The Art of Unarmed Stage Combat  book cover
1st Edition

The Art of Unarmed Stage Combat

ISBN 9780415742498
Published December 14, 2015 by Routledge
254 Pages

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USD $42.95

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Book Description

The Art of Unarmed Stage Combat is a guide to the principles and techniques of theatrical violence, combining detailed discussions of the mechanics of stage fighting with the nuances of acting decisions to make fighting styles reflect character and story.

Expert Fight Director Robert Najarian offers never-before-published games and exercises that allows actors to develop the skills and concepts for performing violence for stage and screen. This title utilizes a unique system of training techniques that result in stage violence that is both physically engaging for the performer, while remaining viscerally engaging for the audience.

This book is written for the actor and fight director.

Table of Contents




Part I – A Brief History of Violence in Performance
1. Overview of Stage Combat History

2. Overview of Hoplology

Part II - Physical Training

3. The Warm-Up
4. Partnered Conditioning

5. Combat Games

Part III - Cornerstone Concepts

6. Seeking Safety

7. Good Partnering
8. Audience Relationship (The Third Partner)
9. Characters in Conflict

Part IV – Process and Performance

10. The Violent Soundscape

11. The Illusion of Violence

12. Non-Contact Violence

13. Contact Violence

14. Taken For Granted

15. Final Thoughts


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Robert Najarian is an actor, instructor, and fight director hailing from the East Coast. He has taught at movement and stage combat workshops, such as the National Stage Combat Workshop at North Carolina School of the Arts, The Winter Wonderland Workshop in Chicago, IL, The Paddy Crean Workshop at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, and as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Michigan. As a fight director, Najarian has staged the violence for more than 100 productions for stage and film. Fight direction credits include Carmen and Macbeth with Boston Lyric Opera, As You Like It with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Don Quixote with Boston Ballet, Johnny Baseball with American Repertory Theatre, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Kite Runner with New Repertory Theatre, and She Kills Monsters with Company One. Najarian is Fight Director and Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and a member of Actors' Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.