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Playwright and actor Ted Swartz brings music, comedy and storytelling to conversation about sexuality, faith and family

Three is a magic number, says veteran actor and playwright Ted Swartz. “That’s true in baseball, theater and comedy,” he says. “I generally listen when things come in threes.” The adage has served him well for more than 20 years, as Swartz ’89, M.Div ’92, has engaged with the unlikely trio of theology, comedy and issues of faith. First with Lee Eshleman ’86 in Ted ...More

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Author who left Amish returns to EMU to launch new book

In recent history, so-called “bonnet fiction” has flourished. That is, fabricated stories relating to the Amish or plain Mennonite cultures, often written by authors not from one of those backgrounds and sometimes critiqued for lacking in accuracy. But executives at Herald Press, the publishing branch of Harrisonburg-based Mennomedia, ...More

Peace Conference discussion with main speaker Nick

Former Fulbright fellow, nationally known leader in human security, to speak at intercollegiate peace forum

Lisa Schirch, PhD, director of human security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding and a former Fulbright fellow in East and West Africa, will give the keynote speech at the 2014 Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 ...More

Author Shirley Showalter

Shirley Showalter ’70 shares steps in her journey from conservative Mennonite upbringing to college president

Shirley Showalter is named for the iconic curly-haired child star, but, as a youngster, she wasn’t allowed to watch Ms. Temple’s performances. “I think it might have been on Youtube that I first saw `On the Good Ship Lollipop,’ ” Showalter admitted from the comfort of her Harrisonburg home last week, letting out an infectious chuckle. With an easy smi ...More

Michael A King speaks at School for Leadership Training

On Churches Hearing, Holding, and Hoping Amid Mental Health Challenges

We tend to see mental illness as something that happens out there, to stigmatized strangers on the fringe of our churches, when in fact mental illness affects our families, friends, loved ones, congregants, and many of us personally. In short, mental illness is experienced by everyone in church communities – by “us” and our loved ones, not just by “them.” This was the recurren ...More

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Peace, Pies and Prophets Come Together in Ted & Company Performance

Restorative justice and pies will come together in a live performance of “I’d Like to Buy an Enemy,” by Ted & Company on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in Park View Mennonite Church. The one-night interactive event blends laughter and thoughtful dialogue and “peace pies.” The ...More

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Faith, Hope and Love the Focus of Spiritual Life Week

Faith. Hope. Love. Those three words will be the center of discussion for Ted Swartz ’89, MACL ’92 of Ted & Company, during Spiritual Life Week at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Oct. 30-Nov. 2. “Ted combines a love of the Bible with outrageous humor and fresh perspective,” says ...More

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Comedian Lifts Curtain on Depression

Ted Swartz was only half of the acting duo, which for 20 years, was known as Ted and Lee TheaterWorks. But that abruptly changed when his acting partner, Lee Eshleman, took his own life in 2007 as a result of clinical depression. Since then, Swartz has avoided directly addressing the death of his friend in his productions, though he has address ...More

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Alumni Reunite for “Love of the Game”

Baseball players fill seats, inspire songs, become talking points around the water cooler and, more importantly to a dozen Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) alumni, accumulate statistics. For the past 30 years EMU alumni reunite to banter, share familial updates, and participate in an annual fantasy baseball league, “Shenandoah’s Major Minor League.” “It’s great to see ...More

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Gathering Explores Anabaptist Message in Visual Age

Was it Mother Nature’s idea of improvisation? Participants in the Anabaptist Communicator’s annual conference sat around tables in Martin Chapel at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, mesmerized by actor-playwright Ted Swartz’s reflections on what he believes makes a “good Mennonite actor,” while outside, snow began to cover the ...More