More than just 39 steps – Stage Combat

Gearing up for TheatreFEST 2018 requires so many things to happen, so many… steps.

This year University Theatre’s TheatreFEST continues its mission to bring professional Raleigh artists and students together as we mount our 2018 season. With the generous support of the Raleigh Arts Council and the John McIlwee Endowment, University Theatre is not only tapping the talent of Raleigh’s performers but also their designers, choreographers, and artisans. Over the next four weeks we’ll look at those who have joined the TheatreFEST backstage family.

This week we take a look at Heather Strickland, Fight Choreographer for Deathtrap and The 39 Steps.  Both of these productions are fast paced and full of stage violence, I mean come on…Deathtrap? With Heather’s direction we are renting weapons from Preferred Arms out of Virginia to “arm” the actors and she’ll be in rehearsals for the next month ensuring our actors safely and realistically… die.

Fight Choreographer – Heather Strickland

Every fight choreographer knows DEATHTRAP — mostly for the extensive list of weapons, some unusual, that are required for the show. While this is my first time working with University Theatre, I know this team of talent well and am very excited to work with them in this capacity.

And really, who could say no to crossbows, knives, and garrotes for DEATHTRAP?! And then a wild train chase for THE 39 STEPS?!

University Theatre is excited to bring Heather aboard, we hope you are as excited to see her work with our TheatreFEST season! Tickets are selling fast – be sure to secure your seat to see Heather’s work!

Heather J. Strickland has worked in the triangle area for nearly 15 years as a director, actor, and dance/fight choreographer. She was one of the re-founding Directors of Bare Theatre in 2005 and worked on numerous productions in many capacities, including directing an all-female Titus Andronicus and the regional premiere of EverScape. Most recently, Strickland directed Raleigh Little Theatre’s What We’re Up Against. She has been on-stage in many roles with favorites including Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web (RLT), Abbie in Desire Under the Elms (RLT), Desdemona in Othello (Bare), and Ophelia in Hamlet (Bare). She works with schools and theaters as a teacher and choreographer, including Raleigh Little Theatre, The Justice Theatre Project, Longleaf School of the Arts, and Panther Creek High School. Heather has a degree in Theatre Arts from Flagler College in Florida and is trained by the Society of American Fight Directors.