THE GUIDE TO STAGED INTIMACY

Similar to Stage Combat, Stage 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:

For Actors:

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


For Directors:

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

For Stage Managers:

should an actor or director need to speak in confidence about difficulties that may arise, offer to provide private consult or act as an intermediary.

REHEARSAL:

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 along-side Fight Call before every show would be useful.

8. Some scenes are very affecting and can be hard to shake.  “Wind down" after rehearsal or performance to help release and neutralize sexual energy that can arise in the work.  Craft it like you would a good warm-up with vocal and physical work as you find useful.