The International Order of the Sword and the Pen fosters an international community which shares openly with our fellows in a diverse exploration and exchange of the following: techniques, processes, theories and practices as applied to combat for stage, screen, and the martial arts, both contemporary and historical with open-mindedness, magnanimity and curiosity.
The Paddy Crean is the flagship workshop held biannually by the IOSP bringing together enthusiast of all levels for a weeks worth of sharing and learning in the mountains of Banff over New Year. The Paddy offers everything from historical fencing, stunt work, modern martial arts, fight direction, stage combat and a wide variety of movement systems; artists and participants are drawn from all over the globe to join The Paddy, a truly unique, life changing experience.
What's new at the IOSP?
Hear from our new Artistic Director, EmmaClaire Brightlyn!
To the Excellent Humans of the International Order of the Sword and Pen,
The Paddy Crean Workshop has shaped my life in so many ways. Not only has it led to much of the profession I now work in, but it has brought me mentors of great wisdom, humour and strength, as well as incredible friends. I have been guided as well as dropped into situations I could never imagine, challenged to the depths of my abilities, and learned so much about myself. My largest achievements have all come from opportunities that scared me just a little bit, and each time I have had a remarkable collection of Paddy People in my corner. For most of the last decade, Scottie Witt has been a voice of encouragement and support, celebrating successes as well as offering a hand from across the world when I needed helped up.
With immense honour I address you now as the incoming Artistic Director of the IOSP, and pick up the very special baton held by Scottie Witt for the past 12 years. I receive this with heaps of respect and excitement and just the right amount of fear.
I love what this organization represents. I love the nerdy, passionate, focused people who are involved; the academic nature of the insatiable pursuit of feeding curiosity; the heart of collaboration and the ideal for sharing at any and every level, with the welcome understanding that anyone can learn from anyone; the generating of good conversation and good play and good art. I love all of this and am so grateful that I have had a place in it. In my now more than ten years of involvement with the IOSP, via participating, interning and working as staff at the Paddy Crean Workshop, I have seen a necessary evolution: Leaders recognizing when they need to grow or adapt with the change of times, as well as mentors making space for new ideas and voices to come through.
It is my immeasurable privilege to take up a place where I can endeavor to continue all of this; opening up opportunities for others, bringing interesting minds, skilled hands and passionate hearts together, and sharing in the deep joy that this craft brings.
With the support and guidance of the Board, I look to surround myself with people who know much more than I do. I seek to put the Values of Tolerance, Humility, Curiosity and Consideration that Scottie presented to this community at the forefront of my decision making. I want to foster a place for all of our voices to have a part in the stories we tell, and if there isn’t a place now – let’s build it together. With the foundation we have been given by the graft and ambition and risk of the artists and scholars who have come before us, let’s all challenge ourselves to grow in this craft and reach new shores.
Yours in honour and with deep joy,
We've completed another fantastic Paddy Crean workshop in beautiful Banff, Canada.
Check out the workshop site for more information!