It seems like we talk a lot about falling on this blog; but now that I've seen a short news bit on Noises Off at the DCPA, and am also typing on a big wrist bruise, I realize that what Jas always said in martial arts and stage combat classes is true--learning to fall and/or roll properly is the most important aspect of the movement arts you can learn. I believe Tanemura sensei (of the Genbukan) said something similar--I'll research the actual quote and get back to you.
Noises Off has many many pratfalls, and those of you who've had me for class will know and love these well. But one of the pivotal falls in the play is a fall down a flight of stairs. Now this is getting into the fence between stunt and stage combat, in that there's really no way you can do this without getting hurt a little. I was discussing this with the MSCD Club yesterday: the difference between stage combat and a stunt is: usually in stage combat you can do techniques and be relatively safe; at least, you can do things and not get hurt. When doing a stunt, you will get hurt. If you do it well, you won't be crippled or dead afterwards. Falling down a flight of stairs is just going to hurt you, no way around it. Actually, Jas and I were discussing how one could do a fall down the stairs every night for a long theatrical run, and we had some ways to make it safe-er, but not completely safe.
Very recently before this conversation, I actually fell down the Bonzuko home stairs. Yes, the club members did ask me how a ninja could possibly fall down the stairs by accident, ha ha thank you very much. The point is, I fell down a flight of stairs, actually very well--I'm a good faller and roller, so I didn't break or even bash any bones (remember I always say "put your meat down, not your bones" when falling). However, I have a big scrape and bruise on my forearm and a bruised behind. This is from doing it well. How would I do it on wooden stage stairs (mine are carpeted) more than once, say, once every night but Mondays for a couple months? Well...I'd have a lot of bruises, no matter how well I'd do it.
Another post about falling--learn how to do it, learn how to do it well. It's everywhere in theatre, martial arts practice, even in life.
Picture is of Kim practicing a throw, and me falling blurrily. BQC 2008.