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Southern Oregon University

2015 Elective Course

July 6-10, 2015

Ashland, Oregon

A week-long, 3-credit, graduate level course geared toward high school and community college theatre educators, covering an introduction to stage combat basics and choreographic techniques:

  • Learn physical warm-ups from Akido and other disciplines
  • Discover trust, safety, partnering, and distance exercises
  • Develop basic hand-to-hand combat skills
  • Get a taste of partnered, armed-combat work
  • Explore how to act a fight and add realistic vocalizations during a stage fight
  • Build choreography skills while creating your own stylized and non-realistic fights
  • Investigate ways to use a fight director as part of the design team
  • Discuss special issues such as young performers, red-light fever, kills, mass battles and brawls, blood, and specific contemporary and period plays
  • Address safety, liability issues, weapon selection and maintenance, and qualifications and certifications of fight directors
  • View and analyze Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Fingersmith.


John Toppo, OSF Fight Director and SOU Acting and Movement Faculty

Here's what our students say:

  • "Exceeded my expectations. I especially liked the idea of stylizing combat concepts."
  • "I loved the practicality and the emphasis on safety and creativity."
  • "Amazing amounts of information that I can take directly into the classroom and feel confident and comfortable."

Monday (7/6)

  • 9:00-9:30                          Warm up
  • 9:30-11:30                        Basic Unarmed Safety Protocols/Technique
  • 11:30-12:30                      Lunch
  • 12:30-3:00                        Single Rapier Safety Protocols/Technique
  • 3:00-3:15                          Break
  • 3:15-5:00                          Single Rapier Technique/Choreography
  • 5:00-7:00                          Dinner
  • 7:00-9:00                          Review Unarmed

 Tuesday (7/7)

  • 9:00-9:30                           Warm up
  • 9:30-11:30                         Review Single Rapier
  • 11:30-12:30                       Lunch
  • 12:30-3:00                         Unarmed Choreography
  • 3:00-3:15                           Break
  • 3:15-5:00                           Aikido
  • Evening                              No Class


  • 9:00-9:30                           Warm up
  • 9:30-11:30                         Knife Technique
  • 11:30-12:30                       Lunch
  • 12:30-3:00                         Unarmed Choreography
  • 3:00-3:15                           Break
  • 3:15-5:00                           Single Rapier Technique/Choreography
  • 5:00-7:00                           Dinner
  • Evening                              Attend Fingersmith


  • 9:00-9:30                           Warm up
  • 9:30-11:30                         Single Rapier Technique/Choreography
  • 11:30-12:30                       Lunch
  • 12:30-3:00                         Unarmed Choreography
  • 3:00-3:15                           Break
  • 3:15-5:00                           Stylized Combat
  • 5:00-7:00                           Dinner
  • 7:00-9:00                           Pool Noodle Swashbuckling

 Friday (7/10)

  • 9:00-9:30                           Warm up
  • 9:30-11:30                         Review  Unarmed Choreography
  • 11:30-12:30                       Lunch
  • 12:30-3:00                         Review Rapier Choreography
  • 3:00-3:15                           Break
  • 3:15-5:00                           Perform and Debrief

Note: content, dates and times are subject to change.

Application Information

Space is limited to sixteen students. This course may serve as an elective course requirement for the Master of Theatre Studies degree.  Registration prority is given to Master of Theatre Studies students until February 15, 2015.  After February 16, students wishing to enroll in this week-long course for professional development or personal interest may do so. The enrollment deadline is April 1, 2015 (postmark).

Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree or permission of the instructor.

 Note: ACTS Master of Theatre Studies applicants do not need to send additional deposit and resume; simply note your elective course choice on the document that will be mailed to you.

Students who are new to Southern Oregon University and are not returning to or applying for admittance to the graduate program should apply online as non-admitted students.

This online process will generate a MySOU account and provide registration instructions.

We will send notification letters postmarked in mid April. At that time we will send you your pre-session assignment. You will be billed separately by SOU for your tuition and housing.

2015 Fees

Tuition $1,110
Materials/tickets $53

Acceptance Deposit

Upon acceptance a nonrefundable deposit will be due in order to save your spot.  Information regarding the deposit will be included in your acceptance letter to be mailed no later than April 15.  Active MoTS candidates will not be assessed an additional deposit; however, a $50 penalty fee will apply to any elective course dropped after May 30, 2015.

Elective one week courses

Five nights of lodging (July 5 arrival, July 9 departure or start of MoTS Main Two-week session)

Single room  $290
Meal plan

(Sunday dinner 7/5 - through lunch Friday 7/10; meal plan includes breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Additional nights of Lodging
May be reserved at $58 per night, regardless of double or single accommodation; no meals will be available.