Stage combat: weapons, drama, choreography and more

Students practice proper stance and posture in the stage combat workshop.

Playacting and roughhousing in the summer time is one of life’s great pleasures, and what could be more educational and fun than combining the drama of battle with rehearsed movement, a story line, and fellow combatants? That’s what stage combat is all about. Taught as part of the LIFRC summer workshops, stage combat emphasizes safety, proper technique, and the fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat.

Richard Carter, coordinator for this workshop, commented, “This is the most fun thing to do onstage or offstage. The children can be seen practicing what they’ve learned and having a great time, and this class gives them a framework on how to play without violence. Instead of hitting each other, they learn to make their own sound effects. It’s choreographed and dramatic and challenging. Perfect for summer.

“To go get this training off-island would be excessively expensive, and the class is right here, on Lopez. This is a great opportunity all around.”

Ilene Fins, a veteran of 16 seasons of teaching for the Seattle Children’s Theatre, will be instructing both classes this year. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and has performed at ACT Theatre in Seattle, WA and theatres across the Midwest and southeast. She has a Master of Fine Arts in acting/directing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the Dean of Theatre at the Lois Cowles Harrison School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Lakeland, FL and a 2008 Polk County Teacher of the Year finalist.

There is a beginning stage combat class (for children ages 11-18) and an intermediate/advanced stage combat class (for ages 13-18). Both classes meet on June 22-26, at the Lopez School Gym. For all the particulars, go to and look under summer workshop schedules for details.