Commencement Issue: Kimberly Burnick

A “Temple Smash” co-producer looks forward to a future on the West Coast.

“Temple Smash” producer and film and media arts major Kimberly Burnick has set her sights on the West Coast entertainment scene and will be relocating to Los Angeles after graduation.

It was through her start on movie sets throughout Philadelphia that Burnick got her feet wet in the East Coast arts. But her initial industry experience came from launching and co-producing “Temple Smash” – an experience that she said has shaped her college career.


“It was my first producing gig – my child of a show,” Burnick said. “I was also the floor manager during shows. I think I’m fairly good at it, and it gave me a lot more confidence in my abilities.”

Burnick said, “it all started at Qdoba [Mexican Grill],” where fellow senior and film and media arts major Scott McClennen, who Burnick said was more of an acquaintance at the time, originally pitched her the idea of the Temple-based variety show. The two developed the idea and eventually came to co-produce the show together.

“It started out with the same idea it is today,” Burnick said. “Everyone likes the [‘Saturday Night Live’]-type show, where it’s funny, exciting and live.”

“Our pilot was in March 2009, and it’s really bad compared to where we are now,” Burnick added. “We had a totally different layout, but it was good enough that we wanted to keep going, and I’m glad we did.”

Burnick said she’s proud of the way “Smash” is able to represent and unify people from all walks of life at Main Campus, and the benefits it brings to the School of Communications and Theater.

“We created it this way for people to just get together and make something they’re passionate about,” Burnick said.

Under McClennen and Burnick’s direction, “Smash” began to be offered as a class in SCT and received accolades from the Temple Undergraduate Research Forum and Creative Works Symposium.

“‘Temple Smash’ is unlike any other club or production. It’s very unique in the SCT,” Burnick said. “In class, yes, you’re learning, but you don’t necessarily get hands-on. ‘Smash’ is solely hands-on.”

After her start with “Smash,” Burnick worked on the multimillion dollar set of “The Best and the Brightest,” starring Neil Patrick Harris.

Her most recent role has been on the set of the independent feature film, “Future Weather.” After starting as a production assistant on the movie last summer, Burnick said she and the other producers “clicked,” and she was catapulted to the role of associate producer.

The day of her eighth “Smash” episode and final show as co-producer, Burnick had mixed feelings about the evening ahead.

“I’ve already cried twice today, and it’s going to be bittersweet,” Burnick said. “After last night’s dress rehearsal, which was just the best night ever, I feel like it’s only bitter. I don’t want to leave.”

Reflecting on her hours spent in Annenberg [Hall’s] TV Studio 1, Burnick contemplated her own future and the future of “Smash.”

“Before ‘Temple Smash,’ I was just a regular college student with a lot of free time – I don’t really like having free time,” Burnick said with a laugh. “I don’t know what I’ll do after it’s over.”

“I’m hoping it’s going to continue after [McClennen] and I leave,” she added. “We have some producers lined up. Hopefully it will live on, and we can come visit in the audience.”

Kara Savidge can be reached at

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