By Gabriela Mendoza
The art of the Shakespearean sword fight survives at LBCC, the only local Community College
to offer the course, as theatre students practice movement acting using three-foot steel swords.
Students in the movement for the actor’s course learn how to perform fight scenes using rapiers,
thin light swords, playing and acting out scenes similar to those in “The Princess Bride.” While rapiers
normally have sharp edges, the swords used in the class are completely dull on the edges.
The program has twenty-four, 17th century rapier swords costing $250 each. Theatre professor
Anthony Carreiro said, he donated some of the rapiers while the rest were purchased with
fundraising money and a grant.
Carreiro said it is his job to teach students how to make fighting scenes exciting, historically
accurate, and safe. “It’s a technique as challenging and demanding as ballet. My biggest
challenge is to remind actors that they are acting, not fighting,” said Carreiro.
Carreiro said students who are able to learn the complex technique well have an edge over
actors who have not learned it. He said it makes students better actors because they are forced
to remember their lines and choreography at the same time. “It’s acting a scene with complex
choreography. I’ve never seen a student not to become a better actor after taking the class,”
For students who want to take the movement class, TART 1B, the only prerequisite is the
introduction to acting class. Similar courses are offered in movement, acting, and other arts are available
during the summer through the Cal Arts program put on by the state universities. The summer
courses are two weeks long for 10 hours a day. Students may earn a state university credit for
taking a two week course. For information on Cal Arts tuition scholarships and offered courses,
students may visit csusummerarts.org.