Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Coulda Woulda

I wrapped up a bit of stage combat work with The Arlington Players' production of "Noises Off" last night. I was brought in to help choreograph a fall down a split flight of stairs, a tumble over the back of a couch, and assorted other bits of melee. Now I myself have choreographed my own fall down a similar flight of stairs several years ago, but I had never taught this to anyone else. I consulted with several stage combat folks I know and they all said that this was a very dangerous stunt to pull off well. But I lucked out big time with the actor who has to execute the fall. He's very active in Tae Kwon Do so he really knows how to use his body. So all we had to do was map out a few logistics and break the fall up into several parts:

  1. He "trips" over a box placed at the top of the first course of stairs. He can control his path down these stairs.

  2. He executes a headbutt on the railing and then staggers on the landing.

  3. He slips off the top step of the second course of stairs onto the butt cheek of his choice and then slides down the stairs on his back, just like at the water park.

Sounds complicated, but the whole thing takes about 8 seconds to execute.

But as I watched the latter half of the show, I realized that there was so much more I could have done to help the production. I'm not suggesting that I have the "magic touch" or anything, but there were several moments where the slapstick business looked, well, amateurish. I could have helped polish that stuff up a bit. Ah well. There's always another show!

1 comment:

Hugh said...

Hey, I did that in a film once -- it was called "Brokeback Stairwell".

(Where's my sizzle cymbal?)