Asbury Theatre Students Share Message of Hope in Scotland – Asbury University
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July 28, 2022

After flying to London on July 21 to study acting at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for two weeks, Asbury theatre students head to Scotland to perform in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022. Joining more than 3,000 shows from August 5-29 in Edinburgh, A Viking Summer is a romantic comedy written and directed by Dr. Jim Shores that celebrates the sanctity of life.

The show was commissioned by the Beating Heart Group of Scotland, whose mission statement is to honor the sanctity of life from the first heartbeat to the final breath. Shores serves as associate professor and program director of Asbury’s communication department.

“It is a summer romance where the story keeps going past the Hollywood ending into some unexpected choices characters have to make,” he said. “It’s a wonderful story full of twists and turns, very funny moments, memorable characters, and those difficult places in life where we gain wisdom and maturity.”  

Carol Anderson, theatre lecturer at Asbury, shared about the Scottish partnership with the show.

“After the show, the Beating Heart Group will serve tea and cake, inviting the audience to stay and talk with the actors,” she noted. “The Beating Heart Group honors all life, including the elderly, the mentally challenged, the physically challenged, the refugee, and of course, the unborn. My hope is that the audience will be encouraged, with folks on all sides of the pro-life issue feeling like they’ve been heard and understood, while at the same time receiving a clear message about the sanctity of life and God’s grace.”

Asbury’s theatre students performed the show on-campus at the Greathouse Theatre in April and are excited to share the story of hope across cultures where ideas surrounding the sanctity of life for the unborn remain divided.

Ella Anderson ’25 discussed her character in the play.

“She falls in love and must make a difficult choice when she finds out she’s pregnant,” she said. “She’s at university, and if she keeps this baby, it’s going to create chaos in her life.” 

Riley Friend ’25 added that the show “is a way for people to take a new look at a difficult and divisive subject through a humanizing story.”

The theatre group has requested prayer for the Beating Heart Group, the students, and faculty members involved in the trip and production. For students interested in studying theatre at Asbury, Carol Anderson said, “Come join us. The combination of theatre training and hands-on experience of performing in student films up through professional productions can be found in very few places.”

In addition to studying acting for two weeks at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the students visited historical sites including Westminster Abbey, Churchill’s War Rooms, the Tower of London, Hampton Court (the castle of Henry VIII), and Oxford, highlighting Addison’s Walk where C.S. Lewis began to open his heart to Christ. Evenings include seeing shows in London’s famous West End theatre district. On August 5, students head to Edinburgh to perform A Viking Summer.