About Us

Argent Combat is a Philadelphia-based organization of students, performers, choreographers, and instructors of Theatrical Violence and Stage Combat. We are dedicated to promoting safety and fostering the excellence and proficiency of action-oriented entertainment.

Mission Statement
Our objectives are
1.) to uphold these values,
2.) to encourage safe techniques for performers and enthusiasts,
3.) to adapt styles of historical and modern forms of combat to dynamic theatrical performances,
4.) to provide artists with the tools they need to develop confidence in their autonomy,
and 5.) to expand Theatre’s influence by engendering new students and audiences who enjoy the expression of stories and emotions through theatrical violence.

In furtherance of these goals, Argent Combat routinely offers workshops and ongoing classes in a variety of disciplines all over Philadelphia, and members can be found attending Regional and National Workshops all over North America.

Argent Combat is committed to the policy that all students shall have equal access to programs without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation, except in those cases where specific physical limitations prohibit participation in performing the required skills in a manner safe to themselves or to their participants.

Our official statement affirming our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement can be found here.

For additional information, please review our Decorum & Conduct Policies.


Brittany Holdahl
Executive Director |  Co-Founder

[she/her and they/them : What's with the pronouns?

Brittany has been an active member of the Philadelphia arts community since 2008.  As a performer, Mx. Holdahl has collaborated with Irish Heritage Theatre, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Hedgerow Theatre, Luna Theatre Co., GDP Productions, Represented Theatre Co., Automatic Arts, Save the Day! Productions, otherWORDS Theatre Co., and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center. Brittany had studied stage combat under FDC/SAFD Fight Master Ian Rose and has since been an advocate for making stage combat accessible to artists and enthusiasts.
In addition to performing, Brittany has lent their administrative talents to several different non-profit and arts organizations over the years, including Historic Philadelphia, Inc., Macy's Entertainment Philadelphia, and St. Mary's Hamilton Village, the Episcopal Chaplaincy at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania.
If you would like to enroll for a class or workshop, are making a press inquiry, or are interested in internship and work-study opportunities, please contact:


J. Oliver Donahue
Instructor  |  Co-Founder

[he/ him]

Oliver has been studying and performing theatrical violence for more than a decade. A Certified Instructor with both Fight Directors Canada and the Society of American Fight Directors, his work has been seen from one side of North America to the other. Recent credits include Lay Me Down Softly with Irish Heritage Theatre, Les Liaisons Dangereuses at The Booth Theatre, I Hate Hamlet at Allens Lane Theatre, The Rover for Jackpine Productions, The Tale of the Phantom Ship for Temple Theatre’s Sidestage, Seventeen Missing Years, Ubu Roi, and After the End, all for GDP Productions.
For any questions regarding course content and certification, or if you'd like to consult Oliver for theatrical violence for your project, please email him: 


Steve Wei
Demo Assistant


Steve is an Advanced Actor Combatant with Fight Directors Canada with equivalent experience in the Society of American Fight Directors, and commendations from both. His work in the performing arts in Philly spans nearly a decade at venues like the Walnut Street Theater, Opera Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.
He is pursuing his teaching certifications from his parent societies, and is especially interested in developing stage combat as a cross-media story-telling art form.

Millie Omps

Demo Assistant

Millie Omps is a proud Actor Combatant and Fight Choreographer from West Virginia. Since moving to the area she has become a frequent cast member at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire, an actor combatant with Swords and Stories, and a member of the armoured combat team The Knights of Crossford.

Her choreography has been toured across West Virignia with the Shakespearean troupe The Rustic Mechanicals and most recently their production of Julius Ceasar touring Fall 2019.

To enroll in classes and workshops, please visit our Eventbrite page.

To view our Safe Reopening Plan and to receive additional info on ours and other local organizations' offerings, please subscribe to our weekly Student Newsletter.
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Quarterstaff stage combat certification course for Philly artists and enthusiasts!
Thursdays, 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM

July 8th to October 14th



All experience levels welcome!

Open to artists, students, and enthusiasts.

Ages 18+ | (16+ with signed parental consent)


Stage combat refers to all acts of conflict, danger, and violence performed for entertainment. A slap to the face, a fall down some stairs, an epic fifteen-person battle with swords and axes - all of these are stage combat. More than just set moves, true stage combat uses violence to tell a story, just as dance choreography, set design, or costuming can.


All of Argent Combat’s Stage Combat classes place emphasis on a nonviolent approach to stage violence as well as the actor’s rights and responsibilities when required to perform fight scenes.


Each class in this course will begin with a physical warm-up and an evening class focusing on the quarterstaff discipline.

After fulfilling a minimum of 30 hours of class time, students will have the opportunity to take the Society of American Fight Directors' Skills Proficiency Test to potentially become certified in this discipline.

*The deadline to enroll is Thursday, July 29th*

All students must be vaccinated upon enrollment. All classes will be outdoors; face masks required. Quarterstaff is a discipline which supports social-distancing. In the event of inclement weather, students will be notified 48 hours in advance and the class will be streamed.

Returning students and college-enrolled students, please contact Brittany for a discount code! brittany@argentcombat.com