Thirteen Pellissippi State Community College students recently passed a skills proficiency test for stage fighting through the Society of American Fight Directors.
Pellissippi State is the only school in Tennessee that offers the SAFD tests.
The students are Josh Bigwood, Carolyn Corley, Thomas Crout, Caroline Kat Darwin, Breland Lallie Donahoo, Julianna Meyers, Barrie Paulson, Donnie Peltz, Alex Riggs, Joshua Shelton, Steven Trigg, Debi Wetherington and Chad Collins Wood.
The students tested with Dale Girard, an SAFD fight master and director of stage combat studies at North Carolina School of the Arts. By passing the exam, the students earned a much sought-after theatrical skills status in the world of professional theatre.
According to Girard, it’s rare for an entire class — like the one at Pellissippi State — to pass the exam. In addition, four of the college’s students earned a “recommended pass,” connoting an exceptional level of proficiency. Those students are Bigwood, Darwin, Paulson and Wood.
The SAFD examination was the result of more than a semester of instruction by Bob Borwick, Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member and certified SAFD instructor, and assistance from Charles R. Miller, professor and program coordinator of Theatre. Borwick is the only SAFD certified instructor in Tennessee, and he teaches exclusively at Pellissippi State.
The course to prepare for the SAFD skills proficiency test is THEA 2222 Special Topics (Stage Combat). Business and Community Services also offers a non-credit Stage Combat course.
The test was sponsored by the Theatre and the Pellissippi State Foundation.