Drama Lesson Plan
Fencing in Theatrical Fighting
Grade 12 Advanced
The students will:
- learn the importance of real fencing in theatrical fighting
- learn to use the Internet to research
- learn the basics and complexities of choreographing
Cross Curricular uses:
- Examples of different swords (Foil, Epee and Sabre)
- 30 Wooden Swords
- Video: The Princess Bride
The Unit will be seven, 75 minute lessons:
- Days 1 and 2 will be outlined below.
- Days 3 to 5 will be used to write and use the Internet and library for
- Days 6 and 7 will be final "Bug" sessions, to work out any problems in the scenes.
|15 min ||Introduction of myself and the concept of theatrical fencing. |
|15 min ||What is real Fencing? Demonstration of real fencing time and speed. |
|25 min ||Teach real fencing footwork. This is where you separate the good fencing choreographed scenes from bad ones. |
|15 min ||Show the fencing scenes from The Princess Bride. These are great scenes for authenticity. |
* It is encouraged that the students meet on their own time. The drama room will be signed
out after school and I will be there to supervise and be available for questions.
|10 min ||Review concepts from the day before. |
|5 min ||Noodle fight. As a fun way to show that
real fencing is different then drama fencing the students will have a
chance to hit each other with foam "Noodles". It is a safe and effective
way to demonstrate the differences. |
|30 min ||Teach the basics of blade work: |
Later you can start to attack and defend on the diagonals.
- Is always your blade hand
- Is the other side
- leg of your blade hand
- Opposite leg
- Defence is always flat to your body
- Attacking, you want to cut through the body at right angles.
|10 min ||The kill!! It is all done with angles. |
|20 min ||It is time to get the students into Groups of no more then three. Each group
will be responsible for the choreographing of a 15 minute fencing scene. The
students will be encouraged to vary the era and styles of their presentation.
Possible sources of inspiration could be literature, movies.
During the next week the class will have the opportunity to prepare a
Choreographed scene for their major term project. This will be enriched with
the use of the Internet. Each student will be evaluated on their scene and
the process of choreographing, this includes the use of historical and
technical knowledge and an attempt to satisfy both accuracy and a flare for
the dramatic. |
These sites provide a wide range of information on fencing and the art of movie making:
©1997 Daniel Penrose
- URL Address: http://www.keele.ac.uk/socs/ks02/next/princess/Script.html
Possible uses of material: The students will be able to look at an actual script
for a movie that they have seen and be able to use the form and completion of it to
model their assignments after. The students could even opt to adapt the scene to a
futuristic or from another time period. This would introduce the concept of
futurism to the course.
- URL Address: http://www.fencing.ca/dir/email/email.htm
Possible uses of material: To make the use of the computer and the Internet a more
interactive way and to utilize the resources of the community we can use this site
to interact with actual fencers and technical advisors to fencers on all levels.
The students could e-mail one of the people on this list to ask questions about
fencing today or on some of the history of fencing. Using the computer to access
the talents of experts will enrich the process of creativity and authenticity.
- URL Address: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/bjm10/hutton/hutton.html
Possible uses of material: Amazing site for this unit. The book
"Old Sword-play" looks at different styles of fencing throughout the history of
Europe. It looks at many styles that are dramatic and different from modern sport
fencing. This makes a great extension from the basics that the students learned
in class. The use of this site will add to the historical accuracy of the
presentations and provide them with examples of the clothes of the period, through
If you wish to use this lesson plan or have any questions regarding this unit, please email Daniel:
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