Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stage Fighting Techniques

Dahlia Katz, Rosie Gruen, Hannah Meskin, and Amanda Scheidt

Block 3

Mr. Burgess

11 February 2013

Stage Fighting Techniques

Throughout time, plays have been a source of entertainment for people all over the world. Especially before the use of technology, plays allowed for people to escape their harsh, poverty stricken lives for a short period of time to jump into a world of violence, action, and romance. Stage fighting is a method that has been used for thousands of years to enhance productions and make the action packed scenes appear more realistic. While the language of plays were translated in many countries, stage fighting was a universal method that could be used in any play in any country. Three prominent techniques that are often used during stage fighting are fake punches, breaking a fall, and a kick.

            In stage fighting, hand-to-hand combat is one of the most useful techniques because it is so common in plays. The most common form of hand-to-hand combat is the punch, so it is very beneficial to know how to perform one. According to the Stage Combat Tutorial, the best way to perform a fake punch is by using what is knows as a “knap,” which is when an actor hits himself, usually on the chest, in order to simulate the sound of a punch. In many cases, the actor using the knap will have his back facing the audience, while another actor punches him so as not to ruin the illusion of the punch by revealing the knap to the audience. Also, in order to make the punch seem more realistic, the actor being punched should jerk the area receiving the punch. Knowing how to perform a punch in stage combat is advantageous because it can add realism to a fight while exciting the audience.

A break fall is a very powerful method of stage fighting that involves a motion that transfers the energy from a fall or roll. The three main types of break falls are a side fall, back fall, and a front fall, which are all performed in different ways. While performing a side fall, one should “bend his or her knees and fall with the majority of the impact on your thighs”(Wolfe). This allows one to fall on his or her hands in the direction of the force to exert more power. The back fall allows one to “step back with one foot and bend down so one leg is completely bent underneath your bottom and the other foot is in front” (Wolfe). This type of break fall allows the fighter to curl backwards with his or her hands to the side to make a smacking sound with his or her arms. The stage fighting method of break falling is very beneficial and allows the fighter to fake out the other fighter while still exerting power.

A kick is a common technique used in stage fighting, so it is useful to know how to kick the face, stomach, and groin. According to the Society of American Fight Directors, The easiest way to kick one’s face is to have one actor on the floor while the other is standing. The actor on the floor should put their hands together in front of their face while the other actor kicks their hands. A kick to the stomach is also commonly done with one actor on the ground while an actor standing over them pretends to stop their foot on their stomach. A kick to the groin area is one of the most challenging kicks to perform. To perform a kick to the groin, one actor should place their hand where they want to be kicked while the other actor kicks the targeted area, and the actor being kicked should bend over. A kick is common technique that can make a performance more realistic in most stage fights.

Stage fighting is a system that has been used during performances for many years. Techniques such as fake punches, breaking a fall, and kicking can be used to enrich productions in ways unimaginable. Not only does stage fighting make action filled scenes more exciting and convincing, it really grasps the attention of the audience. Stage fighting ensure that the crowds who attend a production, are paying attention and interested in the plot of the play. If it weren’t for stage fighting, plays would not have been as popular of a phenomenon as they were throughout time.











Works Cited

Wolfe, Eric. "Stage Combat Terms and Definitions." Google Docs. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Society of American Fight Directors. SPT Required Techniques. 10 February 2015 <>.

Stage Combat Tutorial. Dir. Tee. By Tee. N.p., 18 Feb. 2010. Web. 10 Feb. 2015. <>.


Searching for Sources on Shakespeare's Use of Nature Motifs:

In first period, we were searching online today to find good sources on Shakespeare's use of nature motifs. Suggestions?

How do the natural, supernatural, and unnatural function in Shakespeare's play? Ideas?

-Amy Z., Oakridge 1st Period

Monday, March 2, 2015

What are some good sources on Macbeth's and Banquo's reactions to the witches?

We're trying to find good sources for writing on the difference of reactions between Macbeth and Banquo when confronting the "Weird Sisters":

Any suggestions?

Here's 2 I found:

Making Sense of Clothing Metaphors:

Different characters employ clothing metaphors at various times in the play. What are some examples of this? And what purpose do clothing metaphors serve for Shakespeare's development of theme?

-Oakridge Fifth Period

Discussing Macbeth's Discoveries in Act Five:

Anagnorisis is a moment in a play when the main character makes an important discovery. It usually happens in the final Act. What are the moments of discovery for Macbeth? What does he discover specifically? Textual evidence?

-Oakridge Fourth Period

Discussing Peripety and Plot in Macbeth:

Peripety (or peripeteia) is reversal of fortune or circumstances such that things go from one state of affairs to one that is the exact opposite. What are examples of this in Shakespeare's tragedy?

-Oakridge Third Period

Discussing Macbeth's Tragic Flaw:

What is the best way to articulate Macbeth's essential, tragic flaw (hamartia)? Provide textual evidence if possible...

-Oakridge First Period

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hero X prompt

What is the significance of Banquo appearing at Macbeth's coronation banquet?
Did the three witches actually predict Macbeth and Banquo's fate, or was the outcome due to the power of suggestion.
Describe the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. How does it change throughout the play?

Savages Prompt

Why do you believe that Lady Macbeth is able to easily influence Macbeth to kill Duncan and what does this suggest about his character? 

Average Joes Prompt

How does Lady Macbeth influence the events in Macbeth?

Question to Ponder

In Act V, what was Macbeth's attitude while entering the war? Why did he enter with this attitude? What effect did this attitude have on the outcome of the war?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Looking beyond Acts One & Two

We just finished reading Lord of the Flies before beginning Macbeth, and the novel was full of moments of foreshadowing. As we complete the play, I was wondering if there are examples of foreshadowing that we can point to in either Acts One or Two. Thoughts?

-Michael C., Oakridge 3rd Period

A Research Question for Lausanne Collegiate School:

Some of us here at The Oakridge School are drafting our essays on the Curse of Macbeth. You guys are a little ahead of us, so here's our question: do you have any recommendations on good websites, resources, etc., for researching theories about the the curse which haunts our Scottish play? Thanks!

-Oakridge 1st Period

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Act Two
What role does blood play for Macbeth and his wife in Act Two?
Act Two

Does the murder of Duncan signify the moral downfall of Macbeth?

Act Two
How does Macbeth's castle in Act II, Scene 3 create a tension between horror and comedy?
Act Two Prompt
Who wanted to kill Duncan more, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth? Why?
Act Two Prompt

How does the dagger hallucination reflect Macbeth's psychological state?

Monday, February 9, 2015

What qualities does Macbeth have that would make him a good king?
Who is more dominant in the relationship, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth?
How does the line "fair is foul, foul is fair" reflect the events in Act One?
How is Macbeth's personality different on the battlefield vs. when he is at home?
Act 1 Prompt

In what way do the three witches set the tone for the rest of the play? Does this make their appearance necessary?