Friday screening hopes to spark discussion
Thursday, April 20, 2017 3:02 PM
The Ohio Theatre will show a free movie Friday with a theme of self-acceptance.
The 6 p.m. event, which will include cast and crew from the film, is sponsored by Madison’s Human Relations Commission.
“Wig’d Out,” is inspired by the life of Indianapolis teenager Olivia Rusk. Due to her alopecia, a medical condition, Rusk is completely bald. According to Rusk’s website, she first began living without her wig at 8-years-old. In 2007, Rusk and her mother, Sandy, created a nonprofit centered on anti-bullying and teen suicide prevention. Rusk’s story has been featured on The Today Show, USA Today, Seventeen Magazine and more local and regional television programs and publications.
In 2012, Rusk published her first book, “Just Your Average Teenager, Who Happens To Be Bald.” Three years later she graduated from high school and she currently works with youth at her church.
In “Wig’d Out,” the character of Olivia, played by Georgia Simmons, works in a hair salon owned by her mother, a former pageant queen. The film explores the relationship between Olivia and her mother as well as bullying, diversity and what beauty means.
Human relations commission member Sue Livers said the film showing came about as part of the group’s efforts to bring awareness to the community about different groups that can be marginalized. In the past, issues of sexism, economic division, race and hearing ability have been addressed. After reading the memoir of a woman with alopecia, Livers suggested the group all read the book. Madison resident Aaron Wood then told the commission about Rusk and the movie.
Livers said issues of self-image and bullying are often tied together, so the film felt like a responsible choice for the commission. While sending out a message of self-acceptance for all viewers, the film will also educate the community on a condition – and its accompanying stigma – with which they may not be familiar.
Members of the cast and crew are expected to attend the showing and a time for discussion will be held after the showing.
For more information, search for “Wig’d Out: Film Screening” on Facebook.