Putting Steel Together
The master’s in theater arts program teaches several levels of stage combat, from unarmed fighting to swordplay with daggers, rapiers and broadswords.
Bob Walsh, associate professor of the practice of theater arts, and protégé Ted Hewlett, MFA’02, recently demonstrated their expert swordsmanship on Spingold Theater’s main stage.
“The principal thing in stage combat is it is always and only a play,” says Walsh. “If I want to take you out, so to speak, I have to be excruciatingly aware of all that is happening with you in our high-velocity interplay.”
That stage combat is only an illusion doesn’t dull its dramatic edge. “If conflict is the essence of drama, then the highest level of that is when I’m not willing to even argue with you anymore,” says Hewlett, senior artist-in-residence in Emerson College’s performing arts department. “I’m actually willing to strike you down to get what I want.”