Meet the Staff
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.
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 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.
Instructor, School Coordinator
"Mason Tyer is a director, violence director, intimacy director, teacher, and theatre producer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mason is a Certified Teacher, Theatrical Firearms Safety Instructor, and has most recently been elected Secretary for the Society of American Fight Directors. He has taught stage combat for The Guthrie, Children's Theatre Company, North Hennepin Community College, Art in Arms, and Open Gate Movement Arts. As a violence and intimacy director, he has worked with Journey North Opera Company, Fake Fighting Company, Combat Chess United, Ashland Productions, Expressions Community Theatre, Merrill Community Arts, and numerous high schools and community groups. Mason is also a stunt performer and coordinator for music videos and short films in Minnesota. As a director and producer, he works with Six Elements Theatre, dedicated to creating action-oriented theatre that is both exciting and responsible. He is also a producer and director for Red Dice Collective, producing work that illuminates the intimate and social roles humans play within physically and mentally evocative staging."
Eleanor Temple Sampson
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.
An alum of Indiana University, Kate moved to the Twin Cities about four years ago and jumped right into the local stage combat community. Kate enjoys assisting with long form classes at Art in Arms, performing in fight-based shows such as Human Combat Chess and The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, and has served as fight director for several shows at Lakeshore Players Theatre. When not wielding weapons, Kate can be found stage managing, playing TTRPGs, and chilling with her two fluffy cats.
Lance Krohn is an actor/ stunt performer who graduated from Hamline University with a BA in theatre and is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD. After getting his first experience with stage combat studying at the National Theatre Institute, he has been training with Art in Arms since 2018 and has moved onto being a staff member. Lance has been in productions like The Continuing Adventures of John Blade Super Spy, Hamlet, Human Combat Chess, and Romeo and Juliet.
He has assisted in choreography for shows like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, She Kills Monsters and One Man, Two Guvnors. Recently, he has moved into film work and stunt coordination. As a stunt performer ranging from music videos to promotional work for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As well as being an assistant stunt coordinator from projects ranging from Sci Fi stories to World War I short films.
Amber Richards is a local advanced actor combatant within The Society of American Fight Directors. She started her stage combat journey back in 2017 with Art in Arms and hasn’t looked back since. Her training has allowed her to participate in shows such as Combat Chess United and The Continuing Adventures of John Blade Super Spy. She continues her learning through attending workshops and interning with Art in Arms to bring excitement to the next generation of combatants. Outside of stage combat, Amber has a background in opera, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and firearms. She hopes to use her various skills to provide new and interesting stories to tell on stage.