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Arming Shakespeare

"Draw if ye be men!" With these words, the first brawl of "Romeo And Juliet" begins. The servants clash with sword and buckler while their betters engage with rapiers. The room is filled with the crash of steel on steel as each combatant strives to best the other.

One of the challenges of producing Shakespearean literature is the requirements of the battle scenes. "Romeo And Juliet" features four sword fights and a street brawl. At Fairfax High School, the fights are choreographed by Bob Smith, the theater director. Smith has been studying, performing, teaching, and choreographing stage combat since 1977. He has worked and learned with some of the top professional fight choreographers in the country including Joe Martinez, David Leong, Drew Fratcher, and Paddy Crean. His work has been seen at numerous high schools in Virginia as well as the Folger Theatre. This will be his third "Romeo And Juliet."

The F/X Players use a variety of equipment for their fight scenes.  Some of the props are custom built by Louis Shaw in Baltimore and Tom Fiocchi in Ohio as well as purchased from the Armoury of American Fencers Supply. All properties are professional grade equipment.