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Words Before Blows

Shakespeare and Stage Combat Intensive
Aug 17 - 22
If words will not serve, then our weapons shall..png

Welcome to the Affair of Honor Shakespeare text and Stage Combat Intensive. Five days of training in Shakespearean text and stage combat with a showcase on day six at Presentation House Theatre. Artists will be given a scene from Shakespeare directed by Mike Stack and fight choreography by Fight Directors Nathania Bernabe and Jackie T. Hanlin. This intensive will challenge stage combat skills, choreography retention, text and character work. The goal in this class is to build a scene that brings the text to life that pushes the action seamlessly into the fight. 


Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting that would not let me sleep. - Hamlet


In the mornings, participants will work through their scenes with director Mike Stack. These rehearsal sessions will be a playful and active approach to help you bring Shakespeare’s language and characters alive. Everything you need to know as an actor is contained within the verse and prose of the character. Shakespeare is a treasure chest, a Trojan Horse, a fire waiting to be lit. This workshop will help you to unlock the secrets that are contained therein, allowing you to make it vivid as well as authentic.


Give them great meals of beef and iron and steel, they will eat like wolves and fight like devils. ​- Henry V


In the afternoons, we take up arms. Actors will be given base choreography quickly and as the scene work in the mornings develop, we will work the transitions in and out of the battles. Actors will be given access to space after their choreography is taught and will be expected to rehearse with their partners while other groups are learning. Each scene will have individual needs and weapon systems and will receive a variety of skills and techniques based on the needs of their scene and participants’ skill level. 

Through a strong understanding of the safeties behind stage combat all actors will finish this class with an explosive fight powered by the text.

Applications for this intensive are due on July 15th.

Workshop Information and Application Below:


August 17 9am - 5pm 

August 18 10am - 6pm 

August 19 10am - 6pm 

August 20 10am - 6pm 

August 21 10am - 6pm 

August 22 10am - 8pm Tech and Showcase 

Please note that attendance for all 6 days is mandatory for each participant.  


All classes located at Presentation House Theatre

333 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver*

Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories

*A 15 Min Walk from The Lonsdale Quay Terminal

Total Cost:

$800: General

$650: Member of FDC, AOH Company Class Alumni, PHT Hub Member


Payment plan available: 

$150 Deposit on July 22

$325 on July 31st

$325 on Aug 16th

10 spaces are available

Please submit your application through the google form. Applications due on July 15th.  Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 21st.

Documents required:



Apply here.

Questions please email: Subject: Word Before Blows


Our Past Work

Past Company Workshops

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