Meet the Staff

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Mike Lubke

Director, Lead Instructor

Mike Lubke is a stage combat choreographer, instructor, and performer based in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.  He is the founder of Art In Arms, LLC which privately produces SPT courses and independent workshops.  Mike is a founding member, resident fight director, and artistic associate of Six Elements Theatre, whose programming focuses on stories that showcase the extremes of the human experience.  Through Six Elements he serves as the co-coordinator for the Brawl of America regional stage combat workshop every May.  He is also the Creator and World Fight Director for Combat Chess United, a sports-theatre company that produces human combat chess matches presented as an unscripted modern sporting event.  Selected Stage Credits: the world premiere of The Good Fight (Theatre Unbound), the award-winning production of The Beaux’ Stratagem (Theatre in the Round Players), The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Superspy (Six Elements) as well as over 70 productions for regional theatres including Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Hamline University, and Wise Fools Shakespeare.  Mike is a Certified Teacher and recognized Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors, wherein is the current Fight Director Representative on the governing body.


Don Preston


Donald J. Preston has been working with and teaching for the Society of American Fight Directors for the last 26 years. Starting off as a “festy” in Minnesota and a student of Michael Anderson he has taught all over the world. Some of his favorite places have been the “boot camp” at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Exeter University in the UK and Immersion days at Park Square Theater in St. Paul.  Prior to his tenure as a stage combat professional, he was a lead knife drill instructor for the United States Marine Corps.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, he returned home to Minnesota after a stint in Chicago teaching SPT and SPR classes for MACE (and frankly anyone who wants a class.) Also had a great time choreographing local high school productions. She Kills Monsters is very popular right now. 


Tom Ringberg

Associate Instructor

Tom Ringberg is a local Fight/ Stunt Coordinator and Choreographer, and Stunt performer in the Twin Cities area. Tom has been training in the art of Stage Combat and Stunt work for the last 10 years and has a background in Martial Art primarily in Tae kwon Do were he earned his 3rd degree black belt. Tom graduated from Augsburg University with a degree in Theatre with focuses in performance, directing, and Stage Combat. Tom has been a stunt performer for several film productions such as Memorial Day, Over There, and Harbinger to name a few. Tom has also worked with the Minnesota Opera as a Fight Choreographer for their productions of Rigoletto and The Fix. He has also been hired by Minnesota Opera to be the Fight Captain and Fight Performer for several productions such as Tosca, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, and Silent Night. Tom also works as a Weapons Technician and Armorer for several films and TV shows in Minnesota. Tom's newest adventure is joining Intimacy Directors International and being accepted into their apprenticeship of becoming certified Intimacy Choreographer.


Mason Tyer

Associate Instructor, School Coordinator

Mason Tyer, after completing his B.A. in Performing Arts from Iowa State University, moved to the Twin Cities and began to study stage combat through to becoming an Advanced Actor-Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. Mason is a founding member of Red Dice Collective and a member of Six Elements Theatre, producing theatre founded on exemplary stage combat.


Mason has directed for Arts Nest, Maranatha Christian Academy, 2140 Productions, and Red Dice Collective. He has also performed onstage with Classical Actors Ensemble, Minnesota Opera, Theatre Latte Da, and in the Minnesota Fringe Festival; as well as for local filmwork Over There, Kit's Revenge, and music videos.


Mason has fight directed and taught for the Guthrie, Lyric Arts, Maranatha Christian Academy, Saint Mark's Drama Ministry, Woodbury Community Theatre, and Merrill Community Arts. In addition to being an associate instructor and administrator for Art in Arms, he is currently the stage combat instructor at North Hennepin Community College.

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Eleanor Temple Sampson

Teaching Assistant

Eleanor “Death Nell” Sampson is a veteran of numerous stage combat workshops from Minnesota to Florida and New York to Louisiana, she has been training and performing stage combat for over 6 years. Locally, Nell is a regular fixture performer for both Human Combat Chess and the MN Renaissance Festival. In addition to stage combat, she has more than a decade’s experience in folk dance instruction and performance. By day, Nell is a massage therapist with emphasis in athletic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative massage and stretching. She has a special interest in kinesiology, particularly in those who move their bodies in unorthodox ways. By night, she is mostly stuck in rehearsals for something or another. “Death Nell” is a recognized Advanced Actor/Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors.