AU will be celebrating homecoming this fall with an Alumni Showcase featuring Trent Bruce’s comedy production, “Itinerary.” Bruce’s original film will be shown on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Reardon Auditorium.
The Showcase will be open to all, while Scott Tilley, the director of AU’s Alumni Engagement Office, affirmed that everyone in attendance should be humored by what is in store.
According to Tilley, “Some AU alums who live on the West Coast pulled together to share their passions, their heart and their talents, with the ultimate message about friendship” in crafting their original film, “Itinerary.”
Tilley explained that the production transpired from a “couple of alums out in [Los Angeles who] got together and began dreaming a bit about how fun it would be to create a film with all AU alumni involvement.
“One thing led to another and they decided, ‘Why not?’” Tilley said. “So Trent Bruce and Sarah Brown Carter wrote the script and invited LA friends Thom Newell, Mark Sipka and Tye Edwards to join them in helping this idea become a reality. As the project progressed, they also had help from various other alumni with pre and post- production efforts.”
The film is Bruce’s brainchild.
“Trent Bruce contacted me with his idea about a year ago,” Tilley said. “He wondered if they were to do this, once completed, might there be a time it could be shown on AU’s campus. That’s when the homecoming discussions began.
“From there, the idea expanded to an Alumni Showcase evening, which would not only premiere the film, but also include some stand-up comedy and music from other alums, including recent AU graduate, Luke Stafford, who also lives in LA,” he said.
Tilley thinks that the film can deliver entertainment to a host of different people, but especially AU students. “For current AU students, I believe the purpose is not only the exposure to a few of our gifted alums in the media arts, but even more so, the value of the relationships that are developed at AU that can matter for a lifetime.”
There will also be a Thursday convocation event hosted by the film producers. Tilley encouraged AU students to attend Thursday’s convocation in order that they may be made aware of the film and stir their interest in its purpose.
“Students will have an opportunity to get acquainted with these alums during chapel on Thursday, Sept. 27,” he said. “Students will actually have the first opportunity to view this film. These alums also will make themselves available to talk with students during lunch in the Edwards Dining room following chapel.”
Moreover, Tilley is optimistic that “Itinerary” can be optimal for students and alumni of all ages to discover commonality.
“For Alumni, I believe [the film’s] purpose is somewhat the same as for students,” he said. “Homecoming provides a great platform to celebrate the accomplishments of [the ‘Itinerary’ cast], while having an opportunity to enjoy a light-hearted evening of fun.”
A preview of the comedy short has been surging in retweets between its producers, cast and official AU Twitter accounts.
Professor Jack Lugar retweeted Thom Newell’s Aug. 24 statement that said, “Guys. I directed a short film. Here is the trailer. See the world premiere at Anderson University on Sept 29th!”
One of the film writers, AU alumna Sarah Carter, tweeted on Aug. 30 that “Itinerary” was “written by @trentBruce and myself, directed by @t_homrobert, starring @MarkSipka and with so many @AndersonU alumni involved.”
Later that same day, AU responded to Carter in a Tweet, “We’re excited for homecoming for many reasons, but one of them is the premier of “Itinerary”! We can’t wait to see it, and we hope you’ll join us!”
Newell tweeted on Sept. 4 that the comedy short “is the 12 minutes you’re gonna show up for” at the Showcase.
AU responded, “Our expectations are pretty high, but we’re pretty confident it’ll #SoarRavensSoar.”
In addition to “Itinerary,” the Alumni Showcase in Reardon Auditorium will also include a comedy routine, musical entertainment and a performance by Luke Stafford, a 2017 AU graduate.