Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter rehearsal period, Thursday

"O happy dagger!"
Romeo and Juliet, V.iii

Maybe ten years ago, we brought Kelly Elliott on board to create new stage combat for our fight scenes. Actor-teachers fight each other as Benvolio and Tybalt, Laertes and Hamlet, Macbeth and Macduff, in classrooms, gynmasiums, school parking lots, and sometimes even on actual stages. Kelly crafted fights which do not take up a lot of space, to allow for these challenging spaces, making the fights thrilling -- but entirely safe -- for students to watch and experience.

Kelly was an actor-teacher herself from 2006-2009, and since that time has returned in the fall and winter to coach and clean up her choreography to new members of the team. While those who love her were thrilled when she was acceted into a grad program in Staunton, Virginia, Lisa and I were also understandably bitter and disappointed that she would not longer be available to us.

Lucky we! She and her husband Josh have returned to Cleveland for the holidays and she contacted us to ask if we needed her! Of course we do! Always! In addition to the aforementioned fights, women learn how to stab themselves correctly (Juliet) and men learn how to gut a student (Young Siward.) There is also careful instruction on choking.

At the moment, everyone is slapping each other.

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