Theatre major Jalil Toussant

Thirteen College of the Mainland theatre majors will put their swashbuckling abilities to the test May 4 from 12:30-1 p.m. in the COM Gym as they take the Society of American Fight Directors’ skills proficiency test in single sword.

Performing iconic scenes such as The Princess Bride movie’s “you killed my father; prepare to die” duels, students will showcase their acting and sword fighting abilities.

Mark Guinn, one of 16 Fight Masters with the Society of American Fight Directors, will judge students’ swashbuckling skills in six scenes. COM theatre majors have previously earned certification in unarmed and knife fighting with the Society of American Fight Directors.

“Theatre is a visual medium. Stage combat certification makes students better physical storytellers and more marketable as actors,” said director H. Russ Brown.

Brown, a nationally recognized Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, introduced stage combat training to the COM Associate of Arts Theatre Program when he came to COM in 2015. COM is one of only four colleges and universities in Texas that offer this level of training.

“I really love the stage combat training! It teaches us theatre training in a much higher form. It’s more than just acting – it’s violently trying to ‘kill each other’ artistically in a controlled, responsible manner,” said Michael Salas, COM theatre major and a Dickinson High School graduate.

For more information about COM theatre classes in acting, technical theatre, musicals and combat, visit or call 409-933-8544.