July 18 at 11 am CT – Star of Big Lake Big City Phil Smith on Voices of Peace

BLBC_Phil_Smith2On Thursday, July 18,  Lookingglass Theatre Ensemble Member and Producing Artistic Director, Philip R. Smith joined Voices of Peace Talk Radio to discuss his starring role in the world premiere of Big Lake Big City written by Keith Huff and directed by David Schwimmer. Phil’s character, Detective Bass, can’t catch a break: his boss is a hard-ass, his partner’s a knucklehead, his wife’s a cheat and now he’s chasing a perp who has a screwdriver in his head. An eclectic set of shady characters—crooked coroners, a TV-personality doctor, a femme fatale, and one extraordinarily valuable sculpture—run roughshod through a hilarious maze of double-crosses and double-identities in this love letter to the underbelly of the Windy City.

Having portrayed characters as diverse as the title character in Ethan Frome, Will in Trust, Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov, Doctor Sartorius in The March, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Reverend Parris in The Crucible and Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days at Balitmore’s Center Stage, Phil provided a glimpse into the actor’s creative process and Lookingglass Theatre’s vision. Lookingglass was the recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award.


Enjoy this engaging discussion.

Join the Raven Foundation at the 1:30 p.m. preshow lecture and  3:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, July 27. Tickets and additional details here.

About the Show

The Raven Foundation’s online call-in radio program, Voices of Peace Talk Radio on Talkshoe.com, engages listeners in critical thinking about how to achieve peace by peaceful means. Every month your hosts, Raven’s Adam Ericksen and award winning Peace Journalist Bob Koehler bring you the chance to engage with people actively working to make the shift from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. Listeners can listen online, call-in or visit the chat room to join the conversation with these inspiring people making a difference for peace.

Download previous episodes or sign up for the podcast at iTunes.

June 27, 2013 – Wild Goose Festival’s Gareth Higgins on Voices of Peace

Voices of Peace Talk Radio Call-in Show with Wild Goose Festival’s Gareth Higgins

Wild Goose Founder and Film Critic Gareth Higgins Discusses the Culture of Violence in Hollywood’s Hottest Movies

Do violent movies make people more violent? Do any movies in the theater this summer challenge the myth of heroic violence? Can a Christian festival with a whimsical title “Wild Goose” help foster peace? Adam Ericksen, Bob Koehler and Suzanne Ross engaged with movie critic and peace activist Gareth Higgins for a lively discussion of these and other questions of violence in entertainment.

Gareth is a northern Irish writer and activist, now based in North Carolina. He is Executive Director of the Wild Goose Festival (www.wildgoosefestival.org), blogs at www.godisnotelsewhere.wordpress.com, and reviews films at www.thefilmtalk.com.

For a sample of Gareth’s perspective on movie violence and its impact on the broader culture, here’s an excerpt from an article he posted in response to the Aurora, Colorado shootings at a screening of Dark Knight Rising last year. He tries to move the conversation off of “superficial talking points… movies are either blamed for everything (in puritanical quarters), or responsibility denied (in liberal ones).” He continues:


… we could benefit from recognizing that the relationship between storytelling and the formation of human identity is crucial – we ‘curate’ our identities based on how we interpret our memories: so we manifest ourselves as victims, or heroes, or whatever depending on how we feel about the past…Movies matter in this regard because they are the dominant form of narrative fiction in our culture – there is probably no leisure activity regularly participated in by a wider social cohort than watching movies; the stories told in cinema contribute to shaping the limits of what the audience considers possible. So it’s the movies’ ‘fault’ when they uncritically repeat the myth that violence against others brings order out of chaos. This, of course, is not how it works in life, but most violent movies suggest that killing isn’t just morally acceptable, but genuinely good; and the impact on victim and perpetrator alike is ignored, or forgotten in an instant.


Gareth is a thoughtful commentator on the culture of violence and has some great ideas for how movie makers can use their art to challenge the myth of good violence.

Here’s a recording of the show for your listening pleasure. Or download it here.

March 4 – Peace on Earth Film Festival Executive Director Nick Angotti


Television star, peace activist, and Executive Director of the Peace on Earth Film Festival Dr. Nick Angotti joined Voices of Peace Talk Radio on Monday, March 4th. A veteran TV actor, Nick holds a Doctorate in Divinity from the Emerson Theological Institute of Oakhurst, CA and is dedicated to the pursuit of peace, justice, and nonviolence. As a part of this pursuit, Nick established Transcendence Global Media, an organization that pursues media ventures with the hope of building a culture of peace and nonviolence for all humanity. The Peace on Earth Film Festival is one such venture. Film directors from around the globe will come to Chicago to screen their films that raise awareness of peace, nonviolence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world.

In this episode, Bob Koehler and Adam Ericksen interviewed Nick and directors Ben Moses and Ellin Jimmerson whose films are in this year’s festival.

A Whisper to a Roar tells the heroic stories of courageous democracy activists in five countries around the world – Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe – who risk it all to bring freedom to their people. Director Ben Moses (Writer, Producer, Director) has an extensive production background which includes shows that have garnered 21 Emmy® wins and/or nominations and an Oscar nomination. Since co-founding Appleseed Entertainment in 2006, he has taken the lead on the company’s documentary films, which he has written, directed and produced. Case in point, Taking the Hill: The Warrior’s Journey Home, about ways to help address PTSD in combat veterans. Best known as the creator and co-producer of Disney/Touchstone’s megahit Good Morning, Vietnam, starring Robin Williams, he also associate produced ITC/Orion’s Without a Clue, starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley; produced and directed RCA/Columbia’s Nickel & Dime (Wallace Shawn, C. Thomas Howell); produced the TV movie Hope Ranch (Bruce Boxleitner, Lorenzo Lamas, Gail O’Grady) for Discovery Networks; and executive produced Cupid’s Prey (Joanna Pacula, Jack Wagner) for Daybreak Pacific. Before his move into features, Moses produced and directed a string of Emmy-award winning broadcast documentaries, delivering thought-provoking and emotionally gripping programming on subjects ranging from hunger in America to euthanasia. He began his career on the streets and stages of New York, working as grip and gofer, then assistant director, production manager and producer—of commercials, industrial films and ultimately network television shows.

The Second Cooler is a documentary about illegal migration shot primarily in Alabama, Arizona, and northern Mexico. The premise is that Arizona is the new Alabama—the epicenter of an intense struggle for migrant justice. The documentary’s purpose is to bring basic migration issues into focus. Director Ellin Jimmerson has a Masters in Southern History from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, a Ph. D. in 20th Century United States History from the University of Houston, Texas, and a Masters in Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University with a concentration in Latin American liberation theology. She is Minister to the Community at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. Because her parents were Civil Rights Movement activists during the 1950s and 1960s in Albany, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama, she cut her teeth on social justice issues. Her academic specialty is the intersection of US history, Latin American history, and Christianity. She has spoken to academic and non-academic audiences on liberation theology in the United States and Mexico. Ellin Jimmerson has spent years investigating illegal migration. In November, 2006, she took her first trip to the US / Mexico border to speak with people in their homes, on the streets, and in their places of business. After returning to Alabama, she began to speak in churches, universities, libraries, and other places about the basic causes of migration. In 2008, she was invited to a private meeting with the members of the Alabama Legislature’s Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission. She was the plenary speaker at the Spring, 2010 Liberal Arts Conference at Auburn University in Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama.

Listen to these dedicated and inspiring individuals discuss the commitments that inspired them to make their films.

Download the recording here.

Heidi Stillman, Director of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heidi StillmanLookingglass Ensemble Member and Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman joined Suzanne Ross, Adam Ericksen and Bob Koehler to discuss the play at the center of the next Raven Theater outing, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. This ferocious and darkly funny play examines war as an act of human nature with the setting of the war in Iraq. An army brat, born while her father was in Vietnam, the aunt of a 21-year-old nephew who recently had a tour in Afghanistan, and the sister of a humanitarian worker who is often a first responder in war torn areas, Heidi understands the many consequences of war. The first recipient of The Raven Award for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment for her adaption of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Heidi was a most welcome and entertaining guest.

Download the audio.

Suzanne Ross Shares The Wicked Truth About Love

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Wicked Truth About LoveRaven Founder Suzanne Ross shifted from the role of radio producer to guest on Voices of Peace Talk Radio. She joined hosts Adam Ericksen and Bob Koehler, and special guest Don Ross, to discuss her book, The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire. Using research from experts in psychology, anthropology, sociology, theology, brain physiology and philosophy, Suzanne untangled how human desire works, what triggers it, and what causes it to misfire. Learn your personal romantic pattern by taking a quiz then listen to the lively conversation about love and romance. The truth about love was explored and revealed! Show listeners were entered into a drawing to receive a free copy of Suzanne’s book.

Download or listen to the recording here.

Christine Stevens Shares Music Medicine

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christine Stevens discussed the healing power of music with Adam Ericksen and guest host Tripp Hudgins. Her book “Music Medicine” presents scientifically based information and practices for attuning ourselves to the healing powers of music. Christine is an internationally acclaimed author, music therapist, and speaker. She has drummed with Fortune 500 companies, survivors of Hurricane Katrina, students of Columbine High School, victims of violence in northern Iraq, and at Ground Zero. Along with her book “Music Medicine”, Christine has authored “The Art and Heart of Drum Circles” and “The Healing Drum Kit”.

Chris Haw: Witnessing to Peace in Camden

Recorded on December 13, 2012

Chris Haw discussed the interplay between the Christmas story and the practice of peace in a violent place: his home, Camden, NJ. A carpenter, theologian, author, speaker and potter, belongs to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Camden Houses, a small Christian community sharing daily life in Camden. Chris grew up Catholic and spent many years growing and serving at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago. He is the author of Jesus for President, and From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart.

Listen to the engaging conversation with Chris, Adam and Bob.

Filmmaker Kevin Miller on Hellbound?

Recorded on October 18, 2012

Voices of Peace welcomed Kevin Miller, writer, director, and co-producer of the controversial documentary Hellbound? for an exciting conversation on Hell. In Hellbound?, Kevin interviews prominent pastors, theologians, musicians, and exorcists about Hell. Does Hell exist? If so, why? What impact do our beliefs about Hell have on the world? If God is Love, can God eternally torment people in Hell? These are a few of the questions Kevin poses in Hellbound? and they are a few of the fascinating questions we discussed with him. Our conversation was enriched by the comments and questions of our callers, including Michael Hardin of Preaching Peace. Michael played a significant role in Hellbound? and he made important contributions to our discussion. We invite you to listen to the podcast below and add your comments or questions in our comment section.

Learn more about Hellbound? and find theater locations at the movie website

Read Adam’s review of Hellbound? entitled “Hellbound? Why Hell Matters” here.