Sitcom Premiere Among 2010 Homecoming Highlights

WILMORE, KY–Come one, come all to the greatest show on earth, the 2010 Asbury University Homecoming Celebration!

Ok, that phrase is already taken and it’s maybe just a bit over-dramatic, but Oct. 29-31 on the Asbury University campus will be full of activities and fun….no doubt about that. Those that don’t take time out to get involved will certainly be sorry.

From athletic events, concerts and art exhibits to picnics, an invasion of high schoolers and folks launching pumpkins through the air at the baseball field, the 2010 version of homecoming offers entertainment and wonderful opportunities for fellowship to students, alumni, families, faculty, friends and anybody else they can think to bring.

For a closer look at the weekend’s activities, read the story below…or for a quick-hit schedule of events, simple click here — http://www.asbury.edu/alumni/events-gatherings/homecoming

Sitcom Goes Live…Kind Of

Most dramatic premieres at Asbury University are live, onstage productions. The lights dim, the curtains rise and a hush falls over the audience as the actors begin the first performance of their new show. Flubbed lines or missed queues must be glossed over by the cast. Dropped props and fumbled footwork must be skillfully navigated so as not to disrupt the performance.

The premiere of the sitcom Friends Like You, Too will be an exception to that norm. Written and directed by Professor Doug Smart, the show has already been performed and taped twice before live audiences. What will premiere during Asbury’s Homecoming is the final cut of the screen version of the new show – with gaffes and missteps neatly edited away. The performance will be during the homecoming after-party at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, in the Morrison-Kenyon Student Center.

The sitcom follows Laurie (Brianne Beck ’10), a student journalist in a college newsroom. Laurie thinks she’s a shoo-in for the open news anchor position until her old high school rival Stephanie (Cameron Hassler ’13) shows up to vie for the same position.

Senior Olivia Wardwell, who plays Laurie’s best friend, Madeline, gives rave reviews to the show’s director. “He is a mastermind,” she says. “He is so skilled . . . .He’s super organized. He’s very efficient. His vision comes across very clearly and he’s also incredibly fun to work under.”

That’s probably because Smart, who joined the Asbury faculty four years ago, has had more than 22 years of industry experience. He’s directed for shows like Golden Girls and for networks such as ABC, CBS and NBC. Smart says those who attend the premiere can look forward to a show that is “certainly in the genre of a professional television sitcom as far as camera working and acting.”

“I tell my actors and crew that from a production standpoint, we’re not going to do a student version,” says Smart. “My entire approach is professional, and the types of shots I asked my students to get were exactly what I would ask my professional crew to get. I pushed them really hard.”

Though the students’ professionalism matched that of those in the industry, Smart says their enthusiasm exceeded that of many professionals.

“They were enthusiastic, doing it for the love of experience rather than for a paycheck,” says Smart. “The kids did a marvelous job.”

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 The premiere of Friends Like You, Too is only one of many events planned for alumni, friends and family who will return to campus to celebrate Asbury’s 120th anniversary with students and staff during homecoming weekend, Oct. 29-31.

Sibling Invasion, a visit weekend for high school-aged siblings of current students, will also begin Oct. 29. To register siblings for the invasion, contact the admissions office at admissions@asbury.edu, call 859-858-3511 (ext. 2374) or visit http://www.asbury.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit-campus/register.

The homecoming festivities will begin Friday, Oct. 29, with homecoming chapel at 10 a.m. in Hughes Auditorium. A parent and family reception will follow at 11 a.m. in the Morrison-Kenyon Student Center. An art alumni portfolio review and dinner will begin at 3 p.m. (For more information regarding the review and dinner, contact Faye Montgomery at fmontgomery@asbury.edu.) The men’s junior varsity soccer team will take on the alumni team at 5 p.m. on the soccer field.

That evening the music department will be conducting a homecoming concert at 7:30 p.m. in Hughes.

Activities on Saturday, Oct. 30, begin early with a parents’ advisory council meeting at 8 a.m. An alumni swimming and diving meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Luce and an ensemble concert at 11 a.m. in Akers Auditorium will precede the homecoming picnic at noon outside the Luce. The picnic will be free to students on the university’s meal plan.

Following Saturday’s picnic, the women’s soccer team will take on Campbellsville University at 12:30 p.m., and an alumni baseball game will take place at 2:30 p.m.

Evening activities on Saturday include a trebuchet pumpkin launch put on by Trustees Third Main at 6 p.m. at the baseball field. The men’s soccer team will play Georgetown College at 7 p.m., and the homecoming court will be presented and the king and queen crowned during halftime.

Following Saturday evening’s game will be the homecoming after-party in the student center, complete with the sitcom premiere. Homecoming weekend will conclude with a worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, in Hughes.

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