Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stage Combat Workshops near at Valéncia Arts Center

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will offer Stage Combat Workshops, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19, and Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9- 10. Classes will be offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

In both workshops, students will learn the basics of faking unarmed fights onstage without sacrificing either safety or dramatic effectiveness.

The September workshops include “Acting (with Fights) — An Introduction to Unarmed Stage Combat” and “On the Edge of a Noodle — Safety in Stage Combat.” These workshops will focus on the acting and safety challenges that arise when theatrical violence is required during a scene. Using pool noodles, students will explore safety, action and reaction, and the appearance of danger in the context of a “West Side Story” rumble/knife fight. The workshops will end with a showing of choreographed stage combat routines.

The October workshops feature “Acting (with Fights) — An Introduction to Unarmed Stage Combat” and “Don't Hold the Pointy End — An Introduction to Stage Swordplay.” These workshops will introduce students to the basics of stage rapier through a choreographed routine, including footwork, cuts, thrusts and parries.

Instructed by Mike Speck, the workshops are open to students and community members ages 15 to adults (and by invitation only for younger students). Tuition for the workshops is $20 per weekend. A reduced price of $30 is offered for those who register for both the September and October workshops. College or university students may register for half price through MCA’s university student discount.

Registration is currently open and will be accepted at the door. To register, or for more information about the MCA Stage Combat Workshops and other MCA dance, music, and theatre programming, visit, email or call (507) 453-5500.