The school newspaper of Oakville High School


The school newspaper of Oakville High School


The school newspaper of Oakville High School


Theater Teachings

Fight coordinator joins the theater spring play production
Maddy Geisler
Thomas Westbrook (12), Stella Kolb (9) and Matt Kennedy (11) pretend to sword fight. “[The hardest part was] probably getting into the headspace,” Kolb said, “because I’m a 15-year-old girl and I’m supposed to be an 18-year-old male. I had to have a deeper voice and [different] mannerisms and on top of remembering the lines….” Kolb looked forward to the banquet and to future productions.

Theater students put on their spring production of “The Outsiders,” working with a fight coordinator to accomplish a number of stunts. 

“We wanted to go all in for the stage combat in this show,” theater teacher and director Isabelle Zurcher said. “And safety was obviously our top priority, which meant that we needed to hire someone to help us out.”

When it came to finding someone qualified to take the role of teaching safe, fake fighting, fight coordinator Emily Trent stepped in. 

“She’s our director’s friend, so she would come in and we would do a circle and figure out where everyone’s at,” Tea Rickard (12) said. “Then we’d either go out to the field and work on fake falling or we’d do naps, which are where you pretend to punch someone and then you make a sound and then they fall to the floor.”

While finding her through their director, the students quickly warmed up to Trent and her teaching. 

“It was awesome,” Stella Kolb (9) said. “I really loved her. We had a lot of fun with it. She really made sure we were all safe, which was a big part of it. I’ve never had an opportunity like this.”

These new opportunities presented by the fight coordinator was one of Zurcher’s top goals for the students of this production. 

“I think it’s really valuable for students to learn from working professionals in the industry,” Zurcher said. “I am a big believer in bringing working professionals into work with students. I don’t know everything about every element of theater, and I love opportunities that allow not only my students, but also myself, to learn.”

Teaching the Oakville students and staff new skills was an enriching experience for Trent herself.  

“Working with students at Oakville was wonderful,” Trent said. “I was lucky to work with an incredibly driven group of students who all wanted to do well. They were incredibly capable, and they took everything I threw at them in stride.”

Despite how well the students adapted, there were still struggles to overcome. 

“The struggle is always having to adapt to different people’s needs, body types and levels of athleticism, but it is also the puzzling elements that can be the most fun,” Trent said. 

When students went and worked through their struggles, they found new ways to immerse themselves into their roles. 

“I loved seeing the students work through struggles, communicate with each other and watching them create choreography on their own to make everything flow smoothly,” Trent said. “My favorite question to ask students is ‘What would you do next’ and have them find the answers for themselves.” 

While students gained experience, their teacher earned solitude in their fight coordinator’s capabilities. 

“It gave me great peace of mind knowing that I had a trained and licensed professional working with our students and not only making sure that they were safe, but that they had the opportunity to put something different on stage that got them and the audience excited,” Zurcher said. 

With their new skills exciting the audience, many were proud of the show they put on. 

“I had faith in the students’ abilities to perform and grow through the production…[They have] grown so much. I am incredibly proud of their work, and they put on a wonderful show,” Zurcher said.

Additionally, Trent was thankful to be a part of building the show and had positive parting words for the cast. 

“All of you are capable of doing absolutely anything you set your minds to,” Trent said. “If you’re ever feeling down, think of the amazing work you did over the past couple of months. You were an important part of a completely unique and ambitious production of ‘The Outsiders.’ Never forget, stay gold.”

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About the Contributor
Maddy Geisler
Maddy Geisler, Design Editor-In-Chief
Hey there! I'm Maddy, and I'm a senior at Oakville High School. I'm the Design Editor-in-Chief of both the school's Tiger Paw yearbook and The Prowl newspaper. I love to write about the school and showcase the interesting talents, ideas and people within it.

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