Should I Hire a Fight Director?

Questions to Ask

Does the script include physical violence of any kind?

Do characters have to fall down?

Do any actors have to lift or catch another actor?

Does the show call for a gun (even if it is a toy without charges)?

Are swords involved in the show, either as a prop or as a practical fighting weapon?

Does anyone use an object of any kind as a weapon (including but not limited to: knives, ropes, pans, shoes, letter opener)

Does the script contain any physical altercations (including but not limited to: struggles, pushes, slaps, kicks, punches, chokes?)

Are there very intimate scenes between actors  (including but not limited to: sex, rape, intense making out, groping, fondling?)

Does the script contain any precise physical comedy bits (including but not limited to: slapping, groin kicks, rolling, pushing?)


A fight director’s role goes far beyond choreographing sword fights and brawls. Fight directors are experts at helping to block and choreograph any stylized movement including: slapstick, abstract, and intensity.


Safety for your actors so they can perform the whole run of the show (even something as “basic” as a fall or a slap done incorrectly can cause severe injuries including broken wrists or broken jaw)

A safe environment for actors- this is especially important for intimacy and unarmed assaults as these can be triggering to some people

A fight that tells a story- it isn’t just about doing the moves, a fight director makes sure that the characters and story is conveyed through the movement. 

Cautionary Tales

Fight director Meron Langsner has compiled a great selection of articles about stage combat incidents gone wrong that could have been prevented. You can find those HERE

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