How to Put Up a Fight

Oct. 23, 2015

Stage Combat

Students in the University of Arizona's School of Theatre, Film and Television get a broad education — broadsword, that is.

Under the master tutelage of associate professor Brent Gibbs, they learn how to stage combat violence while keeping limbs intact. They learn theatrical techniques for hand-to-hand, broadsword, rapier and dagger forms of battle.

"When the script indicates, 'They fight,'" Gibbs says, "these students will have the skill set to be hired and to perform that fight."

Gibbs also serves as artistic director for the Arizona Repertory Theatre. For nine years, he served as the director, fight director and production stage manager for one of the nation's largest outdoor dramas, "Tecumseh!" in Ohio. He has been recognized as an advanced actor/combatant by the Society of British Fight Directors, Fight Directors Canada and the Society of American Fight Directors, for which he also holds the rank of certified teacher and fight director. He has taught combat master classes in the United States and Europe at various schools, including the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.