Ever wanted to sit in on the production of a professional sitcom, be a part of “performed before a live audience?”
Doug Smart — with more than 20 years of Hollywood experience and producer of “Golden Girls,” “Benson,” “Newhart” and multiple “Academy Awards” shows — has been the Director in Residence at Asbury University for nearly a decade and through Smart, the school is offering its students a television production experience like no other in the world.
“Asbury is the only university that offers a regular class in sitcom production where we shoot a show in front of a live audience,” said Smart, writer and director for the Emmy Award-winning “Friends Like You” production. “There are other schools that have occasional sitcom classes that rely on existing scripts to recreate scenes from existing shows. But every year, our students are producing an entire, original show, putting it up in front of a live studio audience and putting it on the air.”
Sold out for the third-straight year, the latest episode of “Friends Like You” will be recorded live in Asbury’s $12.6-million, state-of-the-art Miller Center on Oct. 7-9 (7:30 p.m.). The episode marks the eighth year of “Friends Like You” and the ninth year of the Sitcom Production class.
For students, “Friends Like You” offers a chance to implement a wide variety of media skills in a hands-on environment, as well as the opportunity to study under Smart, an well-respected, award-winning industry veteran.
“The sitcom class combines the many aspects of producing, directing, editing and teamwork to produce a finished product that represents the Media Communication program well,” said senior Gabe Willison. “The most valuable part of the class has to be Professor Smart. His Hollywood experience translates into a real-world setting — not just a class. He doesn’t expect anything less of us than he would a professional crew, and we feel the same way about him as our director.”
Smart’s teaching style is informed by his own education and career. As a college student, Smart was mentored by Desi Arnaz, known for his role as Ricky Ricardo in “I Love Lucy,” and for his pioneering work in multi-camera sitcom. Under Arnez, Smart experienced the project-driven, hands-on style he implements at Asbury.
“The sitcom is really the closest thing to a professional environment I can create in an academic setting,” Smart said. “What the kids are doing on the sitcom is practically identical to what they’d be doing on a sound stage in Hollywood, and it gives them a chance to put into practice what they’ve learned in other classes.”
For more information call 859-553-3797 or visit asbury.edu