Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012

Free Lesson In Stage Combat

Stage Fighting Lessons At The Alchemist

By Russ Bickerstaff
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(trust this man to teach you how to take a punch)

My first reaction was…stage fighting lessons in a bar: what could possibly go wrong there? Seriously, though . . . stage fighting is something that requires complete precision and sobriety to make it come across effectively. But it also requires just a little bit more than that . . .  I’d noticed over the years that professional equity actors have never managed to give the full-out stage fighting performances I’d seen in smaller productions. Professional actors can go through the motions and everything, but they’re really lousy at making a fight look realistic. Why is that? Is it a lack of decent training or is it the fact that, making their living entirely on stage means that any injury at all could be financially tragic for them in a way that it wouldn’t be for a non-professional? Or maybe it’s just the fact that staged fighting looks that much more real in the kinds of smaller spaces that are the natural habitat of non-professional actors. . . I don’t know . . .

In any case, some of the fundamentals of stage combat will be covered by local stage talent Christopher Elst at the Alchemist theatre as the Alchemist Elst has been performing and teaching staged combat for 15 years, so he knows what he’s doing. If I’m not mistaken, he also owns a whole bunch of his own swords (I seem to remember him loaning a few to Carte Blanche for a recent production, but I could be wrong about that.)

The February 12th class runs from noon to 4pm at the Alchemist theatre. Space in the class is limited. The class is free, but to reserve a spot costs $3 . . . which will be refunded at the bar when you attend. To reserve a spot, visit Alchemist online.

 

 

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