Austin Jones and Brain LaTraunik practicing Stage fighting for an upcoming class outside the Theater Arts Building on February 9th 2017.

Austin Jones and Brain LaTraunik practicing Stage fighting for an upcoming class outside the Theater Arts Building on February 9th 2017.

The Lamar University Department of Theatre and Dance will host an unarmed stage combat class, instructed by Brain LeTraunik, during spring break, March 13-18, for those who are interested in learning how to fight for performance purposes.

The class will be held in the Lamar Dance Annex and the cost to participate is $100. Deadline to register is March 1.

LeTraunik is assistant professor of Theatre at Lamar with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in Acting from Western Illinois University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Columbia College in Chicago. He has been a professional actor for more than 30 years and he’s a certified teacher in stage combat with the Society of American Fight Directors.

“I’ve been teaching and choreographing stage combat around the United States for over 20 years,” LeTraunik said. “The challenge is to make it look realistic and to keep actors from hurting each other.”

LeTraunik is an experienced director with credits including “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Eastern Illinois University, and the Chicago premiere of “Tunnel Rat” for Genesis Theatricals, and the world premiere of “Hannukatz: The Musical” for the National Pastime Theatre. 

LeTraunik also has directed Lamar productions that include “The 39 Steps,” “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” “Anton in Show Business” and “Almost, Maine,” and he co-directed “A Year with Frog and Toad.”

Austin Jones and Brain LaTraunik practicing Stage fighting for an upcoming class in the Theater Arts Building on February 9th 2017.

Austin Jones and Brain LaTraunik practicing Stage fighting for an upcoming class in the Theater Arts Building on February 9th 2017.

The unarmed stage combat course lasts five days and is open to anyone.

In addition to theatrical actors, individuals involved in cosplay or filmmaking could benefit from the course, LeTraunik.

“The class will be a good experience for actors, or potential filmmakers to possibly use in future film, and will teach students how to fight in unarmed combat in theatre productions with no weapons — just using your hands and feet,” LeTraunik said. Austin Jones and Brain LaTraunik practicing Stage fighting for an upcoming class in the Theater Arts Building on February 9th 2017.

The course is a physically active course, so participants need to be aware of what to expect, LeTraunik said.

“This course will not teach you martial arts or how to perform self-defense on someone, so you won’t be taking down assailants or breaking boards in this course,” he said. “It is a purely theatrical art form — to make it appear like you are fighting when you really are not.”

The class will start, March 13, at 9 a.m. and continues through 4 p.m. with an hour lunch break.

On March 18, the course will culminate with an adjudicated test with a fight master, a senior member from the SAFD, where students will receive certification in unarmed stage combat.

For more information, contact LeTraunik at 880-8154, or email brian.letraunik@lamar.edu

Cade Smith

UP contributor

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