Special guest Ted Swartz from Ted & Company Theaterworks brought mid-week humor to campus in a special chapel Wednesday. Swartz performed an excerpt from a monologue he wrote and also shared a few stories from his upcoming book.
Swartz, who addresses topics of faith and social justice, translated biblical text into dramatic storytelling. He captured the audience’s attention through comedy and careful use of vivid detail. Arielle Zerger, a sophomore, who heard Swartz for the first time yesterday, found that his performance “gives meaning and interpretation to biblical stories.”
Swartz has done plenty of shows in the area, but said it’s been almost ten years since he’s been a guest here on campus. Swartz has the ability to transform into multiple characters simply by changing the tone or speed of his voice.
His performances are engaging because he portrays genuine human emotions such as confusion, amazement, fear and disbelief, which allow audience members to relate to his characters. Jordan Weaver and Caleb Longenecker, both first-years, said they have seen Ted before and have never been disappointed.
There will be a few more opportunities to catch Ted & Company this week. There will be a performance tonight at 7 p.m. in the Church-Chapel, as well as another show at 7 p.m. Friday at the Goshen Theater. Tickets for Goshen College students are three dollars. Proceeds from the show go to The Window, a nonprofit organization that supports lower-income families.
Swartz will also be performing a miniature version of his show “Laughter and Lament” in Friday’s chapel. The show is about Swartz’s relationship with close friend and partner, Lee Eshleman, who took his own life in 2007. Swartz will reflect on the healing process that deals with such tremendous grief.
By Twila Albrecht