Listen to this great conversation about violence design, stage combat, fight choreography, and the difference between the three. Meron Langsner, Angie Jepson, Robert Najarian, and Ted Hewlett joined Julie Hennrikus in the StageSource library to talk about their list of best practices, the importance of mentoring, and to share some stories.[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/stagesource/WhatIs_104_ViolenceDesign_Final.mp3]
MERON LANGSNER has composed violence for over 150 productions, tours, and films in New England and NYC, at venues that include The ART, Merrimack Rep, New Repertory Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, the Lyric Stage Company, ArtsEmerson, and numerous educational venues, with many productions winning Eliot Norton and IRNE awards. He has also published several academic and pedagogical articles on stage combat and violence in performance. Meron was one of three writers in the country selected for the pilot year of the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright Residencies, fulfilling his residency at New Rep. His plays have been performed around the country and overseas, and he was recently nominated for the IRNE Award for Best New Play for Vagabond Theatre Group’s production of BURNING UP THE DICTIONARY. Publishers of his plays include Smith & Kraus, Applause, Bloomsbury UK, and YouthPLAYS. He holds an MA in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis, and a PhD in Theatre History from Tufts University, where he was the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Meron is an Artistic Associate of Whistler in the Dark Theatre, for which he currated the Schollah Holla Project and Playwright Incubator.
ANGIE JEPSON is an actress, fight choreographer, and teacher in the Boston area. As a fight choreographer, recent credits include M at The Huntington Theatre Company, In the Heights and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at SpeakEasy Stage Company, and The Lover with Bridge Rep of Boston. Angie teaches acting and stage combat at Worcester State University, and starting this fall will be the stage combat instructor at Boston University.
ROBERT NAJARIAN is an actor, instructor, and fight director who has staged the violence for over 100 productions for stage and film. He has performed in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Boston, including being an original cast member of the critically acclaimed show Sleep No More in New York. Fight direction credits include Carmen and Macbeth with Boston Lyric Opera, As You Like It with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Don Quixote with Boston Ballet, Johnny Baseball with American Repertory Theatre, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Kite Runner with New Repertory Theatre, and She Kills Monsters with Company One. Robert has taught at movement and stage combat workshops such as the National Stage Combat Workshop at North Carolina School of the Arts, The Winter Wonderland Workshop in Chicago, IL, and The Paddy Crean Workshop at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada. He has taught in the Theatre Departments at Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, and at the ART Institute for Advanced Actor Training at Harvard University. He currently is an assistant professor in the Theatre Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Certified Teacher of Theatrical Combat with the Society of American Fight Directors. MFA: The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University. BA: Bowdoin College.
TED HEWLETT is an actor, teacher, and fight director. He has performed fights on Broadway (SHOGUN), film (HOOK; ARMY OF DARKNESS; GRAY AREA), television (BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE), and opera (New York City Opera). He has choreographed violence for the Off-Broadway production of BILL W. AND DR. BOB, and regionally at such theatres as Shakespeare & Co., Kennedy Center, Syracuse Stage, Lincoln Center Institute, Elm Shakespeare Co., Berkshire Theatre Festival, Mettawee River Co., Westchester Broadway Theatre, Fulton Opera House, New Century Theatre, and NYS Theatre Institute. In Boston, he has created fights for Huntington Theatre, SITI Co./ArtsEmerson, American Repertory Theatre, New Rep, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, SpeakEasy Stage, Company One, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Merrimack Rep, Publick Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, Vineyard Playhouse, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Nora Theatre, Gloucester Stage, and Shakespeare Now!, as well as numerous university productions. Mr. Hewlett is on the full-time acting faculty at Emerson College, and has previously taught at Brandeis University, Boston University, Harvard University, Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, and The Stage Combat Studio at Bay State Fencers. Mr. Hewlett holds an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University, and trained at the Academy of Theatrical Combat under fight master Dan Speaker.