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Film explores how local teens have dealt with the pandemic

Losing Normal-The Hub.jpg
Jenine Henninger
Firefly Studio
A scene from Losing Normal.

Losing Normal is a short film that will premiere this weekend in Rushville.

Erin Eveland, Executive Director of The Hub Arts & Cultural Center in downtown Rushville, said the film features modern dance and visual storytelling combined with the words of Schuyler County high school students talking about challenges posed by the pandemic.

“We as adults have politicized it (the pandemic) so much. The kids didn’t,” Eveland said. “It’s all based about their feelings and their thoughts and the state of their mental health with all of the stuff that they’ve had to deal with throughout the pandemic.”

She said the 17-minute film came about after local dance instructor Becky Jones wondered how teenagers were dealing with the pandemic. Jones contacted Eveland and Rushville-Industry High School English teacher Tonya Woods to help make the project a reality.

Eveland said the audience will learn how hard the pandemic was on kids.

“I think we all know it, but hearing these teenagers’ viewpoints -- talking about isolation and their mental health and suicide – you wonder how it’s a high school kid, but it is. It’s depressing but it’s a good time capsule of what these kids were going through and feeling and how they dealt with things being constantly taken away from them,” she said.

Losing Normal was originally done as a stage play that’s been presented a few times.

Eveland is encouraging people from other communities to come out and see the film because she said teenagers’ feelings are universal.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a bigger city or in a smaller rural area, you’re going to have those same kinds of emotions with this generation. I really feel like it will touch on the feelings the majority of teenagers throughout this time,” she said.

Eveland said Losing Normal was made possible with a grant from Illinois Humanities, and she said the Princess Theater is donating its facility for Saturday’s screening.

“Non-profits helping each other is always a great thing in our community,” she said.

Losing Normal will be shown at the Princess Theater on Saturday, May 7. There will be a red carpet walk at 1:30 p.m. and the film will begin at 2:00 p.m.

The Hub will host a question and answer session beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Admission to all the events is free. Seating is limited. Reservations can be made on The Hub’s website.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.