Students shine at winter workshop

While some people relaxed over the winter break, others used the time to grow and improve in their work.

Benjamin Norman, technical director, Emery Foster, a sophomore general studies major, and Taylor Meng, a junior education major, attended the 24th annual “Stage Combat Winter Workshop” at Tulane University.

Norman encouraged students to attend the workshop.

“This year was the first year that Southeastern students have attended the Dueling Arts International stage combat workshop,” stated Norman. “It is truly a great experience for the students to attend the workshop. I encouraged them, the students, to attend this workshop as a training opportunity to further their careers as performers. It gave them skills they would have not learned here at Southeastern and now can bring those skills to future Southeastern theatre productions.”

The winter workshop served as a training ground for theatrical stage combat and stunt work.

“It’s a training opportunity where students work with master teachers in stage combat from Dueling Arts International to learn a variety of skills dealing with best and safe practices for stage combat and stunt work,” explained Norman. “The students are given the opportunity to perform what they have learned and be judged on their performances. From this, they can earn recognition as beginning combatants or beginning theatrical combatants. I was very confident that our students would earn recognition as beginning combatants.”

Foster discussed her experience of participating at the workshop.

“Ben Norman told me about the event shortly after ‘Almost, Maine,’” shared Foster. “Soon after he told me about it, I quickly signed up. Spots were limited, so I immediately signed up. I earned certifications in unarmed, rapier and dagger as a beginning combatant. Additionally, I got a certification as a theatrical beginning combatant for broadsword. Everyone at the workshop passed and did wonderful during their testing.”

Norman shared what he enjoyed the most about the workshop.

“My favorite thing about the workshop is the community that’s created,” said Norman. “The opportunity to network with working professionals in the field is truly a blessing. I was recognized as an associate instructor of stage combat through Dueling Arts International, and I am currently trying to bring the work to Southeastern.”

Foster discussed what she learned through the workshop.

“I had used a broadsword and performed some unarmed stage before,” explained Foster. “I had never gone through this type of training. I also never touched a rapier and dagger. It was difficult to learn how to use one weapon in each hand. My favorite part about the event was coming back every day and seeing myself grow from the day before. It was also neat to see my classmates and friends grow.”

For anyone attending the workshop next winter, Foster offered words of advice.

“Come prepared to work your muscles, not just your brains,” stated Foster.