Central sword players show off newly donated weapons
By MARGAUX MASSEY, staff reporter
The clang of metal on metal awaits those who choose to attend “A Stage Combat Showcase: A Night at the Fights” this weekend.
The production, according to George Bellah, professor of theater arts, was put together to honor Central Washington University alum David Boushey.
Apart from being a Central alum, Boushey founded the Society of American Fight Directors and the United Stuntmen’s Association. He has given university scholarships and multiple opportunities to students getting their bachelor’s of fine arts in performance.
Boushey “not only has a connection to the university as an alum, [he] also was my mentor and teacher for 30 years,” Bellah said. “We wanted to coordinate the dedication of the armory with this production as a way to honor him.”
The reason for this performance is to honor Boushey for his recent donation of stage weaponry. Before the show on opening night, there will be a ceremony dedicating the armory to Boushey.
The performance will consist of two short acts, each with about six scenes. The actors, who are mostly students, will play multiple roles in various scenes.
The scenes were selected from a variety of periods and different plays in order to showcase different weapons.
“People will see fights with broadswords, fights with knives, fights with rapiers and fights with sabers,” Bellah said.
There is also a scene from Robin Hood, which features the entire cast of that scene fighting with quarterstaffs.
Even with all of the different weapons used, the cast favorite appears to be the broadswords.
“Broadsword is a blast,” said Monica Domena, a junior theater performance arts major who plays both Joan of Arc and Aspatia in the performance.
Skyler Gahley, sophomore theater performance major, who plays Maid Marian in the performance, said her favorite part was “the moment George [Bellah] told me I would be wielding two broadswords.”
Bellah said part of the goal in choreographing all the scenes with different weapons was to give the students a chance to apply their training as well as give them an opportunity to stage fights which they directed and choreographed.
“It should be entertaining for people to see how we do what we do with weapons and see the students’ work showcased,” Bellah said.
Not only are the students acting, but some of them choreographed the scenes. One student, senior theater generalist major Lloyd Peña, is even directing a scene.
Peña is directing a scene called ‘Maid’s Tragedy,’ and said it was his favorite part of the production.
“It freaked me out for a while and I lost some sleep over it, but it’s come together,” Peña said. “It’s cool to see how far it’s come.
Drew Gibbs, a senior theater performance major who plays Shakebay, Friar Tuck, Sir Guy and Verrezzi, says his favorite part came after they developed the fights.
“There are little moves you can do to really bring the character to life,” Gibbs said.
The actors are excited for people to see the production they have worked so hard on. Peña said that he is excited for people to not only see the scene he directed, but the fight where he gets to use two broadswords.
He is fine with the fact that he always plays a villain who loses in every fight he is cast—he even finds it fun. He is also excited for people to see the fights in general, saying the theater department usually does contemporary shows and that it has been a long time since they’ve done a sword show.
Gahley says she is excited for people to see the scenes from Robin Hood, “because everybody knows it.”
Domena said she is excited for people to see the variety of fight scenes.
“People are underestimating what the show will be like,” Domena said. “We have everything.”
Gibbs agreed, adding that he couldn’t wait to see how people react to all the different fights.
Some students are already planning on attending. Cole “Ziggy” Ziegler, junior technical theater major, said he is going because he knows everyone who is performing and he wants to support them. He says that people going can expect to see “good, well-taught stage combat.”