Friends like you, too, sitcom taped at Asbury University

Story written by Joey Nunez, a senior from Harrisonburg, Va.

A scene from Friends Like you, Too.
A scene from Friends Like you, Too.

WILMORE, KY—Asbury University’s School of Communications Arts presented "Friends Like You, Too," a sitcom taped before two live-studio audiences in the Doddridge-Holland Theater on March 30 and 31, 2010. Before taping began, cast members shared their excitement to participate in the production.

Starring in her first production at Asbury, Cameron Hassler ’13, a freshman from Evansville, Ind., has followed in her older brother's footsteps. Clay Hassler ’08 starred in the sitcom Post-Grade, among other productions during his Asbury years. "My parents and I never missed a beat and always attended each of one of his performances," Cameron said. "I witnessed how much fun he had with the theatre department and I knew I wanted to get involved and experience the same excitement he did."

Hassler also mentioned that the nature of the sitcom was the most appealing aspect of this production. "It is something completely new to me, which makes me very excited," she said. "In the past, I have performed in front of an audience in real time. Whereas in the sitcom, I'll be acting in front of cameras and an audience, starting and stopping whenever needed."

Other cast members include Brianne Beck ’11, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., who expressed her excitement for working with the rest of the cast and being part of the experience. Beck was previously in "Exit The Body," "Twisters" and "You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown." She said,  "A sitcom is such a fascinating medium, because it's a combination of a film and a stage show. Being entertaining for a camera and an audience is going to be tricky because the camera can pick up details, but an audience member in the back row can’t see unless the actor makes everything big."

A scene from Friends Like You, Too.
A scene from Friends Like You, Too.

Joining both Hassler and Beck on cast, Olivia Wardwell ’11, a junior from Fillmore, N.Y., wanted to be a part of this year’s sitcom since last year’s sitcom, "Friends Like You." "It's an incredibly unique opportunity for a student performer, for any performer, to have. So I auditioned," Wardwell said.

Landing a role in the eight-member cast, Wardwell looked forward to the entire experience. “There’s an audience, yet I’m performing for the camera as well. No other production comes close."

Wardwell also enjoyed the opportunity to work with Doug Smart, television and film director-in-residence, and the production’s director and writer. “I've had a few classes with Professor Smart and love learning from him, so I thought it would be great to learn from him in a more interactive capacity," she said.

The 30-minute sitcom will be edited from the two nights of performances. Using segments from both evenings, the sitcom will then be formatted for release with Smart's discretion and assent.

For more information visit Asbury University’s School of Communication Arts.

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