In the Loop
Student Stories : Apr 27, 2017

New group of School of Theatre + Dance students certified in stage combat

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the School of Theatre + Dance (SOTD) hosted Fight Master of the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD), Mike Chin. The Society of American Fight Directors is an organization of dedicated artists whose purpose is to promote safety and foster excellence in the art of performing, teaching and directing staged combat/theatrical violence.

The Society of American Fight Directors offers training to those interested in theatrical violence, whether one is an aspiring actor or a seasoned veteran of stage and screen, theatre artists can take advantage of superior training courses and programs utilizing a variety of weapons and unarmed stage combat techniques, all taught by SAFD Certified Teachers. Only these qualified members may teach a Stage Combat Skills Proficiency class.

SOTD Associate School Director and Associate Professor Tiza Garland has been teaching for SAFD since 2001 and has offered stage combat classes regularly at UF since 2004. Stage Combat classes focus on specific stage combat disciplines with compulsory techniques. Students who enrolled in the Stage Combat Class during the Spring of 2017 could elect to take the SAFD Skills Proficiency Test. Students who participated in the Skills Proficiency Test were tested on required stage combat techniques for safety, theatrical commitment and believability within a dramatic context.

The skills tests is given in two parts, for Part 1 the students had to prepare two pieces of choreography with scene work, and in Part 2 of the test students were tested on the ability to pick up choreography quickly, prove knowledge of techniques and act specific moments. Only an SAFD Fight Master may adjudicate the test.

Congratulations to the following SOTD students who tested with the Society of American Fight Directors in Rapier & Dagger and Unarmed and are now certified with the SAFD in both weapons:

Naddya Alicea
Saranda Kalaveshi
Crissie Auguste
Emily Norcia
Annie Kisshauer
Kristina Johnson
Amanda Hayter
Brittney Caldwell
Jake Lesh
Logan Vonada

Congratulations to all!