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Armed Stage Combat Basics

  • 1.  Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-26-2020 20:19

    Looking for some guidance here as we are currently rehearsing for She Kills Monsters which opens in April.  I'd like a resource that shows some basic moves that we can piece together as we choreograph the fight scenes.  I realize bring in a pro is the best option, but I'm not sure that is feasible given our location and budget.  


    Thanks in advance.



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    K Lang
    Ticonderoga NY
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  • 2.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-27-2020 07:02

    Hi,
    I'm also working on She Kills Monsters.
    First, if you're using steel weapons and/or non-foam type weapons, I really can't recommend finding a pro.  I bet you could get one to even skype with you and help but using "real" weapons without training is just way too dangerous to the kids AND to you if something happens.

    If you truly can't get a pro (and I'd be happy to help you find one through SAFD), then I highly recommend using "fake" weapons.  The cosplay and foam swords look very real and quite amazing and then you'd be safer (they still can hurt).

    I know I'm not answering your question directly, but that's because it's really not wise to try and figure this out on your own.  If you want help locating a pro, just shoot me an email. director@northcentraltheatre.org

    Best of Luck,



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    Nathan Shewell
    Theatre Arts Director
    INDIANAPOLIS IN
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  • 3.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-27-2020 09:27
    We are using foam weapons.  I should have specified. I wouldn't even think of using real ones.  Thanks for the info.

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    K Lang
    Ticonderoga NY
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  • 4.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-27-2020 09:55
    I used a fight choreographer who graduated from our high school and trained with two different Shakespeare companies.  It looks as if Adirondack Shakespeare Company and the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival are fairly close to you.  You might call them and get a recommendation for someone who could choreograph fights for you for a reasonable sum.

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    C. J. Breland
    Retired Theatre Arts Educator
    Asheville NC
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  • 5.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-28-2020 22:22
    I've had some success using college drama majors to teach stage combat.  Also, we have a local Shakespeare Company who will come out and demo or teach.  If you're fortunate to have that, it could be a good source.  You didn't mention what kind of weapons and I'm not familiar with the play.  I'm assuming your use of "pro" referred to a fight choreographer, not the kind of weapons you are using.

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    Valerie Scott
    Drama Teacher/Director
    Perimeter School
    Johns Creek, Ga
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  • 6.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-27-2020 10:48
    For weapons I used Cold Steel Trainers. They are high-impact plastic that you can paint to look like metal.
    https://www.coldsteel.com/products/training-knives.html

    I would definitely recommend a trained fight director. Not only is it safer it is a great educational opportunity. Maybe hire one for a weekend and have a two-day intensive, partner with another school to learn the basics, etc. But, get a professional.

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    John Perry
    Retired Theatre Teacher
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  • 7.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-27-2020 16:23
    Check around just the same; the results might surprise you.  About 20 years ago I directed a school show that required two sword-fights and one hand-to-hand fight.  I contacted a local fight director, terrified of what he might rightfully charge, but he surprised me by trying to decline a fee, because he wanted to help out a high-school theatre group.  I did ultimately twist his arm to accept what had to be a modest honorarium even in those days.  He and my cast members had a great time working those fights, the show went beautifully, and, in a neat turn of events, one of those actors, who had never before held a sword in his hand and who was scared of picking one up, is now a college theatre professor who was recently certified as a fight director.

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    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher, Aesthetics Department Chair
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville FL
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  • 8.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 01-27-2020 17:18
    Thanks everyone.  My college alma mater has put me in touch with a pro that they used for the show.  I'm hoping the price point is right.  Appreciate the replies.

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    K Lang
    Ticonderoga NY
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  • 9.  RE: Armed Stage Combat Basics

    Posted 03-26-2020 21:05
    Even though our show has been postponed, we did hire a professional fight choreographer and what a difference it has made.  I highly recommend Robert Aronowitz.  What a great dude and skilled director!  Thanks for recommending that we go with a pro everyone.  It was well worth the investment.
    https://www.safd.org/MemberProfile/Details/32825

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    K Lang
    Ticonderoga NY
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