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FSU's Romeo and Juliet Choreographed Fight

The School of Theatre at FSU is currently presenting an action packed "Romeo and Juliet,” so Monday we went behind the scenes to watch students punch, duck and stab their way into a shocking Shakespearean experience.

Cast members of FSU's presentation of Romeo and Juliet say they can't practice these fight scenes enough.

Frankie J. Alvarez, "Romeo," says, “Oh it's precise, it's precise. They, Paul's taught it, it's like an acting scene, we have intentions, tactics and obstacles, he has a line, I have a line.”

The Paul he's referring to is Paul Steger, a certified teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. Steger says safety is the first lesson with a strict six to eight inch distance enforced between the end of the weapon and the partner’s body.

However, the audience still gets the point.

Antonio Guzman, the director, says, “I want it to be nasty, bloody, really, really ugly, because to me the theme of the play is that obsession leads to destruction.”

For two months, Steger has been sculpting a fight scene between Romeo and Tybalt in hopes of achieving: “You know, that audible gasp. When the audience sucks wind, that's what we really want to try to find a way to do,” says Steger.

And after seeing this, I'd say they found it. Of course, anything can happen when the curtain goes up.

“Opening night I lost my dagger early in the scene; all my blocks to the dagger were with my hand.”

And just in case there is an injury, Steger is grooming an up and coming swashbuckler who has at this point mastered the art of making faces while swinging a sword.

The next performances for Romeo and Juliet will be April 20 through the 24th.


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