In preparation for the the recent world premiere of the Randolph High School Drama Club’s fall play “To The West,” a Viking adventure piece, students in the cast learned stage combat to train for the combat scenes in the show.
On several Friday afternoons, the play’s cast worked with Stephen Davis, an associate professor of Theatre Arts at Centenary University in Hackettstown. Students in the cast used stage swords, axes and shields along with other weapons to learn stage combat techniques for use in the performances of the fall play, which was to be staged on Nov. 1 through Nov. 3 at the school.
At one rehearsal after school, Davis walked around the stage coaching pairs of students as they practiced battling each other. Junior Josh Cohen, who played Torsten in the play, and freshman Joey Dunne, who portrayed Halvard, worked on a sword dual. The professor showed the duo how to make the battle look realistic and demonstrated how to make one of the swords appear to go through one of the actors in the battle. “The victim is in control, not the aggressor,” Davis told them.
Nearby, seniors Nickie Murray, who was Sigrid in the play, and Julia Frost, who portrayed Dogmar, practiced a battle using axes. “This is so cool,” Julia said of learning stage combat. “This is really fun to do before we graduate.”