1st Edition

The Art of Knife Fighting for Stage and Screen An Actor’s and Director’s Guide to Staged Violence

By Erick Vaughn Wolfe Copyright 2022
    184 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    184 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The Art of Knife Fighting for Stage and Screen: An Actor’s and Director’s Guide to Staged Violence provides detailed information for the safe use of knives and daggers in a theatrical setting and an in-depth understanding of safe theatrical weapons. 

    The book starts with an extensive safety review, then moves on to the basic techniques of dagger fighting, starting with grip and body postures. Readers will then learn about the basic actions of cuts, parries, blocks, and disarms. During this process, they will explore the connection between body and weapon and start learning the elements of storytelling through choreography. Special attention is given to suicides, threats, and murder and how directors, choreographers, performers, teachers, and students can approach these techniques in a way that is physically and mentally safe. The book also covers the use of throwing knives, knife flips, and other tricks to help add a little flair to your fight.

    The Art of Knife Fighting for Stage and Screen teaches the safe theatrical use of the knife for directors, performers, educators, and students of stage combat.

    1. Introduction  2. The Elements of Theatrical Violence  3. Holding the Weapon & Stances  4. Footwork and Body Dynamics  5. Basic Attacks  6. Blocks, Deflections & Checks  7. Grabs, Locks & Disarms  8. Threats, Cuts, Murders & Suicide  9. Adding Flair  10. Final Thoughts for Actors and Directors


    Erick Vaughn Wolfe is the current Chair of Theatre, Co-Director of Musical Theatre, and Program Director for the Arts Management and Leadership program at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. He earned his BFA in Performance from Oklahoma Central University, and his MFA in Film and Theatre Directing from the University of New Orleans. He is a certified teacher with both the British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC) and Academy of Performance Combat (APC). Erick has been working in film, theatre, opera, ballet, and musical theatre for over 20 years as a fight choreographer, stunt performer, and director. After running his own stage combat training centre for 10 years, Erick traveled around teaching combat and movement across the United States and the United Kingdom before entering into teaching at the university level.