Asbury's Original Sitcom Seeks Live Audience
WILMORE, Ky. — A cast of returning sitcom veterans, as well as fresh faces, is putting the finishing touches on Asbury University’s original sitcom series, “Friends Like You,” to ensure that next week’s taping is interesting, educational and — most importantly — funny.
The general public is invited to join the faculty, students and staff as part of the live studio audience during the filming on Feb. 27-March 1. Audience seating opens at 6:45 p.m. and the taping begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Miller Center for Communication Arts TV studio. Tickets are $3 each or two for $5, and are available by calling (859) 858-3511, x2405.
Filmed using the same techniques employed by television studios in Hollywood, Asbury’s sitcom features students from the Media Communication and Theatre & Cinema Performance Departments both in front of and behind the cameras. Students work in every aspect of the production from constructing the set to acting, operating the cameras, setting the lights and mixing the sound.
Sophomore Alex Heath returns to the set with a sense of relaxed anticipation: “Having been through it before definitely takes a load off,” he said. “Professor Smart has a very systematic rehearsal process that’s really good for this type of show. He knows how to make us rehearse so we’re familiar with the material, but not so familiar that we lose the comedic timing and freshness.
“I like it a lot — it’s a very low-pressure, entertaining, light and funny acting experience,” he continued.
Asbury is one of the few universities in the United States to offer a regular class in sitcom production, and the finished product has a reputation for excellence, earning a regional Emmy nomination for Professor Doug Smart for his work on past episodes. Smart has 22 years of industry experience directing various primetime television shows such as “The Lawrence Welk Show” and “The Golden Girls” and he currently directs productions for PBS.