Holy Surprises

Ted and Company Visit Bridgewater


Lamont Jones

Raught, as Angel Gabriel, and Swartz, as Abraham in Carter Hall. Abraham happily welcomes Gabriel as a guest.

Sammie Herbst, Staff Writer

On Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carter Center, Ted Swartz and Jeff Raught performed their show, “Holy Surprises.” The show centered around Christian themes regarding surprises and featured music and live skits.

In 1987, Swartz teamed up with Lee Eshleman to form Ted and Lee Theaterworks. Together, they create skits featuring biblical and Christian themes intermixed with humor and music.

Their most famous skit was “Fish Eyes,” a story from the eyes of Jesus’ apostles, St. Andrew and St. Peter. Now commonly performed by other comedic duos, the skits feature the brothers as they see the life and death of Jesus. 

After Eshleman died in 2007, Swartz formed Ted and Company. 

Teaming up with Raught, Swartz began writing new skits, including “No Feeling is Final,” “We Own This Now,” “Listening For Grace” and “Just Give ‘Em the News.”

Presenting their newest show, “Holy Surprises,” Ted and Company came to Bridgewater. Mixed with material that had not been seen in years and new skits, the show was a hit among students and alumni alike.

Among the many skits, “Raw Thoughts” was featured three times. Taking a piece of paper out of a basket, twice, Raught read the humorous comments with some remarkable side dialogue.

Two other skits were the time Archangel Gabriel told Abraham that he was going to have a son through Sarah; the exchange started out with a conversation about Ishmael, then Abraham’s disbelief that his wife could conceive.

The second was about a money exchange at the temple; a man with Greek coins asks to buy a dove for sacrifice but ends up spending almost all of his money trying to exchange the coins for Jewish coins to buy the dove. He walks away with almost no money and no dove.

Another skit included a scene from Swartz’s play. Though the most serious piece in the show, it had many realistic scenarios throughout.

“It’s about a father who learns his son is gay,” said Swartz.

When the father goes to his cousin who came out during his junior year of high school, he learns many things about life. 

“I went to a summer camp to fix myself. My friends, family and church were no longer a part of me,” Swartz reads.

At the end, the lobby was filled with those who were mingling. In the center, a table was placed with information regarding other shows and how to book. In the middle of all this was a donation box for Ukraine.