Getting in the swing of things

While I haven’t officially started up either Fight Designer or graduate school coursework yet, I’m definitely getting in to the feel of things here in Richmond, VA.  I’ve had a pretty full schedule already just with the various orientations (Graduate, Theatre Graduate), meetings (Pedagogy Graduates, Guild of Graduates), pre-class meetings (TAs meeting with instructors), etc., plus I’ve been helping workshop the fights for Oklahoma! at Arena Stage.  David Leong (program chair and my advisor) is doing the fights for the inagural show at their newly expanded space (which sounds pretty amazing), and he’s been workshopping development of the fight choreography with about 18 volunteers, with two of us movement pedagogy grads assisting (Lorraine Ressinger is the other one; she and I were in Brad Waller’s stage combat classes together back in 1998 and 1999, and attended the Paddy Crean workshop in ’99/00 in Banff).  We started Saturday, and will go through Wednesday plus the next Saturday afternoon.  It’s been a great intro to the student body and to working with David, as well as seeing what goes in to the fight direction of  a musical at a major Equity production; most of my work thus far has been either small fringe theatre, college productions, or low-budget video.  Definitely a different approach needed here, given the complexities of working with music and in the round and with a large cast, presumably the need to maximize efficient use of time when working with equity casts, etc.  I believe once it’s all actually taken up to DC the fight captain will be Robb Hunter, a previous VCU Theatre Pedagogy (Movement) MFA alum who does fight choreography, prop weapons rentals, etc. in the DC area now.  I should get to meet him at one of the upcoming workshop/rehearsals, having only known him previously online.

Things have changed around several times today, but it looks like this semester I will be taking Asian Theatre, Extreme Acting (a topical seminar with David Leong touching on the more extreme emotional and dramatic moments), Dramatic Literature and Theory, TAing for undergraduate Movement, Fight Captaining Liasions, and choreographing fights for Dead Man’s Cellphone.  Unofficially (not for credit) I’ll also be TAing a course Aaron and David teach through the Business school on Effective Presentations, and hopefully soon (especially if anyone wants to help out!?!) nailing down all the proper business arrangements to get Fight Designer, LLC up and running again in its new home.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 24, 2010 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Awesome! Sounds like you have a really fun Fall coming up.


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