To begin laying the groundwork for a spring 2024 theater production at PennWest California, the campus will host a fight choreography workshop March 17-19.

Brent Shultz, a graduate of the School of Drama at the New School, will conduct free sessions from 5-8 p.m. March 17, 11-2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. March 18 and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. March 19 in Steele Hall. The workshop is open to all PennWest students and local drama students.

Attendance at all sessions is encouraged but not required.

“Fight choreography is a specialized skill,” said Dr. John Paul “J.P.” Staszel, professor of theater. “He’s invested hundreds and hundreds of hours to be certified. We don’t teach it here. There aren’t many stage and film choreographers in this area. He’s coming back to do it because he’s from the area.

Besides being just plain cool to learn, Staszel said, fight choreography will be important for a yet-to-be-announced theater production in spring 2024.

The show “will be big on puppetry and fight choreography, and we’re bringing him in to prep well in advance, to see where our students are and where we will need to work,” Staszel said.

“The adage is, for every one second of fight choreography that you see on the screen, it takes one hour of rehearsal. It’s fairly similar on stage, even though stage choreography is a little more stylized.”

For details on the workshops, contact Staszel at or 724-938-5580.