Friday, September 7, 2012

Double Heart: Stage Combat

Oo-ah ... some sit-ups are in order.

Double Heart opens February 12. However, when your favorite combat choreographer is in town, you get her and your available cast together to stage a KNIFE FIGHT.

Why knives? If you live in Amherst, you do not need to answer this question. Some sites for the tour are quite intimate, and swing rapiers about is entirely not practical. However, writing my first period, iambic pentameter verse play, I knew I wanted at least these two things -- a dance, and some kind of sword fight.

Creating this fight was not as easy as Kelly deciding what are the coolest moves and working them into the dialogue. Laws, no. She had a lot of questions about the characters I had not even answered myself, including what class status Benedick is, and Valentine and Virginia. What does Valentine (who we decided is some kind of lord, because we had determined that Virginia must be a lady) challenging Benedick to a duel mean, in the larger sense? What is at stake?

The biggest surprise of the afternoon was when we decided that, as a result of Virginia's intercession, Benedick accidentally slashes Valentine across the ass.

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