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Local film ‘No Feeling Is Final’ touches on mental health, resilience


At its peak last year, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most theatre and film work. But, one local director still managed to produce a 90-minute film at the Goshen Theater. 

Director and Goshen local Michelle Milne said “No Feeling Is Final” is “a film based on a book that was based on a tour of a play that was based on another book that was based on a friendship.”


That friendship, she said, was between the movie’s writer and star, Ted Swartz, and his longtime creative partner Lee Eshleman.


“They were acting partners, creators, business partners, best friends for over twenty years,” Milne said. “And then Lee died by suicide in 2007.”


Ultimately, “No Feeling Is Final” is a one-man show about mental health and resilience. It was filmed over four days last year when Milne said creative projects were few and far between. 


“I, personally, was thrilled to have a project to work on with other people in a safe way, because I experienced a lot of isolation during the pandemic,” she said. “I think every one of us on that project did, in various ways.”


The movie addresses that isolation head-on – it begins with Swartz hopping on stage at the Goshen Theater for a performance, only to realize there’s no audience. He then recounts his journey, from friendship to tour to book to movie. 


“So there’s this beautiful kind of peeling away of layers that he does through the course of this film of going from performance mode to much more vulnerable and open,” Milne said. 


“I don’t want to give away the ending, but it carries that forward, too,” she added. “This idea that we are all faced with hardships, we all need to look at our mental health as well as physical health.” 


In addition to Milne, a Goshen native, the project included Goshen College theatre and art student Jacob Claassen and Goshen Theater technical director Jerry Peters. 


“It was something we were able to do during the pandemic because it was one actor and we could distance and be masked,” Milne said. “The Goshen Theater provided space, and we were able to provide them a little bit of income by contributing fees and rent.”


“No Feeling Is Final” had its live premiere at the Goshen Theater last week, but its online premiere is Tuesday night at 7:30 Eastern. Tickets are available through Ted & Company or the Center for Art, Humor and Soul


Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.


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