Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stage One - Taking a Hit

Casey Kaleba offers up advice to Caleigh for a stage slap.
To kick off the master class series for the second and final week here at Stage One we thought it might be good to let out a little aggression. Supervising this release of pent up aggression and rage was the ever so talented and delightful fight choreographer Casey Kaleba. 

Over the course of his career, Casey has arranged violence for more than three hundred productions, including work at Signature, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, six national tours for the National Players, Olney Theatre, and Shakespeare Theatres.  He has arranged fights for knights, musketeers, princesses, zombies, wolves, pirates, ninjas, and at least one alien tentacle. A Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, he has taught throughout the country as well as serving as a guest artist for the Nordic Stagefight Society and Fight Directors Canada. Casey is also one of the founders of Tooth & Claw Combat; a stage combat training and choreography school for theatres, schools, and interested parties big and small.
Bryan squares up against Gillian with a clean
and clear punch.

During his hour-long master class with Stage One, Casey provided the students with a basic toolkit of stage violence to employ throughout their fledgling careers. Starting with a simple stage slap and ultimately culminating in a six move stage fight between two people, Casey gave the students the ins and outs of the world of stage violence. 

Casey illustrates some
moments where stage combat
can go wrong.
Slaps are one of the most dangerous moves in regards to violence on stage. There are just so many things that can go wrong if not taken into account and done safely. From distance apart to trim fingernails and back again, a stage slap should always be done with safety in mind on all fronts. As Casey told the Stage One students, a bad slap or hit can make or break a career, literally. You do not want to be the actor that knocks out another actors hearing or breaks their nose during the run of a show. (Not a good life / career choice.)

As Casey went on to later describe throughout his workshop as his students fought around him, the majority of his job as a fight choreographer is maintaining safety. He is present to make sure all manner of activities that could result in any type of harm or danger are done in the safest way. Yes, there are punches, kicks, rolls, shots and stabs to choreograph with the actors but it is making sure these actions are continuously safe for all involved that retains highest priority. 
Liam sells a choke with the help of Casey.

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