Charlie Krebs, Lakeland’s enthusiastic associate professor of theatre and speech, recently shared some of his acting expertise with students at Plymouth High School.
Krebs spent a couple of hours at the high school, demonstrating the art of theatrical sword fighting to students who are preparing for their fall play, “Robin Hood: The Courtship of Allan A’Dale.”
“It’s really a lot of fun to visit a high school and work with all of these great kids,” said Krebs, who has attended theatrical sword fighting seminars in Las Vegas. “They’re hanging on your every word, and are really excited about learning new things. At the same time, they come up with really great ideas, and it’s cool to see them unleash their creative sides.”
The Plymouth High production will debut on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium, with additional shows that Friday and Saturday night and Sunday at 2 p.m.
During his visit, Krebs first armed the students with foam swimming pool “noodles,” and let them whack away at each other for a few minutes before teaching them specific staged sword fighting moves.
After that, students were given wooden “swords,” and finally, some of the top performers gave demonstrations with metal stage swords.
“There’s definitely an art to this,” said Krebs. “It’s not improv. You don’t just start swinging the sword around in a way that’s not choreographed. If you were sword fighting in real life, obviously you wouldn’t want people to see it coming; you’d be trying to hurt them. But on stage, you want it to look cool. You want it to look real, but it should have a real flourish to it. You put your whole body into it, leaning in and out, really selling the performance to your audience.”