Current Class in Staff began November 7, 2023

Weekly Classes

Ongoing: Tuesday Nights

  • What: Weekly stage combat classes, with the option for SAFD Certification testing 

  • When:  Tuesday evenings 7:00-9:00 pm
    (occasionally offered: 9:00-10:00 pm optional work for experienced stage combat students)

  • Where:  Corsair Fencing Club, 352 Butler St, Etna, PA 15223
    ​(just off the exit and on the busline, routes 1, 2, and P13)

  • Cost:  Class fee $30/session, with discounts for monthly signups and for current university students.  For certification testing, a $60 non-refundable testing fee per weapon style  is required in addition to the class fees. (Testing with the SAFD is optional, and not required for participation in the class).

    About the SAFD/Skills Proficiency Testing: 
    The Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD)  is the largest stage combat training organization in the United States, serving as a network of professionals who collaborate and cross-train to maintain a set of professional standards in the field of stage combat.  Participating in an SAFD Skills Proficiency Test provides an opportunity to have your skills observed and critiqued by a third-party eye with decades of professional experience, and it is a unique opportunity in arts education to have your skills measured against a national industry standard.  A minimum of 30 hours of training with a SAFD Certified Teacher is a prerequisite for a Skills Proficiency Test.

    Topics:   Early classes will start with foundational skills and techniques to establish safety and precision, progressing through more nuanced techniques and details of the style, and culminating in a presentation of choreography within a scene performance and an opportunity to test for certification with the SAFD (for those who desire to pursue that certification and meet the minimum training hours requirement).  

    Equipment: Students are encouraged to bring a pair of full-fingered leather gloves (batting gloves or light gardening gloves will work) and any pads or braces they may wish to work in.   ​Stage combat equipment will be provided, you do not need to bring your own.  However, if you would like to bring your own stage combat gear, it will be inspected to ensure it’s in good working condition and that it will work harmoniously with the class equipment before being allowed in class.  

    COVID-19 Precautions:  For the health and safety of all participants, current COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly encouraged for all students in the class.  Masking during class is currently optional, and hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes/spray will be readily available on-site.

Educational Services

Workshops and Seminars

Are you providing a series of theatre-related workshops, either as an addition to your theatre season or as a part of your educational or outreach program? Are you producing a show involving fights and want to give your actors some extra training? Do you have students interested in knowing what kinds of theatre jobs exist beyond “actor” and “carpenter,” or in knowing more about the process of creating theatrical violence?  

Give us a few nights in your rehearsal schedule to train technique and performance, and your actors will soon be more confident and more proficient when swinging steel or throwing punches! Or perhaps we can add a lecture, demonstration, and/or Q&A session into your course schedule, letting students find out a bit about what it’s like to be professional performers and choreographers.   

Stage Combat workshops can be incredibly popular, not to mention a great deal of fun for everyone involved!  They’re always a huge draw, and we can teach to a wide range of experience, from children to established professionals. We can tailor our services to your needs, ranging from short one-or-two-day introductory workshops to multi-week residencies.

Examples of past workshop topics have included:

  • Falling for the Theatre --  a two- to five- hour long workshop exploring various methods by which actors can fall when the character requires it:  slips, trips, faints, and more!

  • Rolling with the Punches -- a two-hour workshop focusing on the fundamentals of falling down and throwing a basic stage punch or slap

  • Fierce Fighting, Safely -- an afternoon-long workshop focusing on the fundamentals of control and basic techniques of using stage swords.

  • Slow Motion Makes Everything Better -- A workshop geared towards introducing concepts of stage combat choreography to theater directors and scholars, with an emphasis on collaborative work between choreographer, director, and cast.

  • Hamlet through the eyes of a Fight Director -- A multi-session workshop aimed at high school students studying Shakespeare and how the movement and action described in the text can help bring the words to life.  Aiming at reading scenes with a careful eye toward performance clues; this workshop can be expanded to include some light choreographic exploration with students in addition to discussing text and performance.

Most workshops include a hands-on portion, although lecture/demonstrations may be preferred by larger groups or venues where individual participation may not be possible; our lecture topics can give your students a “behind the scenes” look through a customized lecture and/or demo presentation for theatre, literature, and history classes. We’ll demonstrate some of the ways we produce the illusion of violence safely, revealing some of our trade secrets in the process.  Lectures on both historical and contemporary practices of stage combat are also available, and are customizable to your curriculum needs. From Shakespeare to S.E. Hinton, we've got you covered!