Fight Master: Richard Ryan
Stunt Coordinator Credits include: MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS,
VIKINGS (Seasons 4, 5 & 6) DAWN, SWORD OF PEACE, BESERK, HAMMER OF THE GODS, IRONCLAD, FAINTHEART and IOS Game INFINITE WARRIOR.
Fight Coordinator credits include: Vikings (Seasons 1, 2 & 3), THE DARK KNIGHT (which won the 2009 SAG Award for best movie stunt ensemble and Best Fight at the Taurus Stunt Awards). SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS and SHERLOCK HOLMES, both directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. THE GOLDEN COMPASS, GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, THE EAGLE, STARDUST, THE LAST LEGION, DRONA, SOLOMON KANE and Fight/Combat consultant on FABLE 2, the follow-up to the best selling X-Box game FABLE.
His first major film was TROY, on which served as Swordmaster. His responsibilities involved developing the fighting styles of the principal characters and choreographing the one-on-one fights. These fights received critical acclaim, particularly the Achilles v Hector duel (Brad Pitt & Eric Bana), which was nominated in the Best Fight category for both the MTV Movie Awards and the Taurus Stunt Awards 2005.
As 'Master-at-Arms' to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) Richard gained extensive experience providing fight training for actors in a multiplicity of weapons systems.
His theatre experience is wide-ranging and he has staged fights for, among others, The Donmar Warehouse including the Broadway transfer of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The Royal National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Abbey & Peacock Theatres (The National Theatre of Ireland) as well as numerous West End and Regional shows.
Michelle Ladd: Fight Director
Michelle has been working as a professional director, choreographer and performer of acting, dance, stunts, and staged combat for over 17 years. She has worked throughout North America, Britain, Scandinavia, and Asia. In addition to stunt performing, her credits include Motion Capture Producer for Resident Evil - Degeneration - Tokyo, Japan; Motion Capture Stunt Coordinator for Thor; Motion Capture Director for Pirates of the Caribbean-At World’s End; Mocap Combat Choreographer for The Lord of the Rings-Return of the King; performer with Varneville/Carteret Viking Fest – Freiki Klan, Denmark; fight instruction and demonstration for Parnü Vöitlus in Estonia; and featured guest for Korea's Theatre magazine. She has been an instructor and coach to students of all ages and levels including students at the Banff Centre for Performing Arts, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, and with Florida’s Center for Creative Education Project LEAP.
Leraldo Anzaldua: Fight Director
Leraldo Anzaldua is currently an Assistant Professor of Movement and Stage Combat with the Dept of Theatre, Drama & Contemporary Dance at Indiana University, Bloomington. Anzaldua is an Actor, a Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors and choreographer with Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.
Regionally, companies include: Cardinal Stage, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Alley Theatre, Stages, Classical Theatre Company, Ensemble theatre, and Catastrophic theatre. Internationally recognized, he is a voiceover talentwith Sentai Filmworks having voiced over 100 characters including:
Ken/ G-1 -Gatchaman; Largo – One Piece; Takashi- High School of the Dead; Halo Legends, Noda- Angel Beats, Kei Tsukishima – Haikyu!;Ryo Kurokiba – Food Wars! and many more.
He has been a motion capture performer with Sony Pictures: Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars; Appleseed: Alpha. Starship Troopers: Invasion in Tokyo, Japan.
Also as Motion Capture Fight Director & Talent for video games: The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay; Just Cause; Knights of the Temple: The Infernal Crusade in Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden.
He received a Master’s Degree in Acting from the University of Houston.
Patrick Kelly: Certified Teacher
Mr. Kelly has been teaching classes at the Indiana University Martial Arts Program since 1992 where he also serves as Program Coordinator and Faculty Advisor for the Martial Arts Committee in the Dept of Recreational Sports. He has presented on Martial Arts in Physical Education to the Indiana Department of Education establishing a teaching pedagogy for attribute development, skill acquisition and self-defense application.
Mr. Kelly has studied concepts and techniques from several martial arts including, Jun-fan Kickboxing, Wing Chun Gung Fu, Muay Thai, Savate, Kali/Escrima, Penjak Silat, Hapkido, Shoot-fighting, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, T’ai Chi, Fencing, Longsword Fencing (Liechtenauer), and Archery in addition to tactical firearms training.
He is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and has designed and performed violence for several independent films and projects including music video and mo-cap.
He served on the Stunt Team for the History Channel's Vikings in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
In what spare time he has, Mr. Kelly enjoys cycling, hiking with his pack, kayaking, reading, and sleeping... when the coffee wears off.
Scot Mann: Fight Master
Scot J. Mann is an internationally recognized and award winning Fight Master, certified through the Society of American Fight Directors and the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. He most recently choreographed swordplay, stunts and gunplay for the multi-million dollar production of Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He and his wife, Kelly co-choreographed the world premier of Stephen King's original muscial, "Ghost Brothers of Darkling County", directed by Susan Booth at the Alliance Theatre. As a director, he received a Meritorious Achievement Award for his direction of Scapin, by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival in 2005. Scot has choreographed, performed and coached theatrical violence with such companies as The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Theatrical Outfit, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, and The North Carolina School of the Arts. He has also served as an instructor for the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat in London, and Stage Combat Deutschland in Freiberg, Germany. As an actor, Scot has appeared with the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, New American Theater, New American Shakespeare Theatre, Atlanta Opera, motion capture talent for digital media, and various voice-over recordings for radio, T.V. and the Internet. Scot appeared as a stunt-player and served as tactical choreographer and gun wrangler for the newly released movie, Eyeborgs, as well as on-set Swordmaster and stunt double for the “Bollywood” epic, Drona. Scot is an alumnus of the MFA/PAT program at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival and holds a BA in Communications and Theatre from Mercer University, where he currently serves as Director of Theatre.
Jake Guinn: Certified Teacher
Jake Guinn is a Director, Action Actor, Fight Choreographer, and Movement Artist. He is a founder of Atlanta's Havoc Movement Company which focuses on athletic fight and circus choreography. Jake has toured on Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes as the Green Goblin and also served as the Fire/Flow Captain. He has also been seen on TruTV’s Fake/Off with aerial team On the Fly Productions. Select work has been seen at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Florida Repertory Theatre, and the Woodruff Arts Center.
Jessica Bennett: EMT/ Stunts/ Safety Officer
Jessica Bennett is a stunt woman, filmmaker, and a Advanced Actor Combatant. You can see her most recent work stunt doubling in Making History & Family, as well as recent episodes of Chicago PD and The Walking Dead. Jessica recently stunt coordinated the Friday the 13th “Never Hike Alone,” and was the casting associate on “Corbin Nash” which will be a theatrical wife release in 2018. Between crossing blades and falling down, Jessica works for Atlanta 911 with Grady Hospital. She is proud to be a part of regional workshops and safer environments for everyon who comes to have fun and learn. For more, visit www.jessicaerinbennett.com
Katherine Coyl is a fight director and actress from Chicago. She is one of the three fight directors on season contract at Lyric Opera Chicago, the first woman hired to fight direct at Dallas Opera Company, and the first female fight director in AGMA (American Guide of Musical Artists). Her credits include "Hero's Wife" and "Beauty Shop" at Chicago Dramatists, "Turandot", "Idomeneo", and "La Boheme" at Lyric Opera, "Don Giovanni" at Dallas Opera, and "Nightrunner" at DePaul University. She is a proud associate member of SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers Union) and the ILFDC (International League of Fight Directors and Choreographers).
Helena Whittaker is a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida and an Advanced Actor Combatant. Since beginning training with her mentor David Reed in 2015, she has received recommended passes in all eight weapons. She has served as assistant choreographer and fight captain for various productions at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre including Man of La Mancha, Twelfth Night, and Shakespeare in Love. Recently, she has been assisting Fight Master Chuck Coyl in his SPT Classes in Chicago.
Montgomery Davis is excited to be joining the ranks of TA at this year's A-Town Throwdown. She is a local actress and combatant to Atlanta. Her latest endeavors are as follows: Susan Wilkes in Big River (Temple Theatre Company), Female Victim in the regional premiere of Dead Man Walking (The Atlanta Opera), Fight Choreographer for Heathers (NAHS) , Violence Choreographer for The Seagull (Serenbe Playhouse), Stunt and Safety Team for Titanic (Serenbe Playhouse) and many more. She is an Advance Actor Combatant with the SAFD and a recent Alum of the International Stunt School in Seattle. She is excited for the intern and TA positions she has held this year so far at regional workshops, and is excited to be working with and learning from such great teachers and students at this years A-Town! Let's sling some steel!
J. Tyler Jones is an Advanced Actor Combatant who has been a member of the SAFD since 2009. Tyler was indoctrinated into the world of stage combat while getting his BA in Theatre from Florida State University and has spent most of the last decade working as an actor, teacher, and fight choreographer on the west coast from San Diego, CA to Langley, WA. He currently lives in Los Angeles but will be relocating this fall to the campus of whichever MFA program sends him the nicest muffin basket. He cannot wait to meet and work with all of you!
Celina Lee Surniak is an actor and fighter based in Los Angeles. She has recently finished off very productive seasons at A Noise Within, the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, and Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum. She has recently been the Fight Director for productions of Romeo and Juliet, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar and several original productions. Celina was the Assistant Fight Director for THEBES at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Los Angeles. She is a stunt woman who loves violent story telling and beautiful sword work. Celina has been teaching and assistant teaching around the LA area and works as a fight director, whilst also beginning the journey into Intimacy Direction. She is a book addict and fantasy enthusiast and would really like a pet dragon.
Samantha Kaufman is a fight director, actor, and intimacy director. After being transplanted to Chicago to study circus arts with Actors Gymnasium; she now travels to perform in and fight direct productions across the nation. She has her BFA from the University of Wyoming and her MFA from Florida Atlantic University. She is also an advanced actor/ combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and an intermediate actor/combatant with Fight Directors Canada. She is a Babes With Babes Theatre Company ensemble member.
Michael (but you can call him Mikey) is filled with magical fire to be at his very first A-Town Throwdown! Michael is an advanced actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and has a BFA in Performance from Chicago’s UIC. Recent fight work includes: Non Player Character (Red Theatre) The Lyric Opera’s Elektra, Il Trovatore, and Siegfried, as well as Cuckoos Theatre Project She Kills Monsters (The Great Mage Steve), When not acting Michael spends his time as a teaching assistant for Fight Master Chuck Coyl at the Actors Gymnasium and just started doing motion capture performance for video games.
Sara Hodges: Head Intern
Sara Hodges is a Virginia-based fight choreographer, pole dance instructor, performer, Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, and jack-of-many-trades. Have sword, will travel.
Sara's work has been seen in projects up and down the East Coast, including theatrical productions of Jekyll and Hyde, Metamorphoses, and The Rover, as well as the exciting webseries The Broken Continent and Cavegirl Productions' Extraction. Sara's movement background also includes dance training, yoga and martial arts. She holds a black belt in Japanese Goju-Ryu, and has studied Shito-Ryu, Goshindo and Jiujitsu. Sara is a veteran of combat workshops from Chicago to Virginia Beach to New York City; she is the assistant coordinator for Carnage in the Corn in Iowa, and she has four national workshops under her belt, as well. This will be her fourth A-Town, and she is thrilled to be back in action in Atlanta.
Cat Cone is an Advanced Actor Combatant based in Kenosha, WI. After acquiring some basic skills in high school, Cat decided to pursue her interest in theatrical violence with courses at her local college. Flash forward six years. Cat is now certified with five different organizations across three continents. When she is not swashing and buckling, she can be found working as a Behavioral Therapist for children with Autism and adults with special needs. Cat is thrilled to join this years A-Town Intern Team. Her favorite animals are sloths and she strongly dislikes green olives.
Isaac Callahan is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD based in Athens, GA. He has choreographed fights and physical comedy for many community and high school theatres in the greater Athens area. Isaac is currently a board member of the Town & Gown Players and the Technical Director for Rose of Athens Theatre.
Claire Allegra Taylor:
Claire Allegra Taylor (she/her) is an actor, educator, and photographer currently residing in Chicago. She holds a BFA in Acting and a BA in Relational Communication from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She is an Advanced Actor Combatant in the SAFD and has previously been an Intern twice for Winter Wonderland Workshop. She is a certified teacher of the Meisner Technique and she teaches at Green Shirt Studio. She has appeared onstage with Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, The Wyoming Theatre Festival, and a year-long national tour as a company member of the National Players, among others. She authored Gravedressing or The Ecstasy of Carmen Manning (NoMads Art Collective: The Forge), owns a photography business Allegra Imaging, and is an active Dressage horseback rider. www.claireallegrataylor.net
Kristin Storla is an Atlanta native actor combatant and movement artist. She holds a BFA from Columbus State and completed the Atlanta Shakespeare Company's apprenticeship prior to being loosed into the world. She continues work with the ASC as a fight instructor and actor. Kristin's SAFD training began in undergrad and still going! Currently she's expanding her skill set by practicing Jiu Jitsu, contact juggling, and aerial silks, to name a few. Her fight choreography has been seen on Atlanta stages such as The Fern Theatre, Elm Street Cultural Arts Center, The Seedling Project, and Out of Box. Favorite fight roles have been Joan la Pucelle, Henry VI Part 1, Agnes, She Kills Monsters, and Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet. For more of the action, check out www.KristinStorla.com #HydrateFeelGreat
Born and raised in Fairport NY, Justin is a freelance theatrical fight director/instructor, and stunt performer currently residing in Atlanta, GA. Justin is Advanced Actor Combatant with Society of American Fight Directors, an instructor with Dueling Arts International theatrical combat, an intermediate actor combatant with Fight Directors Canada, and . He is also a 1 year alum of Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, China, where he trained in martial arts 30+ hours a week. He is currently a passionate fitness instructor with a BFA in theatre performance from Niagara University.
Katherine Pepin is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD. She has worked on staff at several regional workshops and spent the summer as an intern at the National Stage Combat Workshop in 2017. Katherine received her BFA in Acting from the University of Houston in 2017, and moved to Atlanta shortly after. As an undergrad, she worked as a monster in She Kills Monsters, and was the fight captain for several shows. She has also dabbled in choreography, designing the fights for an adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at a local high school, and a production of Oklahoma! at a high school in Houston.
David Sterritt: Coordinator and Certified Teacher
David Sterritt is a Certified Teacher through the Society of American Fight Directors and founded the A-Town Throw Down in 2011. He is proud to be the Southeast Regional Representative for the SAFD.
David has an MFA in Acting from Wayne State University through the Hilberry Repertory Theatre. He also received his Advanced Theatre Training Certificate while training in Russia at the Moscow Art Theatre and received his BFA in performing arts from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Selected fight credits: Cardboard Piano, Serial Black Face, Slasher, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Appropriate (Actor's Express), Hand to God, Edward Foote (Alliance), Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged and Two Noble Kinsmen (Shakespeare Tavern), As You Like It (Georgia Shakespeare), Between Riverside and Crazy, King Hedley II (True Colors), Beauty and the Beast (Lyric), and Dracula (GTA).
Selected Acting Atlanta credits include, Hamlet the Musical, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Richard III, Henry VI Parts I-III at the Shakespeare Tavern. Slasher at Actor’s Express, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Fabrefaction Theatre Company, and Barefoot in the Park at Gypsy Theatre Co. He was also in the Michigan premier of Detroit by Lisa D’Amour.
IKelly Mann: Assistant Coordinator
Kelly is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) as well as a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG. She works primarily as a freelance actor and stunt person/fight choreographer, as well as a dance choreographer. Regional Theatre credits include The Alliance Theatre, The Horizon Theatre, New Stage Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre, Southern Arena Theatre, The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Georgia Shakespeare Festival. She is also a member of the North Carolina Stuntmen’s Association, and was a part of the stunt team for the feature film “Eyeborgs” starring Adrian Paul and Danny Trejo. Recently, she served as Fight Director for the world premier of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp.
Lito Tamez: Assistant Coordinator
Lito Tamez is an Advanced Actor Combatant in the SAFD. Currently, he lives in the Atlanta area where we works as a fight director and technician. He was worked at the Fabrefaction Theatre Conservatory fight directing and constructing their productions of West Side Story and Peter Pan. Lito holds an MA in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University.
Jon Nooner: On-Site Liaison and Location Coordinator
Jon is thrilled to be working with A-Town Throwdown. Has his MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Southern Mississippi as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish and in Theatre from Southern Arkansas University. He is currently teaching Technical Theatre at Oglethorpe University. Prior to teaching, Jon served as the Production Manager and Technical Director for Actor’s Express Theatre in Atlanta and currently does freelance design for many of the theatres in the metro Atlanta area.