By Madison Farrar, Staff Writer
The second annual Friday Night Live (FNL), a sketch comedy show written and performed by Asbury students, returns on Nov. 17 in the Greathouse Theater. Much like the hit show Saturday Night Live, students perform original sketches in front of a live audience with the addition of improv comedy to close the show. The atmosphere of the night is completed with a live house band that moves the show from sketch to sketch.
“The cast leaves it all out on the stage, the audience gives us everything they’ve got and, as a result, we get an intense, high-energy show that makes for a hilarious Friday night,” said Nick Martinez, a senior who is the director and ringleader of the production.
Many schools have versions of FNL, which was the inspiration to bring the show to our own campus. Martinez transferred to Asbury from Ohio Christian University in 2016 and brought the idea with him.
Participating in Friday Night Live at OCU helped Martinez realize his knack for acting and led him to transfer to Asbury to become a theatre major. With Friday Night Live having such an impact on Martinez, he set out to make it happen on Asbury’s campus in hopes that it could have an impact on students here as well.
The first FNL at Asbury was last spring and although there were strict limitations, tight time restraints and a lot of skepticism, the production team pulled together a successful show. Prepared for an audience of 60-75 for the one-night-only show, the TV studio barely packed in 250 audience members with standing room only.
“After having a response like that from students, it would be crazy not to put on more shows,” said Martinez.
A lot of work goes into making Friday Night Live a reality. The team is made up of 30-40 students, including a team of writers to create the sketches, a tech and sound crew to make sure everything runs smoothly, a publicity team to advertise the show, a cast of actors to perform the sketches and the house band to bring everything together.
“It takes every last one of them doing their part to bring this all together in the end,” said Martinez.
In the midst of the hard work that goes into making the show possible, the cast and crew are excited to see it all come together.
“It’s cool when there are entirely student-run events because it’s a great example of the Asbury community coming together to create something that people enjoy,” said actor Sam Martin. “There isn’t really anything else like FNL at Asbury. Comedy created by students for students is a really cool concept.”
“With so much controversy, hatred and destruction that is happening in the world right now, we need laughter more than anything to bring us together,” said actress Skyela Bussey.
While she is most looking forward to seeing the sketches come together, she also believes that comedy can be a tool to bring the Asbury community closer together by making fun of the things that we all have in common. Bussey said, “FNL gives us an outlet to be goofy, vulnerable and a little bit crazy!”
“Friday Night Live is going to be a one of a kind show,” said actor Chad Carmack, who has loved every minute of working with the cast and crew. “The show is guaranteed to be a lot of fun, and I would hate for people to miss out on the opportunity to come together and laugh, sharing in the joy that God has given us.”
The show will be held in the Greathouse Theater in the Asbury Communication Arts Miller Building on Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3 and will be available in the cafeteria lobby during meal times or at the door on the night of the event.
Photos by Rebecca Hurshman