Winter Wonderland Workshop 2018

Schedule and Location

January 4 - January 7, 2018

Crowne Plaza Chicago Ohare Hotel & Conference Center
5440 N River Rd, Rosemont, Illinois 60018


MACE uses the ACTIVE registration system. When you click to register, you will be redirected to that site.

The Winter Wonderland Workshop is the largest regional stage combat workshop in the United States. Sanctioned by the Society of American Fight Directors and the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, the Winter Wonderland Workshop brings students from all over the world to learn from some of the best in the business.

An announcement will be made on our Facebook page once student registration is open. Visit our facebook page to stay up to date on the latest details!

Why does the workshop cost so much?

Actually, this workshop is quite a bargain. Think of it this way, if you pay full price, the cost is $475, right? So, divide that by 11 classes, and you pay a little over $43.19 per 90 minute class. Considering we are bringing instructors from across the country and some from outside the United States, you are getting an amazing deal!!! Now, most people will get a discount of some kind; that means you are paying less than $50 per class!

Do you accept Credit Cards?

Yes, use the online registration form and you can choose to pay with a credit card. Please note: There is a processing fee.

Can I pay by Certified Check, Personal Check, or Money Order?

Yes. However, in order to receive the early registration discount, your payment must be received by November 1st. If the full payment for early registration is not received by that date, you will be charged the full amount and will not be able to sign up for classes until the balance has been paid in full. The Winter Wonderland Workshop is not responsible for how fast or slow the U.S. Postal Service delivers your payment and will not take that into account if your payment is not received on time, so factor in delivery time when making payments by mail.

Can I pay in installments?

Yes. A $50 non-refundable deposit is necessary in order to reserve your slot. The balance is due in full before you will be able to sign up for classes. In order to receive the early registration discount, full payment must be received by November 1st. If the full payment for early registration is not received by that date, you will be charged the full amount and will not be able to sign up for classes until the balance has been paid in full.

Is my tuition refundable if I cannot attend?

  • Before November 1st, tuition is fully refundable.
  • Nov 2 – Nov 15 – 75% of full tuition
  • Nov 16 – Nov 30 – 50% of full tuition
  • Dec 1 – Dec 15 – 25% of full tuition
  • Dec 16 – No refunds will be allowed under any circumstances.

What classes are being taught this year?

A list of proposed classes will be listed on the website once the instructors have been chosen. Final class selections will be available between one and two weeks before students are able to choose classes. We do this because we look at the registrant's skill levels and use that as a basis for determining which classes to offer.

How do I know my level?

PLEASE NOTE: It is important to understand your skill level. If the instructor feels that you are not able to keep up with the work taking place in the classroom, the instructor has the right to ask the unqualified student to sit down. We do this so the students who are qualified can continue to move at the pace set by the instructor and the class level. Also, if you have experience in one weapon, that does not mean you are experienced in all weapons. Each weapon poses its own challenges, so choose your level in each weapon accordingly.

Beginning students are ones who have limited or no stage combat experience.

Intermediate students are ones who have studied consistently for at least two years and have passed the SAFD skills proficiency test in three or more weapons (or equivalent); this would mean you are Intermediate in said weapons.

Advanced students are ones who have studied consistently for at least four years and have passed the SAFD skills proficiency test in five or more weapons (or equivalent); this would mean you are Advanced in said weapons.

Can I choose my classes before I arrive?

Yes, we will be providing class signup prior to your arrival via the website. Keep checking your email for the class signup announcement.

How many people are in each class?

Class size will vary depending on room size. Classes will be limited to no more than 20 students.

I've never done stage combat; will there be something for me?

Absolutely! There are plenty of classes for all levels of training.

Will I get personal attention?

Yes. Our small student-to-teacher ratio allows instructors to spend time with every student.

I'm 15, can I still come to workshop?

Yes. Students as young as 15 can attend the workshop, but students under the age of 18 require parental permission.

Can I get "certified" this weekend?

The Policies & Procedures of the SAFD state that an individual must have a minimum of thirty hours of training in order to test in a particular weapon discipline. There is just not enough time during the workshop to accomplish this task. However, a common misconception with the SAFD is that we "certify" students. There is no certification when it comes to testing in weapon styles. If a student tests and passes a Skills Proficiency Test, said student would be recognized as having "proficiency" in that particular weapon style. Please refer to for more information on testing.

Is lodging included?

No, lodging is not included. There is a discounted rate from Crowne Plaza Hotel. The room rate is $86.00 per night plus 14% tax. The total amount for room and tax for one night comes to $98.04. A discount link can be found in your confirmation email once you have registered.

Where can I stay?

We recommend staying at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Ohare Hotel & Conference Center 5440 N River Rd, Rosemont, Illinois 60018. Complimentary parking is available at the hotel. A parking pass can be acquired form the front desk at check in.

What food will be available during the workshop?

At this time, food will not be offered. There are numerous locations, both on-site and off, in which you can purchase food. There will be information in your packet that shows you where food can be purchased. If desired, you can upgrade your hotel room to one with a refrigerator and microwave. That would allow you to go to one of the local grocery stores and purchase food you can make. Water fountains are located throughout the resort, so you can fill water bottles.

What do I need to bring?

We suggest bringing athletic gloves for weapon work, knee and/or elbow pads, water bottles, and anything you feel will make your experience a better one.

Do I need to provide weapons?

All weapons are provided by the workshop.

What will the workshop focus on as far as weapon styles?

The workshop classes focus on combat training for stage, film and television. At every skill level, you can choose a variety of class options to fit your needs.

What if I get hurt?

The workshop is not liable for injuries that a student may acquire during the workshop. There is a mandatory waiver that each student must sign to that effect in order to attend the workshop. However, there will be someone on staff who can handle minor injuries (bumps, bruises, scrapes, etc.) if the situation arises. Several people on staff at the workshop are certified in First Aid and CPR.

Can I bring my own weapons?

Personal weapons must be approved by the workshop coordinator prior to admission to the workshop. Whether or not the weapon is appropriate for a particular class is up to the instructor at the time of the class.

Will renewals be available? How much do they cost?

Check our Facebook page for what renewals will be offered this year.

What time does on-site registration start?

8:00 am on the first day of the workshop. Those who register to attend on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will need to report to our Main Office on their first morning of attendance in order to pick up their welcome packet.

What time do we finish everyday?

Classes finish around 5:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the workshop ends around 4:00 pm. There will be evening activities offered throughout the workshop.

Opening night will feature a Mass Battle in the Salons.

Saturday night is Weapons/Merchandise Night, where vendors from around the country will be selling items like stage combat weapons, clothing, etc. Previews of some of our vendors are available on our Facebook page.

Sunday night will feature a Closing Night Party and raffle drawing.

Which is better, O'Hare or Midway?

O'Hare International Airport!

Where can I leave my personal stuff so it doesn't get stolen?

Since the hotel rooms and classrooms are located in the same area, personal items can be kept with you at all times or left in your hotel room. The Winter Wonderland Workshop is not responsible for lost or stolen items.


John Tovar and Catie Early

MACE Operations Manager

Cody Westgaard

MACE Social Media and Marketing

Rachel Stubbs

WWW Assistant Coordinator in Charge of Students

Neil Massey

WWW Assistant Coordinator in Charge of TA/AI Program

DC Wright


  • Michael Chin
  • Chuck Coyl
  • Richard Raether
  • David Woolley


  • Leraldo Anzaldua
  • Casey Kaleba
  • Michelle Ladd
  • John McFarland
  • John Tovar
  • Christina Traister


  • Danette Baker
  • Patrick Kelly
  • Alicia Rodis
  • DC Wright


  • Master Teacher John McFarland
  • Certified Teacher Rosa Nicolas


  • Siobhan Richardson


  • Matthias Fittkau

Associate Instructors

  • Mary Carr
  • Emily Carvey
  • Sean Michael Chin
  • Kyle Encinas
  • Dan Klarer
  • Casey Matteson
  • Anna Newbury
  • Deanna Roseen

Teaching Assistants

  • Jessica Cashion
  • Katherine Coyl
  • Nicky Jasper
  • Eliza Palumbo
  • Tom Ringberg
  • Chris Smith
  • Steve Wisegarver
  • Maureen Yasko


  • David Schneider – Head Intern
  • Claire Allegra Taylor
  • Colby Baker
  • Alexander Bodine
  • Paul Chakrin
  • Trey Clark
  • Tristin Hall
  • Matt Herndon
  • Samantha Kaufman
  • Kate Lass
  • Almanya Narula
  • Joesph Meyers
  • Michael Saubert