This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Rowan Johnson of the Louisiana Tech Department of Theatre. Read below to find out about this interesting and unique event we have here in Ruston hosted by LA Tech Theatre Players. The Tech Theatre Players, in conjunction with the University Theatre and Louisiana Tech University School of Performing Arts, is proud to host the 22nd-annual stage combat workshop on March 29th and 30th—a date fast approaching! This workshop has become one of the most popular events on the national schedule, and annually brings teachers and students from all corners of the globe right to our backyard.
This is the oldest regional stage combat workshop in America. For one weekend, eighteen master teachers, their assistants, students, and a dedicated staff of Tech Theatre Players will gather to share their varied knowledge of this specific yet vast artform. Among the teachers present will be Fight Masters Michael G. Chin and Scot Mann of the Society of American Fight Directors, and of course our very own Fight Master Mark D. Guinn who has recently been appointed Director of the School of Performing Arts. Visiting Australian director Nigel Poulton—the former president of the Society of Australian Fight Directors—who is currently using his expertise in theatrical biomechanics to train students in Louisiana Tech Theatre’s production of The Suicide, will be on faculty as well. Other organizations represented will be the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, the Australian Stage Combat Association, and the International Order of the Sword and Pen.
Student coordinator Jake Guinn believes that what separates this workshop from others in the nation is its strong sense of identity. “Every workshop has a thing that defines it,” says Guinn. “For us, it’s our focus on Filipino combat systems.” While encompassing myriad weapons from rapier & dagger to broadsword to knife, etc. and teaching the art and business behind this movement profession, a specific martial arts flair permeates the workshop.
If you would like to join the combat adventure, visit the workshop’s website at performingarts.latech.edu/theatre/scwweb/scw.html or call the LA Tech Theatre Promotions Office at 318-257-2930. You can also participate before your arrival by joining the facebook event! The Tech Theatre Players and our team of movement professionals can’t wait to cross blades with you!