Fight Directors and Advanced Performers Workshop (ISU, Illinois) July 30-Aug. 11, 2012

Dueling Arts International
2012 Fight Directors and Advanced Performers Workshop
Bloomington, Illinois

Illinois State University
July 30- Aug 11, 2012

Hosted by Illinois State University this workshop provides a unique training opportunity for aspiring Fight Directors and Actors with experience in stage combat. It explores and refines techniques and skills necessary in staging and directing theatrical fights, and helps further develop performance and fighting skills for the stage and the many mediums on camera.
Daily subject matter will draw from both classical and contemporary material, and will examine both dramatic and comedic contexts. All-day training begins on Monday, July 30th, and will finish on Saturday, August 11th. Participants will have half of Saturday, August 4th and all of Sunday, August 5th to experience and enjoy Bloomington. Shared housing is available from Sunday, July 29th through August 12th.

Bloomington-Normal is located in the heart of Central Illinois, approximately 125 miles southwest of Chicago, 155 miles northeast of St. Louis and 64 miles northeast of Springfield, the State Capital. Bloomington-Normal is easily accessible from any city, with access from Interstates 39, 55 and 74, as well as daily Amtrak service and flights through the Central Illinois Regional Airport.
Bloomington-Normal is a vibrant community, home to over 125,000 people who exemplify traditional Midwestern lifestyle and values. Like our visitors, the residents of Bloomington-Normal enjoy our multitude of museums, entertainment venues, trails and parks, fairs and festivals, restaurants and shopping centers.


This intensive training consists of lectures, demonstrations, rehearsal time, video analysis, and critique. Topics to be covered include the following:

Fundamentals of Directing Script Analysis Classical Sword Fights
Business of Directing Working w/Actors Contemporary Violence
Working w/Directors & Prod. Fights on Camera Knife Fights
Methods of Notating Dealing w/Effects & Props Comedic Fights
Teaching the Fight Outdoor Staging Directing to Music Coaching the Actor
Staging Proscenium Fights Staging Group Fights Coaching the Fight Captain
Staging Fights in Round Laban-Movement Studies

Directing Students are required to have prior training in theatrical combat and are required to submit resume with application for workshop.

Some of the information covered will be:
-Theatrical techniques for handling of traditional period and modern weaponry
-Theatrical techniques used in unarmed combat for stage, and on camera
-Daily rehearsal & performance of classical and contemporary scripted scenes
-Introduction to Laban-Bartenieff movement studies for the actor-combatant
-Vocal warm-ups and vocal and acting techniques for acting the fight
-Video analysis & critique of each day’s work
-Methods of notating fight choreography
-Basic gun safety for the theatre
-Basic T’ai Chi Ch’uan training
-Script and text analysis


Application Fee (non-refundable): $25
Fight Directors: $1200
Actors: $600
Double occupancy Housing Fee: $300 (Alternatively, single/private occupancy $425)


Candidates for the Fight Directors Workshop must have completed training in all seven disciplines of the Dueling Arts International curriculum for Level Two, or the equivalent in other accredited organizations. DAI’s committee will determine alternative training equivalency.

The Advanced Performance Workshop is a vigorous program for actors with experience and training in Levels One and Two of the DAI curriculum; however, actors at the beginning or intermediate levels are encouraged to apply, and will be accepted on the basis of availability.


1. Submit a resume. Please include a detailed history of training experience.
2. Directing candidates must submit a written statement of purpose as to why they are pursuing this training, and how they plan to implement it in their own profession.
3. Submit the application fee of $25 in a check made out to Dueling Arts International.
4. Application form and checklist below:



Application Deadline: March 1, 2012
Acceptance to workshop announced: March 15, 2012
Deposit Due: $500 by April 2, 2012
Balance Due: May 15, 2012
For special payment plan consideration, please contact the coordinator.
Karl Ramsey:

If the workshop is already full, or if an applicant is not accepted, a full refund of the deposit will be provided. There will be no refunds if there is a cancellation, except in the case of a medical or family emergency.


Participants in the Fight Directors Workshop may be eligible for recognition as a Fight Director. To be considered for this recognition, additional requirements include documentation of professional experience and in some cases, sample choreography.

Participation in the Advanced Actor Combatant Workshop satisfies a portion of the requirements for recognition as an Advanced Actor Combatant. For a complete list of requirements, please contact the coordinator.
Karl Ramsey:

Please note participation in this workshop does not guarantee official recognition from Dueling Arts International.

Gregory Hoffman
The founder, and a Master Teacher of Dueling Arts International, LLC, Gregory is now an advisor and guest instructor for the re-organized Dueling Arts International, NPO. He is also a founding and honorary member of The Nordic Stage Fight Society and was a recognized Fight Director and Teacher with The Society of American Fight Directors for 15 years.
Gregory has been teaching and directing in universities, dramatic conservatories, and theaters in Europe, Asia, and the United States since 1984. Working as a producer, director and fight director, Gregory is the winner of numerous awards and has earned over 250 theatre credits during his career, in which he has worked with many notable artists such as Elizabeth Banks and Anika Noni Rose, Academy Award winners Holly Hunter and Olympia Dukakis, as well as Emmy Award winner Tony Kushner.
In 2005 Gregory released And They Fight…, a 23 hour, 16 disc educational DVD series on theatrical sword fighting. This is the most comprehensive training series of its kind. In 2006, working under a SAG experimental contract, Gregory completed an independent film, featuring Olympia Dukakis, titled Upside Out.
Charitable contributions include work for The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) in East Los Angeles. VIP is a clinic providing health services to children, youth, women and geriatric patients who are victims of violence, abuse, and neglect. Gregory produced and directed several promotional videos for VIP to help raise awareness and generate support for the clinic and its ongoing work. Gregory now resides in Los Angeles. In early 2009 he founded True Edge Pictures, (, an independent film company dedicated to developing and producing character driven period action films which utilize the sword.

Paul Dennhardt is a professor of theatre at Illinois State University where he heads the movement training for the MFA in Classical Acting. He is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique (M. AmSAT), a Fight Director/Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, and a Master Teacher/Fight Director with Dueling Arts International. Paul’s fight direction has been seen at numerous venues including: The Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Folger Theatre, Washington, DC; Perseverance Theatre, Alaska; the Dallas Theater Center; the Taipei National University for the Arts; Milwaukee Shakespeare and Madison Rep, Wisconsin; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis; Florentine Opeara Company, Milwaukee; the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Paul holds an MFA in Theatre (Directing) from Western Illinois University. Professor Dennhardt’s directing credits include: Rabbit Hole, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Spring Awakening, Private Eyes, Medea, Bus Stop, Stop Kiss, Laughing Wild, Zorro, The Lion in Winter, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and Hedda Gabler. He has directed and/or choreographed numerous musical theatre productions including: West Side Story, Carousel, Merrily We Roll Along, A Little Night Music, Dames at Sea, The Boyfriend, Lil’ Abner, Cinderella, Fiddler on the Roof, Anything Goes, Little Mary Sunshine, The Music Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Wind in the Willows, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Annie, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Peter Pan, Chicago, Assassins, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and others.

Mr. Dennhardt has been on the teaching staff for the National Stage Combat Workshop and has conducted workshops in stage combat and the Alexander Technique at the Shakespeare Theatre Company Academy for Classical Acting, the University of Montevallo, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the National Stage Combat Workshop, numerous SAFD regional stage combat workshops, the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), the Taipei National University of the Arts, the Igor Neils Kreinig International Arts Academy in Moosburg, Austria, the Illinois High School Theatre Festival and the American College Theatre Festival.