Head Instructor and Fight Director -

Karin Kennedy

Karin is our fearless leader and head fight director and instructor. Wanting to put her rich background of performance and drama to use, combined with her extensive history of martial arts and fencing, Karin set up Swordplay 15 years ago in Campbelltown. With such a wonderful response from people wanting to train outside of the Southwest region, Karin also opened a Swordplay school in the Blacktown area over 7 years ago.

 

A brief overview about Karin's weapon and martial arts background...

 

- Karin started out as a sport fencer, training under Fencing Master Rolland Von Zopf. Rolland has a rich history of teaching theatrical fencing and sport fencing in Australia for 40 years. Karin participated in 1990 & 2000 State Championships in Foil earning Bronze and coming 8th place, 2000 National Championships in Foil and 2002 World Championships for Foil.

- She brings to Swordplay 5 years Judo - including competition

- 7 years to Black Tip Tae Kwon Do - including sparring & breaking boards for demonstration

- 5 years of study in Kokoro Ryu the art of Japanese swordmanship.

- 1st Dan Black Belt in the Korean Sword Art of Haidong Gumdo under the World Haidong Gumdo Federation.

- 1st Dan Black Belt under Master Hyun Kyoo Jang Korean World Kummooyeh Federation.

- Proficient in (but not limited to) Unarmed Stage Combat, Rapier, Dagger, Cloak & Dagger, Knife, Quarterstaff, Broadsword, Sword & Buckler, Sword & Shield, Sabre, Case of Rapier & Katana.

In 2006 Karin participated in the Torneo Capo Ferro Competition, Italy, at the end of the BADC course against 13 other performances. Awarded equal 3rd place with fight partner Kathleen Kennedy.

At the time was also certified in 2 Single Weapon Certificates in the British Academy of Dramatic Combat:  Case of Rapier (Gold Level) & Hutton Sabre (High Silver Level) 2006.
- Black Belt for Weapons Instruction in International Pankreation. Karin also choreographed for the Atlas Sports Club the Greek Polydarmus story for the Pankreation Games. Team came second in 2004 National Pankreation Games and third in the World Pankreation Games.

Working with local groups....


Karin actively supports local theatre organisations and performance schools. She often has been asked to choreograph fight scenes for musicals and plays such as Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Oklahoma, Cats, Peter Pan, Man of La Mancha & The Three Musketeers. She also runs adult and teenager workshops at schools, musical societies or performance spaces. Karin supports the Joan Theatre in Penrith with their youth programs throughout the year.
 
Stage Combat is not all about the fighting, it's also about the performance...​


- Karin is an accredited Theatre Sports Teacher. Trained under Lyn Peirce.
- Karin spent 2 years as part of a performance troupe and studying under Richard Hayes Marshall.
- Studied acting for Camera through Reactor at Fox Studios
- 2 years at the Drama Action Centre under Peter Hall and is certified in Universal Mask, Improvisation, Dance, Clown, Story, Playback Theatre, Leadership & Teaching and Sociodrama and Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed.

 

Also of Note...


- Karin also participates in medieval re-enactment fighting, combat archery and traditional archery.
- Also qualified for dueling tournies with the Society of Creative 
Anachronism

_SPA4901.jpg
_H7A5206.jpg

Senior Fight Instructor -

Kathleen Kennedy

As a child, Kathleen was often tagging along with Karin to various training venues. Eventually she started learning as well and when Swordplay opened, she took up the role of Senior Instructor and Swordplay Administrator.

 

Kathleen has been training in stage combat and theatrical fencing for over 15 years. Proficient in (but not limited to) Unarmed Stage Combat, Rapier, Dagger, Cloak & Dagger, Knife, Quarterstaff, Broadsword, Sword & Buckler, Sword & Shield, Sabre, Case of Rapier & Katana.

 

She is also a Stunt Performer (Stunt Actor Provisional) under the MEAA. Performing in productions such as Home & Away, Winter, Blue World Order, Scavengers of the Scarlett Wastelands, Project Cleverman, A Place To Call Home, Janet King, The Secret Daughter 2, Rosehaven, Skinford 2. Kathleen also brings skills from a background in dance, Hapkido Korean Martial Arts, traditional archery and aerial circus arts (silks & lyra).



Kathleen creates fight choreography within Swordplay and assists Karin Kennedy in fight directing external productions and running workshops.



In 2006 Kathleen participated in the Torneo Capo Ferro Competition, Italy, at the end of the BADC course against 13 other performances. Awarded equal 3rd place with fight partner Karin Kennedy.

At the time was also certified in 3 Single Weapon Certificates in the British Academy of Dramatic Combat: Knife (Gold Level), Case of Rapier (Gold Level) & Hutton Sabre (High Silver Level) 2006.



Her performance history ranges from local festivals and corporate functions to the National Geographic Channel's promo of the "Perfect Weapon", product launches with Clinique, opening of the Theatresports Cranston Cup Grand Final 2016 and the book launch of “In the Land of Bad Dreams” by Kyla Ward.

Meet the Rest of the Swordplay Team

_SPA4908.jpg

Fight Instructor -

Glen Jackson

 

Glen has been a member of Swordplay from it's second year running. He is one of our most experienced instructors and performers across a variety of weapons.

His performance history ranges from local festivals and corporate functions to the opening of the Theatresports Cranston Cup Grand Final 2016 and the book launch of “In the Land of Bad Dreams” by Kyla Ward.

Glen also brings a background in drama, performance and new skills in aerial arts.

Assistant Fight Instructor -

Jessica Anslow

 

Jess has been training with Swordplay for 6 years.

She is is also a regular at performances. She brings commitment and experience of the work to classes and teaching.

Assistant Fight Instructor -

David Cole

 

David is a longtime Swordplay member who, within the last year or so, has become a regular at our performances. David also brings a background of sport fencing to his work.

PSX_20210210_190744.jpg

Assistant Fight Instructor -

Melissa Anderson

 

Mel joined us 11 years ago in the former junior program and has expanded her skills across multiple weapon styles. Her performance history ranges from local festivals, corporate functions, charity events and will be performing her fighting skills in the cast of CTGi’s production of Macbeth (April 2021).  

Mel has been a featured and supporting screen and voice actress for roles such as Clair in the internationally screened ‘The Dealer on Campus’ (2020), Maeve ‘Escape’ (2020), Emily in the People’s choice awarded ‘Take me’ Macquarie University (2019), Sarah ‘Fondant’ University of Sydney (2019) and Kate ‘Through the mirror’ AFTT (2019), to name a few. 

 

Mel brings a background in drama, singing & is an aerial arts instructor (Silks, Lyra, Spanish Web and Sling). She was a competitor in the community division of the Australian Circus Festival (2019) with her Spanish Web act.  

Assistant Fight Instructor -

Mitch Mogensen

 

Mitch has been training with Swordplay for over 5 years.

Not only is he a regular performing at our shows, Mitch also brings his experience of re-enactment weapons training in Denmark.

_SPA4916.jpg

Fight Instructor -

James Kennedy

 

James has also been training in Theatrical Fencing and Stage Combat for over 15 years. Like Kathleen, he also started at a young age and is one of Swordplay's longtime instructors.

His performance history ranges from local festivals and corporate functions to the National Geographic Channel's promo of the "Perfect Weapon" & opening of the Theatresports Cranston Cup Grand Final 2016.

He has a big involvement behind the scenes at Swordplay shows taking on the role of organising & maintaining all the weaponry and gear.

James also brings a background of Hapkido Korean Martial Arts and dance.

Assistant Fight Instructor -

Toryn Biester

 

Toryn started off with Swordplay 10 years ago as part of our former junior program.

Therefore Toryn has a long history of training and performances under his belt. Toryn also brings a background in drama to his work.