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Meet the Pirate Crew of Counterfeit Combat!

Counterfeit Combat wants to get you excited about stage combat and pirates in their “And They Were Shipmates, A Queer Pirate Romance Adventure” for the festival.

For their Queer Pirate Romance Adventure, Counterfeit Combat is imagining a “sexy, meet cute” between (in)famous pirates Anne Bonny, Mary Read, who all served together on Calico Jack’s ship. Chloe Streif, one of the co-founders, explained how both women were interested in each other before and after they knew the other person was a woman. Add in Calico Jack to the mix who had relationships with both of them. The show will be “fun and queer,” Streif said.

They’ll also bring in the history of other “really amazing, badass, queer, feminine pirates” and pop culture references, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Our Flag Means Death. Streift said that people should expect to see, “sword fighting of course, as well as some fights with mops, a few punches, and some dancing!” (For those unfamiliar with the art of stage combat, it is the art of fight choreography for productions - think swordfighting in plays and movies).

Founded by Streif and Angela Rak in 2021, Counterfeit Combat is “trying to bring stage combat to people of every skill level,” Streif explained. They teach classes, choreograph for shows, and have free events to give people a sense of the wonderful world of stage combat. They offer their Star Wars lightsaber themed free class “Not so Sober Saber Sunday” at the Raven Room at RedlineVR.

“I think the reason [stage combat is] intriguing and fun for a lot of people is because it’s like performing a magic trick. You are using sleight of hand to mask an attack and make it look real, and it feels exhilarating when the attack lands,” Streif said about the appeal of stage combat.

When asked what they hope to get out of the festival, Streif explained, stage combat “shouldn't be intimidating; [people should have fun and try something new.” They hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with other artists and groups.

Join Streif as Mary Read, Rak as Anne Bonny, Carly Belle Cason as Calico Jack and Kate Fauss on musical accompaniment for A Queer Pirate Romance Adventure on March 11. They’ll be part of a Queer Double Feature with Gender Fucked Productions and their Queer Dance Freakout.

Streif sums it up best, “I just want to exude like a warm, comforting, open arms embrace for everybody who wants to come learn how to kill each other.”

Tickets are available now at Den Theatre. Go have some great queer pirate fun!

-Written by Elisa Schoenberger


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