Viking meets Briton on the stage this weekend with the opening of‭ ‬Danelaw‭


Elyse Fisher and Eileen Campbell fight during the Danelaw dress rehearsal in the Theatre Building on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Danelaw will premiere at the Theatre Building on Feb 18-21. (The Daily Iowan/Courtney Hawkins)

Gracey Murphy, [email protected]

Three acts, three fights, three women victors.

Danelaw, playing this weekend in the Theater Building’s Theater B, is about a Viking woman who must come to terms with a change in lifestyle after being betrothed to a Briton. Will marriage corrupt her many years of warrior training?

The fairly short play takes place over three acts, with the climax in each act being a sword fight. G. Flores, the playwright, created the work to incorporate violence with women characters. Instead of being on the receiving end of pain, the women inflict it.

“There are recent developments in our own culture that kind of make this surprisingly relevant,” Flores said. “I think the popularity of the UFC fighter Rhonda Rousey is a great example of that.

“Women can be considered beautiful, definitely feminine, and yet still be a potent and powerful physical fight.”

Director Lukas Brasherfons has been a fight director and dramaturge before, but will make his directing debut with this show. He had originally signed on as the fight director, but after not being able to find a director with matching schedules, Brasherfons started to dislike the idea of anyone directing it other than himself. So, he took on both directing and choreographing all three fight scenes.

“Violence opportunities for women in theater are often pretty limited,” Brasherfons said. “You get slapped or pushed around usually, but there are very few opportunities to fight with a sword in the dramatic cannon for female characters.”

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Elyse Fisher (Solveig) anticipates high energy in the theater on opening night. Solveig is one tough broad; Fisher and her character are both strong-willed and fiery, she said. Despite a lack of stage combat background, Fisher loves those scenes the most. The choreography is fun and intense, and she hopes the audience enjoys watching.

“[Brasherfons] is an incredible and very patient fight choreographer,” Fisher said. “[The fight scenes] have been my favorite part of working on this play, hands down.”

This show will also include haze effects to add to the mood of the show. The lights shine through these effects, which will make the theater appear to have to dust in the air. It will create a sort of foggy haze on stage.

Danelaw, though it has plenty of action, will unravel the course of this Viking woman’s life in one hour. It’s a brief family drama, but is entertaining and beautifully written, Fisher said.

“[The audience members] need something to tide them over until ‘Game of Thrones’ returns in April,” Brasherfons said. “It’s a fun popcorn-like piece of entertainment.”
When: 8 p.m. Today-Saturday, 2 p.m. Feb. 21
Where: Theater Building Theater B

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