Simulation over Style

My approach to stage combat has three priorities: Safety, Simulation, and Story. This is a small but important departure from the standard Fight Directors Canada version that students will see in their glossary: safety, storytelling, and style. Here is why I believe simulation beats style and gives us a clearer understanding of what we do…

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Romeo and Juliet at Bard 2016

At the top of the year, I was approached to be the fight director for Romeo and Juliet at Bard on the Beach. Kim Collier is directing the play, and liked my work on her Hamlet two years ago. I was very proud of our results in that play, and was eager to put some…

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Performance Traits and Virtues

Mastering a physical skill is a long process. Although most beginners need to learn the fundamental movements and the terminology to identify them, there is a constant development at all levels of general traits and valuable “soft” skills. Despite the lack of attention given to these virtues, they are universally acknowledged among the best performers.…

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Paul Dennhardt on Stage Combat

In the article linked below, Paul Dennhardt, a theatre professor at the College of Fine Arts of Illinois State University, explains important aspects of stage combat that should be understood by everyone in theatre by now. Sadly, most productions still don’t know where to begin with a sword fight, or what the process involves, but…

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Stage Combat Trends

Throughout the history of cinematic fights, a variety of stunt coordinators have come to prominence, and with them their iconic styles. When a movie becomes popular and has fight scenes that are appreciated, the market is flooded with imitators. Sometimes their style is overgeneralized to apply to every weapon. These days, if you wield two…

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Competition Stage Combat

Taking inspiration from Major Wes’ post on this very blog called Staged Sword Press, let’s talk about competitive stage combat. Art Contests In sporting competition, there is obvious scoring with the ball kicked across a line, or touches with a sword tip. Artistic expression has its own competitions, but they must be scored by a…

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