Drama Lesson Plan

Fencing in Theatrical Fighting

Grade 12 Advanced

Teacher: Daniel Penrose

Unit Objectives:

Cross Curricular uses:


Unit length:

Day One

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.

Day Two

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:
        1. Head
        2. Is always your blade hand
        3. Is the other side
        4. leg of your blade hand
        5. Opposite leg
        6. Defence is always flat to your body
        7. Attacking, you want to cut through the body at right angles.
Later you can start to attack and defend on the diagonals.
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.
* 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.

These sites provide a wide range of information on fencing and the art of movie making:

©1997 Daniel Penrose

If you wish to use this lesson plan or have any questions regarding this unit, please email Daniel: d63dgp@morgan.ucs.mun.ca

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