Swordfighting and Swashbuckling Silliness

This week’s Playhouse Perspective blog is written by The Lady Demands Satisfaction cast member Amy Blackman. 

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Amy Blackman in The Lady Demands Satisfaction

As we head into our final week of The Lady Demands Satisfaction by Arthur M. Jolly, there is much to celebrate and a lot that has been, indeed, satisfying. 

The most challenging and thrilling part of our rehearsal process has been the fight choreography in the show. I trained and was SAFD certified in single sword, broadsword, and unarmed combat at The Old Globe/USD MFA program. I particularly developed a passion for single sword work, and like many of my contemporary female colleagues, found the opportunities to put my training into practice professionally sparse. I have stood on stage watching fights while trying to convincingly “ooh” and “ahh” while the action proceeds independent of the female voices in the room quite a number of times. 

With Lady Demands, this is not the case. My character Theodosia is a skilled duelist, hungry to meet an opponent to test her skills. In our production, Theodosia first enters skewering a challenger, then casually wiping the blood from her blade, perhaps the most satisfying first entrance I have ever had the pleasure to encounter. There are also four other wonderful female principals in the show each with their own comedic journey and agency who all participate in various fights throughout the show. One of those cast members is also our Fight Choreographer, Rebecca Brinkley. It has been so wonderful to have her expertise and eye working with us on this piece, especially in such a heavily male dominated field. 

While in previews, we were lucky enough to have playwright Arthur M. Jolly spend some time with us and offer incredibly valuable feedback. He even added two new lines for my character both involving the word “soup” which with a RP British accent is VERY fun to say. 

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Paul Carlin, Amy Blackman, and Emily Cramer

In addition to the show being heavily fight oriented, it is also an epic arena of farce that I have yet had to tackle. Luckily, our director Jeffrey Binder lives in this world so brilliantly. He brought his impeccable sense of humour to rehearsals while also supporting and nourishing all of our own individual comic timing.

As we approach closing, I am in awe of the spirit of collaboration I have witnessed these last seven weeks from all involved. I truly believe it’s the only way to make a thing that you can be proud of, and I’m looking forward to wielding a sword for one more week. Come catch us while you can, we would love to share some swashbuckling silliness with you! 

For tickets to The Lady Demands Satisfaction go to https://www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org/2019-2020-season/the-lady-demands-satisfaction/. 

Playwright: Arthur M. Jolly
Director: Jeffrey Binder
Scenic Design: Edward T. Morris
Costume Design: Kirche Leigh Zeile
Lighting Design: Jimmy Lawlor
Sound Design: Christopher Colucci
Stage Manager: Jamie A. Eckhold
Photographer: Matthew Schipper
Cast Members: Amy Blackman, Rebecca Brinkley, Paul Carlin, Emily Cramer, Tarah Flanagan, Betsy Hogg, Evan Sibley

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