Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Not Use Rubber Swords?

From April 28, 2014 WYFF channel 4:
Officers were called to Caldwell Academy around 10 p.m. Saturday after a student was stabbed near his stomach.
Police say the school was putting on the play "The Three Musketeers" when one student accidentally stabbed the other with a prop from the play.

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I'm sorry, but as much as I approve of having swords, I don't think that someone making a play should have real swords on set.  It would be like having a real gun on the set of a Western -- too much potential for someone to get hurt.

1 comment:

DOuglas2 said...

Looking at other press reports of this incident, it was in a "fake dagger" that was the instrument of injury. These can be anything from realistic looking lightweight soft plastic toy-store items to spring-loaded props where the blade is supposed to disappear into the handle when "stabbing". I'm suspecting that the play was put on without an experienced "fight director" being engaged to plan the blocking and train the actors, and that the use of toy weapons gave the teachers and administrators a false sense of safety. They didn't think that their props might break leaving sharp edges, or that they might fail to retract.
Stage combat is an important acting skill, and not out of place in a high-school production if the means are in place to do it safely. Stage weapon props do have blunted tips and edges, but more importantly are durable enough that they can take the clanking of a "swordfight" repeatedly without breaking. A thrust with a dagger will be delivered off-line of the "victim's" body, looking real enough from the audience's perspective, but being well clear of contact with the body in actuality.