can take his life experience…Read More →
A guest post. While on tour somewhere in the Mid-west, this story reached our ears from a good friend of ours. Bev said she wished people could’ve heard the story of what happened to her on her way to one of our Laughter is Sacred Space shows. So, here it is! We want to share it with you, as a story of hope – when God shows up at the most unanticipated places and times: by Bev Miller As a collector, I keep my eyes open for the word “antique” when I’m out and about. I passed the Then and Now store before I realized what it was, and did a U-turn. Upon walking in, I was greeted by the owner of the store, who was talking with Ben, an 18-year old young man hanging out at the counter. She asked where I was from. When I told her I’m from Ohio,…Read More →
By Alison Brookins Alison, an AMBS student, interned with Ted & Co over the Summer and is now a roadie on the Laughter is Sacred Space: Human Faces Tour helping with tech and set up and other various and needful tasks. Here’s her blog about what she learned during her time with Ted, which she chronicled as “overheardwithted” ___________________ I enjoy finding the absurd in everyday life. Even more I enjoy gathering up these absurd moments and shouting them from the mountain of Facebook. This summer I kept a record of the things I heard while working with Ted, and posted them with as #overheardwithted. As I finish up my internship and bid farewell to Harrisonburg and Ted, I offer you a collection of these posts, with some background stories and nuggets of wisdom. “Can God say honking more?” In my first week in Harrisonburg, I wrote a sketch…Read More →