Guest Artist, Colorado Mesa University
Benjamin Reigel is a professional actor, director, and fight choreographer, as well as a member of the performance faculty at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Originally from Wisconsin, Ben has lived and worked all over the country, and has scores of credits at theatres from coast to coast including Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, DE’s Resident Ensemble Players, Mill Mountain Theatre, Maine Shakespeare Festival/Penobscot Theatre Company, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and many others. This past summer, Ben made his Colorado Shakespeare Festival debut, choreographing the fights, and playing Aufidius in Coriolanus, and Lavatch in All's Well that Ends Well.
Before coming to Colorado, Ben taught for 5 years at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and before that for 3 years at Shorter University in Rome, GA.
As an actor, director, and teacher, Ben is deeply committed to the works of Shakespeare. He has performed, directed, or choreographed over 50 productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Both in the classroom and in his professional work, Ben continues to test the teaching and performance opportunities made possible through a study of the First Folio texts, and an exploration of original Shakespearean practices.
Ben earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and his M.F.A. from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program. Ben is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
So Funny it Hurts: Creating Comic Violence
, Intermediate, Advanced / Acting, , , , , / Regular
“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” --Mel Brooks
Drama is conflict. Sometimes that conflict is violent, and people get hurt. And sometime (in a play at least) that pain should make us laugh! From slaps, to pratfalls, to bullies and cowards getting what they deserve, physical pain, and the ability to make us laugh at it is absolutely necessary for a stage performer.
In this workshop, we will be exploring the use of unarmed stage violence in pursuit of comedy. Participants will pair off to learn and work on short comic combat choreographic sequences. We will work on clean techniques, comic timing, and "acting" the fights.
This is a hands-on physical workshop. Participants should expect that they will be coming in actual physical contact with each other. Please wear appropriate movement clothing, and be willing to remove shoes.