Engaging Culture Weekend in Full Swing

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University’s Engaging Culture Weekend featured a full line-up of events Friday to inspire, challenge and entertain.

Some of the day’s highlights included workshops in the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communication Arts on documentary filmmaking, audio design and casting and auditions. Mark Fincannon of Fincannon & Associates, a casting agency based in North Carolina, shared with students a behind-the-scenes look at how actors are chosen for media productions, as well as his own story of faith. Kristin Ross ’97 Lauterbach, a filmmaker and Asbury graduate, led a workshop on the power of documentaries, and audio designer Peter Lehman spoke about how much of the emotion of a project is carried by the voices, music and sounds in it.

Mark Fincannon, a casting director, led a workshop on Friday afternoon.
Mark Fincannon, a casting director, led a workshop on Friday afternoon.

Lehman, who has worked on sound effects for major feature films such as “Braveheart,” “Outbreak,” “We Were Soldiers” and “The Prince of Egypt,” began playing the piano when he was 4. Since then he has taught himself to play guitar and trumpet, and music remains one of his passions.

“God wired me with an ability to connect with an instrument and do something unique with it,” he said.

The curtain also rose on Comic Potential, a sci-fi comedy by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Asbury students comprised the cast of the play, which raises questions about what it means to be different — and human — by telling the story of a robot with a sense of humor and the man who falls in love with her.

Late Friday night, a screening for Lauterbach’s documentary “FLESH: Bought and Sold in the U.S.” continued the conversation about what it means to be human. While awareness of human trafficking in Europe and Asia has grown, the issue is often overlooked in the United States, she said.

“We don't perceive the trafficking in the United States because we don't call it ‘trafficking’ here,” she said. “We call it ‘prostitution,’ ‘child prostitution,’ ‘kidnapping.’ We ‘pimp our ride,’ when in reality, a pimp is a trafficker of women for sex. It sounds a little different to say we ‘traffic our ride.’"

The Engaging Culture Weekend events continue on Saturday with a matinee performance of Comic Potential at 2:30 p.m. and the Highbridge Film Festival at 7:30 p.m. Comic Potential takes place in the Greathouse Theatre (located in the Miller Center), and the Highbridge Film Festival takes place in Hughes Auditorium.

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