Ted & Co. entered spaces on Friday and Saturday nights and engaged audiences in laughter and some tears and suggested that the shared experience created a sacred space. Ted Swartz came to the theatre space at Steinbach Regional Secondary School on Friday night and then presented the same show at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg on Saturday.
‘Laughter IS Sacred Space’ is a one-man show that Ted Swartz developed after his friend and business partner Lee Eshleman who struggled with bipolar disorder, took his own life in 2007.
Ted tells a very personal story about Lee’s untimely passing and how it has affected him since 2007, taking the audience through the pain of remembrance and the laughter. In the midst of those memories, Ted searches for God in the wind and storm, in the fire and in the silence.
After each of the shows, Ted gave the audience a chance to respond to what they had experienced, which was an opportunity to question some of the underlying elements of his stories. The space and the nature of atmosphere was such that it was a safe space for others to share snippets of their own struggles as well. The show length was scheduled for approximately 75-80 minutes, during which he kept the audience spell-bound. Ted’s interaction with people after the show helped to create the sense of warmth and friendship. It appeared as if the space was sacred.