The Advance-Titan

Titan TV to host ‘Live from AC West’

Laura Dickinson

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“So everyone has their lines memorized, right?” Executive Producer Ashley Stewart asks the cast and crew as everyone gathers before the first dress rehearsal of “Live from AC West.”

The crew is all laughs while they go through the list of props they still need, including a 90s tape recorder, a mom-like jacket and a broken laptop.

Although everyone is joking with each other, it’s clear they are ready to get to work, and everyone is working to set up equipment and the sets.

There is one week until Stewart and her team will go live to air “Live from AC West,” a live comedy sketch show, on Titan TV Tuesday, April 25, after five months of preparation.

The show has all-original student-written sketches and is meant for a college-aged demographic, according to Stewart.

“Our inspiration behind our sketches is a mix between College Humor and Saturday Night Live,” Stewart said. “It’s definitely relatable for college kids like College Humor, but the format of the show will be like SNL.”

Stewart said this project was something she wanted to do to cap off her senior year before she graduated.

“I wanted to do a sitcom my last semester here, but sitcoms at Titan TV need a lot of dedication and take a lot of time to complete,” Stewart said. “To do a show in this format allows us to do a comedy.”

Show writer Jackson Murray said Stewart approached him to help write for the show while they were both taking a narrative-scriptwriting class.

“I was initially approached during the fall semester with a simple question of, ‘We’re doing a live comedy show for Titan TV in the spring. Do you want to write for it?’”
Murray said. “My response was an immediate yes because I had grown up losing countless hours to shows like SNL, SCTV and In Living Color. I enjoy writing in all respects, but it is really empowering to be able to see your ideas come to fruition from the seed all the way to the stage, helping to highlight the comedic talents of our amazing cast.”

Stewart said she and the crew have been working on this project since November.

“We pitched the show in November right before break,” Stewart said. “People wanted to do this special and be a part of this show. Titan TV hasn’t done a live sketch show before in the years that I have been here.”

Associate Producer Lindsey Frieler said working behind the scenes has been a long process.

“This show has kind of been a slow process,” Frieler said. “I mean, we had to sort through sketches, hold auditions and rehearse the show.”

Frieler said her role is really fun given the heightened pressure of a live broadcast show, and she has wanted to work behind the scenes of a show.

“Ashley asked me to be involved in the show behind the scenes,” Frieler said. “I have hosted other shows in the past but haven’t done any producing. I wanted the experience, and working on a live show is some of the best experience you can get.”

Murray said the hardest part of writing and developing sketches is the wait until it goes live on air.

“Since it’s a live event-style show, you see the sketches develop during rehearsals and then you start to re-write bits in your head,” Murray said. “That extra time gives you too much space to start second-guessing, when in reality the best route is often the one that came first.”

Murray said working with the show’s cast has been the best part about writing the sketches.

“The easiest thing about it would definitely just be having the opportunity to see the characters that you created develop a new life within the performances of the cast,” Murray said. “There are so many times when a talented performer will bring a totally unique facet to a character and add that dimension of personal panache that translates so well onscreen.”

Stewart said the show has all UW Oshkosh student actors and will even have a guest appearance from Chancellor Andrew Leavitt.

“We have worked with him before and we wanted to make sure he was included in this project as well,” Stewart said. “He is going to be playing the saxophone on our show. I think one of our writers saw in his bio that he was an avid amateur saxophone player and everyone was like, ‘That is so awesome, he has to play it.’”

Frieler said their goal is to be funny for all college students, not just people in the radio/TV/film program.

“It’s not enjoyable to watch something that is all inside jokes between people,” Frieler said. “We are trying to learn to write for an audience, so keeping it inside jokes doesn’t benefit anyone.”

Murray said audiences can expect “Live from AC West” to be different from Titan TV’s normal programming.

“The humor is cut from a different tonal cloth than your normal comedic Titan TV show,” Murray said. “The performances are going to be killer, and a bunch of really talented people have shed sweat and tears, no blood, yet, behind the scenes to bring this show to fulfillment.”

The show can be viewed on Titan TV Channel 57, titan-tv.org or live-streamed on YouTube.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Titan TV to host ‘Live from AC West’