Stage combat for actors

Story by Iman Palm Photo by Arlene Guerrero

Theatre arts major Sabrina Hardy throws a punch to prepare to trap the incoming shot in room FF 101 at PCC.

An LBCC alumni take his talents to the classroom teaching current students about the art of stage fighting.

Professor Colin Bressie is a part-time instructor for LBCC. After attending LBCC 18 years ago, Bressie decided to come back and teach.

Bressie is now an instructor for the stage fighting class at PCC located in building FF, room 104. The class meets from 12:45 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Maintaining one’s safety is one of the principles Bressie takes into account when teaching his class. “We take care of each other,” Bressie said.

The class session usually begins with students participating in warm-up stretches. Bressie also gives his students tips throughout the class session on how to improve their various stage fighting scenarios.   

After attending LBCC, Bessie went on to study with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) and has worked for Disney, Deaf West Theater, and the Noise Within Company.

Showcasing his Viking pride, Bressie described his love for the school.

“There is something about this school and its connection with the students and community. The dedication to fostering students is something felt within every department,” said Bressie.

Out of 114 community colleges in California, LBCC is one of the few city colleges that offer a stage fighting course.

According to Bressie, LBCC does not offer stage fighting as a major but it is still an important part of the theater.

Each semester the class focuses on a different skill.  “It’s a major component of actor training,” Bressie said. “It goes hand in hand.”

For this semester, the class is focused on unarmed stage fight. Later on in the semester, Bressie hopes to focus on stage fighting while using knives while the spring semester will focus on sword fighting.

Equipment used in the class is designed to be similar to the equipment used in the movie industry. The knives, in particular, give the illusion of being sharp but are actually dull, explained Bressie.

With this being his first time taking the class, theater major Josh Bausar hopes of becoming a “well-rounded actor.”

He likes that the class is an “idea of telling a story through movement especially fighting,” Bausar said.

Bausar decided to come to LBCC because not many schools offer a stage fighting course. He plans to continue his stage fighting studies in the spring.

Acting major Ricardo Garcia has taken this class twice before. He heard about this class through resources on campus.

He likes that the class encourages self-discovery and that he has made new friends along the way.  “Professors had recommended this class to me,” said Garcia.

The class does not perform much other than for their midterm and final but some students can be seen in the play “Rumors” at LAC.