So you’ve decided to produce a show at your school that requires a stage fight. Wonderful! Now, it’s time to contact a qualified and experienced Fight Director (FD) to choreograph the fights so that the students feel safe and confident performing them.
Once you’ve secured a fight director, you’ll need to meet with them (or at least get an email thread) to discuss your vision for the show and the fight scene. There are many details that your FD will need to know, so having this information prepared in advance will thank you.
1. Display information
- what is the show Be sure to send the FD a script (or at least, the fight scenes) so they can prepare ahead of time.
- How many fights are on the show?
- What is the setting of the show? For example, you do Romeo & Juliet traditionally with rapiers or set in the Wild West with whips and guns?
- Do you have a photo of the set or a rendering of the set? That way, FD can plan around any potential hazards.
- Are there special effects, lighting or sound/music effects that will affect the choreography?
2. Broadcast Information
- What are the ages of the performers who will participate in the stage fight? This includes understudies!
- Do the students have any experience fighting on stage? They don’t need it, but it’s good to know. If you know about any movement training your students have, such as dance, martial arts, or sports, it may be helpful to know that as well.
- Is there a potential problem with students that DF should be aware of? This may include student availability (don’t schedule a fight rehearsal for a date when one of your fighters will be absent!), behavior or grade concerns, or accessibility needs.
3. Time information
- What is the rehearsal and performance schedule?
- How long do you think your students need rehearsal…
- … and how much time will FD have to teach and rehearse the choreography?
4. Information on budget, supplies and logistics
- Do you have the budget to pay the FD rates?
- Is the FD required to provide your administration with a background check or other credentials before coming to rehearsal?
- Provide the address and directions to your school and/or rehearsal location so FD knows where to go.
- Do you already have the stage weapons or will you need to rent/purchase weapons? Will you do that or will you need FD to procure the weapons?
- What is your budget for renting and/or buying props?
- Are you using fake blood? If so, what kind? Do you have spare suits available in case items get stained?
- Are there any other details your FD needs to know?
If you don’t know the answers to all these questions right now, don’t despair! For example, you might not be sure how much time to allocate to fight choreography rehearsals or where to get specific stage weapons. Your FD can help you figure these things out, but having as many details as possible planned in advance will save you and your Dv time and stress.
Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage fighter from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at www.kerryhishon.com.
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