San Diego State University College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take: "Movement for Theatre I"

A Q&A with Randi Elise McKenzie about THEA 355 (Section 2)

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take:

Randi Elise McKenzie teaching THEA 355, Movement for Theatre I

by PSFA Stories Team

June 15, 2021

A Q&A with Randi Elise McKenzie

THEA 355: Movement for Theatre I (Section 2)

Units: 2

Are there any Prerequisites? By audition

Online or Face to Face: Face to Face

How I would describe this class to someone I met in line at the coffee cart:

The course introduces actors and/or dancers to the world of theatrical sword fighting. Students will learn the basic attacks, defenses, body movements, evasions, terminology, etc. to enable them to participate safely in choreographed sword play using the primary weapons of the stage, broadsword, rapier and dagger, and small sword.

Who should definitely take this class?

Students who are interested and eager in learning theatrical sword fighting skills, focused concentration, open to feedback, regularly attend, and can work cooperatively with others. Students who want to explore their inner “Zorro” and/or know how to respond to the following statement: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Why I’m enthusiastic about teaching this class:

I love watching students embrace something challenging and new and grow as performers. I enjoy working with young people and having the opportunity to share their journey through the university is a privilege.

Why I love this subject:

I love teaching, in general, and this topic is close to my earliest passion for competitive sport fencing. I came to theatre rather late in life and when I wanted to give back to the theatre department on campus, they recommended studying theatrical stage combat. After several summers with the Society of American Fight Directors, stints with the Old Globe theatre, and volunteering to assist in classes and on a couple of SDSU shows, this course gave me the opportunity to continue to teach.

How I’m preparing for this class:

During the pandemic, I continued to study and train with several stage fighting companies and taught virtual sword fighting to several brave students who stayed with me over Zoom these past couple of semesters.

Three things you’ll learn/do in this class:

1. Students will learn basic footwork, attacks, and parries.

2. Students will practice with partners and perform choreographed fights

3. Students will perform a scene with dialogue and fighting techniques

Top reasons should you study with me?

I am a kind, caring, supportive, funny, and an excellent teacher who wants her students to succeed in class as well as in the world as decent human beings.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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