Wichita State theater students learn the tricks of stage combat

The art of looking convincing in a sword fight or brawl is crucial to stage and screen. Punches don’t hit flesh and knives lay flat against the victim.

The audience must believe it is real and dangerous.

“When I tell them I can kill the six inches around them, they definitely give me some interesting looks,” said Emily Redfield, a Wichita State University theater performance major.

In July, WSU seniors Redfield and Cat Kee attended the National Stage Combat Workshop in Ruston, Louisiana. The three-week course offered instruction, testing and certification with weapons such as swords, shields, firearms, rapiers, daggers and quarterstaffs.