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Shakespearean Stage Combat

This 7 week course will teach your child the basics of stage combat including attacks, defense, and acting a fight onstage.
Paul H. The Shakespearean Student
48 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 5 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged weekly
Meets 1x per week
Runs week after week
55 minutes per class
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Class Experience

There are two main learning goals for this course:
Students will engage with the text of Romeo and Juliet by learning about the dueling culture of 17th century Europe, and by personating the characters of Mercutio, Tybalt, and/or Romeo. They will learn about the types of weapons from the period and how they were used. 

Students will learn the basics of stage combat and enacting violence onstage, from the types of cuts and thrusts to the six basic parries. We will also cover basic footwork like advances, retreats, thrusts, and lunges. 
I have been trained by the Society of American Fight Directors and I take stage combat very seriously. We will constantly refer to safe guidelines to make sure the fights do not result in inury. I will insist that the combatants keep proper distance, cue each move so they know what to expect, and I will not tolerate any kind of horseplay or unsafe deviation from the fight. 
There will be no homework, but students are encouraged to practice their fight as much as possible outside of class to get it to the best level possible. I will design drills that we will do at the start of each class that the students may repeat to practice their skills at home. In addition, there will also be a fight script that reminds the combatants of their moves that the students are encouraged to study and memorize if possible before the final class.
 1 file available upon enrollment
Students will need a working webcam, and some kind of object to double as a sword, whether a pool noodle, dowl rod, curtain rod, or some kind of toy sword. Students should also dress in clothes that are appropriate to move in. Comfortable close-toed shoes, sweat pants or other athletic wear. Don't wear anything hanging down or too tight. Long hair should be tied back so it doesn't get in the way, and no hanging jewelry.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
I am looking for growth, not perfection with this class, since a perfect performance is by definition impossible. If the students improve their form in fighting and do their best with their time, they will receive a digital badge upon completion of the class.
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
Like my beginning stage combat course, real swords are not required for the class. Any arm-length object that the student can safely wield can stand in for a sword. If you have a real sword, I can help you improve your use of it, but again, not having one shouldn't prevent you from taking the course. 

This class is partially inspired by a video from the Folger Shakespeare Theater's fight choreographer: "How to stage a fight in 10 easy steps:" 

All the vocabulary I cover in the class is listed on the website of the Society of American Fight Directors: I have posted their glossary on the course page and highlight the terms the students need to know.


Paul H. The Shakespearean Student
Lives in the United States
Teacher, lecturer, actor, astronomer, and technology specialist
48 total reviews
87 completed classes

About Me

I specialize in Shakespeare and Astronomy, having worked in theater for over 10 years, and for two years as a professional astronomy assistant. I teach courses in Shakespeare Appreciation and Shakespearean acting, as well as basic astronomy for... 
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