Artist Profile - Johanna Gorman Baer

Human Combat Chess 2015 opens on June 12th.  In the run up to opening our new show in a new venue, we here at Six Elements thought we'd take minute to tell you more about the talented folks that make this show happen.

Johanna Gorman-Baer

Artistic Director

What is your favorite weapon? Why?

Favorite Weapon call: Rapier and Offhand. It allows for plenty of options, interesting combinations, you get to see bucklers, cloaks, daggers, plus- swords. 

Rapier and Dagger, though, is fascinating- and my personal favorite.  Gets to be deadly AND showy. And strangely intuitive. 

If you could have a fight with anyone living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be against, and with what weapon? Why?

Definitely someone dead. Safer for me that way. 

What has chess taught you? What has Human Combat Chess taught you?

Chess taught me how to lose gracefuIly. Human Combat Chess taught me how complex strategies can be. 

But really, HCC taught me how an entire community of theater people and stage combat folks can work together to make this 40-person show actually happen year after year. And how amazingly supportive a community like this can be, not just during the show, but year-round. 

And how much a performance structure like this can grow and improve when we do have years of experience to build on. 

Introduce us to your character:

First of all, I've been involved in Chess since it first started, as an independant student project and then as a Six Elements production. I'm one of two people who haven't taken a year off yet, the other being Mike Lubke. 

As a performer in HCC, my character went from imposing and threatening, to bloodthirsty and brutal, to fast, strategic, disciplined.... it only makes sense that as my character learned more and more about the game, the sport, and got more and more experienced.... it took me off the board and into the role of director? 

Any parting words of wisdom?

Buy tickets online, and show up early to get a snack and a good seat!