Updates, news and blog stories from around the Ted and Company universe.

rabbit trails close up GREY

Laughter Tour Update

September 6, 2016

aka “Ted-and-Steven-Will-Be-Back-In-27-Days-Tour.” Day 1 September 1 By Ted Swartz First show of the tour in Weyers Cave VA, sponsored by Pleasant Valley Church Of the Brethren and Karis.  After months of planning and anticipation, mucking and coordinating, building and huddling, we kicked off the tour! Thanks to Valerie Serrels for all the logistics, coordinating, and encouragement. The revamped set went up without hitches, thanks Alison Brookins! The lights went up easily, thanks Phil Blosser! And here’s another exclamation point! Crew Dietrich Alderfer and Steven Stauffer couldn’t have been better. The relationship with the audience is paramount and we had a fantastic audience. We heard powerful poignant stories, and collected amazing photos (boy, that’s a lot of superlatives, but what is one to do when faced with the need for ecstatic description.) Thanks to Daniel House for great hosting, we were will taken care of. Show tidbit: After the lights dimmed…

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A Story of Struggle and Hope

August 5, 2016

This is our friend, Scott Hackman, and his story of struggle toward mental health and stability. Our upcoming Laughter is Sacred Space: Human Faces Tour will invite stories and photos of every day people who also struggle. These are sacred stories of being human, discovering God at the core. If you’d like to share your own story, please follow this link. Photo by Steven Stauffer By Scott Hackman I have been impacted by suicidal thoughts and self-destructive behaviors at key stress points in my life. I have mostly understood my life story as a process of recovery. I was misdiagnosed, over-medicated, and poorly counseled for 15 years. I was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression a week after my 30th birthday. In the hospital, I learned the stories I had been telling myself were not true: I was not sick. I was not a series of mental illnesses. I am…

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Ted & Co ‘Catches’ a New Intern

June 20, 2016

Please give a warm welcome to Alison Brookins, our new Summer intern here at Ted & Co. You’ll hear more from her in the coming weeks. Here’s a bit about who she is and what she brings to the Company.  How do I describe myself when I am somewhere totally new, doing something I have never done before? What occupations, adjectives, relationships or accomplishments do I choose to communicate who I am? I am far from home, far from my friends and family, far from my normal. I can only tell you what I do, what I love, and what I think about, and hope that these will not limit what I will become this summer. In my current incarnation, I am Ted’s Intern. I am here to collaborate with Ted, to do some of my own writing, and to pursue my interest in theological communication. In my everyday life,…

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Celtic Pilgrimage with Ted? Bucket List Alert!

August 10, 2015

In May of 2016 Sue and I are traveling to Iona Community in Scotland as part of a pilgrimage I am co-leading with friend Sheryl Shenk and her husband John.  Iona is one of the places on my, “whatever you want to call it” list—bucket/pail/small pitcher with a cute handle. In any event, there are still openings for what I believe will be a life changing experience. Below are links to the original letter of invite from Sheryl and the official brochure. Also, here’s a link to the short video I made explaining why I‘m excited to be going. We are approaching the deadline for registration, so act now! Shout at me if you need more information. Or, you can use an inside voice. ~ Ted Letter of Invite from Sheryl 2016 Scotland England Brochure-1

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Voice Behind the Cello

June 2, 2015

By Chris Yoder June 2, 2015 (Chris Yoder is one of two cellists who alternately plays “the son” in Listening for Grace. The following is a repost of an editorial by Chris for The Weather Vane at Eastern Mennonite University.) Ted Swartz is bringing his show, “Listening for Grace,” to EMU this Sunday evening. It is a show full of emotions – laughter, joy, pain, remorse, sadness, and grace. He twists your goosebumps into tears of sadness, only to find transform them into tears of laughter. Swartz plays the role of a father rooted in an evangelical upbringing, and he is forced to cope with the news that his son is gay. Throughout the play, he consults with friends and family, confronting the dillemma of choosing between his God or his son. While I won’t be playing in the show at EMU, I’ve had the opportunity to travel with Swartz…

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Meet…the chicken

May 20, 2015

By Ted Swartz May 20, 2015 A couple of years ago Jeff Raught and I spent a week in a story-book land to the North. Cooperstown, New York. The home of the baseball hall of fame…moment of silence… Seriously, I’m taking a moment…ok, done. Along with dramaturge and serial bellower of contagious laughter, Bob Small, Jeff and I were crafting a new show, The Jesus Stories: What’s for Lunch? The location, Aunt Karen’s Farm, set amidst the rolling green hills and lush forests of upstate New York, was a compliment to the invigorating and sometimes infuriating process of putting a show together. The show had several permutations over the last 2 years, but this spring we finished it. During the week, Jeff had opportunities to use his camera and spent a better part of an hour photographing chickens….yes, chickens. His patience paid off with this shot. This fine specimen is…

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