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 Drama Stage Combat



Introduction to Stage Combat – High School

Carl Forsman, Dean
Dale Girard, Program Director

Dates & Costs

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) have teamed up to present the premiere national program for learning an acting essential – stage combat. Taught by select SAFD members, this action-packed summer intensive includes training in the basic armed and unarmed fight disciplines.  Students can expect to spend at least six hours a day in classes, five days a week.  All classes emphasize a safe and non-violent approach to theatrical violence, and a concern for the actor’s rights and responsibilities in performing fight scenes.

Introduction to Stage Combat is for age 15 and up.


Introduction to Stage Combat

Geared to high school students, this workshop covers the eight basic disciplines recognized by the SAFD: unarmed/hand-to-hand, rapier and dagger, knife, single sword/swashbuckling, broadsword, sword and shield, small sword, and quarterstaff. The emphasis is on development of technique rather than performance, with a focus on accuracy and safety. Students will achieve personal understanding and command of their bodies as they relate to theatrical physical conflict. Films and special sessions with guest artists are also featured in this program. 


Dale Anthony Girard
UNCSA Director of Stage Combat Studies
Fight Director, Society of American Fight Directors

Dale Girard is an award-winning Fight Director, Choreographer and author of the stage combat manual Actors On Guard. He is a third degree Black Belt (Sam Dan, 1st level) in Taekwondo/Hopkido and Hydong Gumdo, a founding member of the North Carolina Stuntmen’s Association and one of only fifteen recognized Fight Masters in the United States by the Society of American Fight Directors. His breadth of work and contribution to the art of staged violence has also earned him recognition in the Canadian guild, Fight Directors Canada, and The Russian Guild of Stage Movement Directors and Teachers. His work has been featured in professional theatres and opera houses throughout North America and in several motion pictures. Recent credits include the Metropolitan Opera, The Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Arden Theater, San Diego Opera, Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera, Pioneer Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre, Triad Stage, and the Chautauqua Opera. Film credits include “Eyeborgs,” “The Key Man,” “The Trial,” “10 Rules for Sleeping Around” and the critically acclaimed “Junebug.” As a master teacher, Mr. Girard has instructed classes and seminars in stage combat, acting, and dramatic movement at colleges and universities throughout North America. He received his training in theatre arts at the University of Northern Colorado and previously served on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama, the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, Colorado and the Hartt School in Hartford, CT.

Richard Ryan
Fight Master
Society of American Fight Directors
Richard is an award-winning Fight Director. Recent theatre includes CORIOLANUS at the Donmar Warehouse. Recent Film & TV includes Seasons 1 & 2 of VIKINGS, a drama series for the History Channel, on which he was Assistant Stunt Coordinator and Swordmaster. Other credits include Stunt Coordinator on HAMMER OF THE GODS, BERSERK, IRONCLAD, ROLLING THUNDER and FAINTHEART; Fight Coordinator and Assistant Stunt Coordinator on SHERLOCK HOLMES 2: GAME OF SHADOWS, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, SHERLOCK HOLMES and SOLOMON KANE, Swordmaster on THE EAGLE. Stunt Performing includes VIKINGS, REVOLUTION, TO HAVE & TO HOLD and HOMELAND. Other film work includes Fight Coordinator on THE DARK KNIGHT (winner SAG Best Stunt Ensemble & Taurus Stunt Award Best Fight) as well as THE GOLDEN COMPASS. Swordmaster on DRONA and THE LAST LEGION (nominated for Taurus Stunt Award). Perhaps his best-known film work is TROY, for which his Achilles vs. Hector fight was nominated for Best Fight in both Taurus World Stunt Award & MTV Film Awards. 'Master-at-Arms' to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he has accumulated over 300 stage credits and has worked for many major companies such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre of Ireland, Royal National Theatre, Cheek by Jowl, English National Opera, Royal Opera House, York Theatre Royal and Mercury Theatre, Colchester along with various West End shows and national tours.

Scot Mann
Fight Master
Society of American Fight Directors
Scot J. Mann is an internationally recognized and award winning Fight Director, certified through the Society of American Fight Directors and the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. He most recently choreographed violence, stunts and gunplay for the world premiere of Stephen King's original musical, "Ghost Brothers of Darkling County", directed by Susan Booth at the Alliance Theatre. As a director, he received a Meritorious Achievement Award for his direction of Scapino, by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival in 2005. He has choreographed, performed and coached theatrical violence with such companies as The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Theatrical Outfit, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, and The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has also served as an instructor for the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat in London, and Stage Combat Deutschland in Freiberg, Germany. As an actor, Scot has appeared with the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, New American Theater, New American Shakespeare Theatre, Atlanta Opera, motion capture talent for digital media, and various voice-over recordings for radio, TV, and the Internet. Scot appeared as a stunt-player and served as tactical choreographer and gun wrangler for the newly released movie, Eyeborgs, as well as on-set Swordmaster and stunt double for the “Bollywood” epic, Drona. Scot is an alumnus of the MFA/PAT program at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival and holds a BA in Communications and Theatre from Mercer University, where he currently serves as Director of Theatre.

Michael G. Chin
Fight Master
Society of American Fight Directors
Michael G. Chin is a professional actor (AEA, AFTRA, SAG) as well as a sanctioned Master instructor and choreographer with the Society of American Fight Directors. He serves as fight director in residence for both the White Horse Theatre and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in New York. He has taught/choreographed/consulted in the New York area on Broadway as well as the Mint Theatre Company, Murder To Go, Theatreworks USA, La Mama E.T.C., National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-yi Theatre Company, The Public Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company, Vineyard Theatre, New York University, Henry Street Settlement, Baruch College, The Drama League, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Montclair State University, New York Renaissance Festival, and The New York International Fringe Festival. Nationally he has worked at The Barter, Celebration Barn, Burt Reynolds Institute for Theatre, Muhlenberg Summer Festival, University of Tulsa, The Crossroads, Brown University, Cape Cod Community College, Brigham Young University, The Hangar, Dickinson College, Louisiana Tech, New York State Theatre Institute, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Theatre, Off Square Theatre (Wyoming), Gainesville Theatre Alliance, University of Northern Colorado, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Yale School of Drama. Mr. Chin currently teaches at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, as well as at Brooklyn College, Pace University, Juilliard, and privately for Fights4all in New York City. He is a student of Northern Style, Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu.

Ian Rose
Fight Master
Society of American Fight Directors
Having taught and fought in the New York and Philadelphia areas for over 25 years, Ian is proud to hold the rank of Fight Master with the Society of American Fight Directors. Ian also holds the distinction of being an accredited Fight Master with Fight Directors Canada. Ian's fights have been seen from London's Blackfriars Theatre to MTM Studios in Rome. Credits include, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Theatre Company, NYC's Riverside Shakespeare, and national commercials. Ian is one of the Coordinators for the Philadelphia Stage Combat Workshop held the first weekend in October. For more information see:

Dates & Costs

Introduction to Stage Combat-High School Fee Room & Board Total
June 21 to July 11 1,376 1,158 2,534

Important Notice:
Included in the Room and Board fee is an allowance of $45 on each resident student’s flexible spending account to cover laundry and minor purchases on campus. 

Due to renovations in the Dining Hall this summer, all meals for Summer Intensives will be served in Eisenberg Social Hall (on the ground floor of the Hanes Student Commons).  Please be assured that the catering plan will provide healthy meals, including options for vegan, gluten-free and allergy-restricted diets.  To ease traffic congestion, healthy grab-and-go options will also be offered.

UNCSA Summer 2015 – Deadlines and Cancellation Policy


Online Registration opens January 5
Deadline for International Students April 1
Priority Registration deadline   May 1
Payment in full due May 15

Registrations received after May 1, 2015 are accepted on a case-by-case basis as residence hall space allows.

Space in each program is limited. Registrations received after a program has filled will be placed on a waiting list pending withdrawals.

Cancellation terms

$300 non-refundable deposit due at registration – check or credit card

Student withdrawal by June 1: refund of one-half of total paid, less non-refundable deposit

Student withdrawal after June 1: no refunds

In the event a program is cancelled by UNCSA, payments will be refunded in full


Introduction to Stage Combat – High School registration is closed for Summer 2015. Check back in late Fall for information about Summer 2016.