The Guide

Similar to Stage Combat, Staged Intimacy places actors in moments of intense human interaction.  The potential for injury in Stage

Combat is often more literal, but injuries of many kinds can still occur in Staged Intimacy.  With this guide, we hope to support you in crafting these moments within your plays and films with less risk of harm to those involved.

Overall Principles

Engage in open, supportive, non-judgmental conversation with your collaborators about how safely to stage intimacy without losing the fire of creativity.

Directors may also experience discomfort or uneasiness as they approach physically intimate scenes, so be involved in as many steps of this process as are applicable.

Stage managers can act as intermediaries should an actor or director need to speak in confidence about difficulties that may arise.


1.Verbally identify points of intimacy (or potential points of intimacy) in the script.

2.State any personal boundaries you may have regarding physical touch or action.

3.Rehearse the scene with boundaries in place. The goal is to take care of your fellow collaborators.

4. After rehearsal, check in with one another.  Did anything arise that was uncomfortable?  Were the set boundaries successful?

5.  Give space for people to express any potential discomfort, as this is often much more challenging than everyone simply saying, "Sure, that was all fine."

6.  If guidelines aren’t being honored, speak to your director, stage manager, or teacher if you're in a school setting.

7. Discuss and determine if incorporating an Intimacy Call alongside Fight Call before every show would be useful.