Stage Combat & Fight Direction

The Latest

When Young People Fight
Essay

When Young People Fight

Stage Combat in TYA

by Jamie Macpherson
6 September 2017
Hiring a Fight Director
Essay

Hiring a Fight Director

by Michael Jerome Johnson
18 July 2017
The Significance of Violence Design
Essay

The Significance of Violence Design

by Rick Gilbert
25 April 2014
When Young People Fight
Essay

When Young People Fight

Stage Combat in TYA

6 September 2017

Fight instructor Jamie Macpherson addresses objections to teaching stage combat to young people.

Hiring a Fight Director
Essay

Hiring a Fight Director

18 July 2017

Fight director Michael Jerome Johnson lays out how and when to hire a fight director.

The Significance of Violence Design
Essay

The Significance of Violence Design

25 April 2014

We usually consider a fight choreographer’s job to be staging the fights so that they are safe. Certainly safety is essential: actors should not be getting hurt in the exercise of their art. But a violence designer is far more than a mere “safety foreman.” Like any other artist working in the theater, the violence designer’s primary role is doing interpretive work: making choices that help tell the story. Not the story of Hamlet, but the story of this Hamlet: that is to say, the story that this production of Hamlet is telling.

Writing the Fight
Essay

Writing the Fight

What Playwrights and Dramaturgs Need to Know About Staging Violence—Part 2

21 March 2014

Stage combat is the art of creating the illusion of violence for the sake of storytelling. Some illusions are easier and/or less expensive than others. One thing I’ve found myself saying many times is that the difference between one character pulling a knife on another versus breaking a bottle and threatening to attack them with the broken base is hundreds of dollars.

Writing the Fight
Essay

Writing the Fight

Part 1 of 2

7 March 2014

What Playwrights and Dramaturgs Need to Know About Staging Violence. These two articles are based on a workshop I’ve taught at venues that include ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), Region I KC/ACTF (Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival) , The Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and other organizations. The idea for it was based both in the experience of fight directing premieres of new plays and from my own experiences in the classroom during my MFA in playwriting.

Blood is Ancient, Blood is In
Essay

Blood is Ancient, Blood is In

5 January 2014

Kyna Hamill interviews Casey Kaleba—a certified fight instructor with Society of American Fight Directors and blood expert—about the secrets to using blood in production. 

How to Have a Happy Fight Call
Essay

How to Have a Happy Fight Call

A Guide for Directors, Stage Managers, and Fight Captains

4 December 2013

We all love a good fight (in a show). A reminder to keep things real by checking in with actors and their weapons, maintain a full fight call, and maintaining consistent order.

Crossed rapiers.
Despite All of His Contributions to Modern Stage Combat, Ridolfo Capo Ferro Was NOT a Fight Director
Essay

Despite All of His Contributions to Modern Stage Combat, Ridolfo Capo Ferro Was NOT a Fight Director

30 November 2013

Meron Langsner compares his knowledge of the sports combat and stage combat to better articulate the purposes of stage combat.  

Portrait of Meron Langsner.
Fightaturgy
Essay

Fightaturgy

Towards a Dramaturgy of Stage Violence

11 November 2013

Dramatically motivated fight choreography makes the audience lean forward in their seats. “Fightaturgy” matters.  

Why Everyone Should Study Stage Combat
Essay

Why Everyone Should Study Stage Combat

10 November 2013

Meron Langsner shares insight into the difficulty and importance of creating a successful combat scene.