Saturday, December 28, 2013

Seven Ages: Stage Combat

Let the beatings begin.

For seven of the past eight years, I have performed in the annual, free outreach tour for Great Lakes Theater. Seven Ages will be my eighth.

Traditionally, we begin rehearsal in January, open in February and close in March. And that's it. As I was invited to write a tour or two in the past several years, my process began in August, and then in April -- I wrote Double Heart in April 2012.

Our combat choreographer staged the sword fight in September of that year. We began rehearsal proper in January, and before we closed found that we would be taking the show to New York City. Over a year with this one show on my mind, it felt odd to be meeting with Emily to begin rehearsal on this new show.

A little background; Seven Ages consists of seven short tales written by seven Cleveland playwrights, based on each of Jacques "seven ages of man" from As You Like It. Mine was inspired by the schoolboy, and is rather literal. What was it like to go to school in 16th century England? One fact I learned was that the odds were very good you were going to be struck by your teacher.
Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
But love from love toward school with heavy looks.
- Romeo & Juliet, II.ii
Yeah, no shit Romeo. Especially when your drunken proctor is in a bad mood.

In one particularly nasty moment, the teacher (me) strikes his pupil (Emily, as a boy) from behind and without warning. December 17 our Kelly was in town to work with the actor-teachers, and we brought Emily in to stage the fight. The video here details the extent of the beating. You can see clearly from the second two angles that I am hesitant to get too close to striking her back. I think the way I am holding the stick will make a different, angled more severely it should hide the blow.

No comments:

Post a Comment