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Stage Combat workshops at Hamilton-Gibson’s ‘Summer Fringe’

July 1, 2012
Williamsport Sun-Gazette

WELLSBORO - Punch 'em, flip 'em, fence 'em and fall and all without anyone getting hurt. Hamilton-Gibson Productions' "Summer Fringe Festival of the Arts" offers two unique workshops on stage combat, announced Thomas Putnam, artistic director of the local performing arts group.

"We've wanted to host such workshops for a long time," he said. "And the Fringe is the ideal time and place."

The two workshops will be held July 21 at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts.

The first session runs from 10 a.m. to noon at the Gallery of the Warehouse Theatre on Central Avenue - right next to the Native Bagel. This Comic Stage Combat, (3-stooges style), needs a minimum of six to a maximum of 40 attendees. This is a fun class that teaches all the basics: slaps, punches, strangles, kicks in a lighthearted commedia-slapstick vein. Cost for this workshop is $20.

The second workshop will be held on the same day and place and runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Swashbuckling Sword Fighting needs a minimum of six to a maximum of 12. It begins with a short lesson as if the participants are young students during Shakespeare's time. Then follows a Baronial Hall drill that let's your inner Jack Sparrow play. The cost for this workshop is $20.

If a participant signs up for both workshops the cost is just $35. Pre-registration is required for both workshops and can be made by calling Hamilton-Gibson Productions at 724-2079 or emailing hamgib@gmail .com. Payment must be made at the time of registration.

Samantha Phillips is the special featured artist who will conduct the workshops. Phillips is a member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and Society of American Fight Directors. She holds an MFA in Opera and Theatre, is an Affiliate Artist with The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, and is the Artistic Director of FighTrix: a theatre company that trains actors and students for stage and film fighting. She is an adjunct professor at Bucknell University and will be choreographing the fights for their 2012 production of "Macbeth."

"No prior experience is necessary; just curiosity and a willingness to have a great time!" Phillips said. "My goal with the unarmed class is to show students comic timing and the art of landing a good fake sucker punch. For sword fighting, all the attendees will learn a basic phrase which has been used in hundreds of "swashbuckling" films. This class brings out the inner Inigo Montoya-Joan of Arc in all of us!"

Phillips' film and television work includes, Nickelodeon's "Hi-Jinks!," "Law & Order," "Criminal Intent," "Two Weeks Notice" and "Hitch." For more information about Samantha please visit,

The two workshops are part of Hamilton-Gibson's first Summer Fringe Festival which also will include an open StoryTelling Circle July 16; two staged readings of short plays by F. J. Hartland July 17; an open poetry workshop and open mic July 18; the glorious sounds of Bell Choirs July 19; a late-night adult adventure with the late poet and playwright Shel Silverstein - adults only - July 20; and culminating with the return of local musician Monique Cannaire, pianist, vocalist and violinist.

Throughout the days, workshops and programs are scheduled for adults and children alike. Storytelling, dance and visual arts abound. Lunchtime brown bag events include Jerry Stopnicky's "African Tale," an introduction to HG's play "33 Variations" with music by Beethoven, a children's exploration of Shel Silverstein's poetry. Tuesday features workshops and explorations of senior readers' theater with Barbara and Larry Biddison and their Acting Up-Out program. Stropnicky will also offer two hands-on workshops for aspiring playwrights.

For more information, contact Hamilton-Gibson Productions at 724-2079 or email hamgib@gmail .com. The HG Office is at 29 Water St., the green house across from the Native Bagel.



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