Have you ever had the urge to learn how to fight… safely? Concord Academy’s Stage Combat Workshops gave CA students just this opportunity. Spread over two weekends, these workshops allowed both the general community and those acting in this fall’s mainstage play, She Kills Monsters, which premiers October 28, to learn stage combat skills with professionals.

During these two three-hour workshops, participants learned numerous techniques to improve their conflict characterizations, both in traditional hand-to-hand combat and in the wielding of a sword. Mainstage actors had already begun training in rehearsal with New-England-based fight choreographer Ted Hewlett. Rather, the weekend workshops were open to all CA community members, but mainstage actors were invited. August Sengupta ’24, who will play the part of Steve in She Kills Monsters, detailed how the classes “started with us fake-slapping each other from far away. You then learned how to position yourself to make it look realistic [...] and then we moved to fall techniques, where we learn[ed] to fall safely.” 

Although these courses had the intent of helping actors improve their skills, they were not all hard work. When asked what the best part of the courses was, August immediately responded, “fighting with your friends [...] and some of the moves you have to do are pretty funny.” Sophie Laurence ’24, who will play Kaliope, added, “Getting to use the swords was actually pretty entertaining—especially the rapiers! Everything was super fun [...] the only thing I’d change is making them happen later than 9:30 a.m.!”