Photo by Daniel Kelly
TAKE THAT!—Freshmen Sam Markley (left) and Abriana Salberg (right) engage in stage combat with wooden dowels in a recent Theater I class.

Theater I students participate in exciting stage combat unit
Warriors learn stage presence with ‘swords’

By Chloe Sheridan and Daniel Kelly


Theater I students, under the direction of teacher Fred Reiner, recently completed a unit on theatrical sword fighting using wooden dowels as stand-ins for swords.

Also known as “stage combat” or “fight choreography,” the techniques the students learned are part of a specialized technique in theater designed to create the illusion of physical combat without causing harm to the performers.

Reiner said the unit exposed the students to the techniques used in classic stage fencing while giving them experience in stage presence.

“The two most important things are the movement and masking the movement from the audience to make it more realistic,” Reiner said.

Freshman Abriana Salberg said it was a good experience to have with her fellow Theater I classmates.
“It was about working together,” Salberg said.

Freshman Samuel Markley said he agreed it was fun to work together.

“It was fun if your partner was into it and that helps it look good,” Markley said. “If everyone on stage isn’t into it, then the audience won’t enjoy it.”

Markley said it was not all fun and games, however.

“We had to grunt with every hit, and it’s awkward, but in the long run it made sense,” he said. “It gave me a greater appreciation of theater and what goes into a show.”

Reiner said the Theater I students engage in multiple activities throughout the semester to learn move about what goes into a production, including improvisation exercises and watching and learning from plays performed by others.


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