Stage Combat 101: Actions and reactions

Stage Combat 101: Actions & Reactions

Stage fight is extra than simply memorizing choreography and studying the appropriate approach. Sure, these are extraordinarily necessary to make sure stage fight is carried out appropriately and safely. However bear in mind, stage fight is a type of storytelling. The fights ought to proceed the story the actors inform by way of their strains and stage work. And what makes a battle even higher are the actions and reactions of the performers within the battle. If a personality resorts to violence, they clearly really feel robust feelings. College students must know precisely how fight impacts their character bodily and mentally, how fight tells the story, and the way they may painting these emotions.

Bodily actions and reactions embrace:
  • Sounds and vocalizations (exclamations of ache, aggression or concern, grunts, moans, moans, screams)
  • Physique language (clenched fists, motioning for somebody to “carry it”, arms outstretched)
  • Posture (standing, curled up, bent in ache, martial arts poses)
  • Facial expressions (keep away from hiding your face – college students typically wish to cover or cowl their face when attempting to painting concern or unhappiness)
  • Actions earlier than the battle and after the battle
  • Respiration (out of breath, barely exercising)
  • Modifications all through the battle (displaying ache after being hit/obtained, being injured)
Psychological actions and reactions embrace:
  • Why does your character battle?
  • How expert or unskilled is your character in fight?
  • Does your character wish to battle or does he not wish to battle?
  • What was your character doing simply earlier than the battle?
  • What’s going to your character do after the battle?
  • How does fight have an effect on your character mentally? (Are they excited, avenged, scared, traumatized, oblivious?)
  • How does the battle have an effect on the motion of the present as a complete?

That is so much to consider, is not it? College students are doubtless aware of making a character profile once they get to know their position. It’s useful for college kids to finish a fight evaluation (you’ll find a free worksheet beneath) when taking part in stage fight. This can give college students a greater understanding of the battle itself, their character’s position within the battle, and the aim of the battle inside the bigger context of the collection.

When performing, as soon as the scholars have realized their choreography and may current it appropriately, they will add all these further layers. Remember to explain the ache of their exit and their subsequent scenes as nicely. (Considered one of my pet peeves is when actors pull off an unimaginable battle with tons of punches and wounds…then stroll away trying completely fantastic afterwards – not even out of breath!)

You should utilize the battle evaluation worksheet at school if you’re finding out a present with fights, like Romeo and Juliet Or Hamlet. College students can evaluate and distinction how they suppose completely different characters would act and react in fight. It is also fascinating to contemplate how completely different college students may think the identical character reacting in a battle. One scholar may think Tybalt screaming and screaming whereas leaping and brandishing his flourishing sword, whereas one other scholar may think Tybalt whispering his strains and attacking silently, like a serpent.

You can too use the worksheet to observe analyzing fights from well-known motion pictures, akin to Inigo Montoya vs. the Man in Black in The princess to be married or Captain Jack Sparrow versus Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Have half the category observe one character and the opposite half the category observe the opposite, and create a fight evaluation primarily based on what they see. For an added problem, ask your college students what would change in the event that they tried doing these fights dwell on stage as a substitute of on movie.

Click here for a free combat analysis spreadsheet.

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, author and stage fighter from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at

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