Fox Theater shows locally filmed movie

“Frances Ferguson” returns to North Platte, soon to be streaming online


Kaylyn Casassa

Locally filmed, full-length feature film "Frances Ferguson" was shown on Oct. 18 and 19.

Many students dream of their big break, fantasizing about Hollywood and Vine, but for senior Megan Jerabek, North Platte offered her that opportunity in her hometown. She has starred in a movie– filmed right here in central Nebraska. In 2017, director Bob Byington filmed “Frances Ferguson,” named after its main character, in North Platte and cast many locals in speaking parts and as extras. Earlier this year, the film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, but returned to the scene on Oct. 19 and 20 for its showing at The Fox Theater.

The idea that now the people I live around…are all going to watch this thing that I helped make two years ago is crazy”

— NPHS senior Megan Jarabek, supporting actor

“Frances Ferguson” follows Frances, a substitute teacher played by Kaley Wheless, as she has an affair with a student and finds herself in trouble with the law. “We watch as a substitute teacher makes a terrible decision and through this dark comedy, we see her going through the aftermath,” said Jerabek. “We kind of just see this picture painted of the consequences of what she does.”

Jerabek played the character Carmen, a drug addict in group therapy with Frances. “It’s kind of like a therapy group for adults who have mostly gotten into substances,” said Jerabek, “but you’ll see that it’s a little more than just that.” Along with Jerabek, several former North Platte High School students appeared as smaller roles in the production.

Kaylyn Casassa
Senior Megan Jerabek speaking at the Q&A session after the showing on Oct. 18.

Jerabek found herself feeling like a big-time celebrity, with 484 tickets sold for the film and its two showings at the Fox Theater. “Nobody around North Platte besides the people that also went to Texas have watched it,” said Jerabek before the first showing. “So, just the idea that now the people I live around and like my friends and my family are all going to watch this thing that I helped make two years ago is crazy.”

The movie seemed to be a hit. The theater was full of smiles and laughter during and after the movie. “I didn’t really know what to expect when going into the movie, but once I got in there and got into the groove of things, it really immersed me and like I really love the movie,” said junior Joshua Stoner. Stoner, along with other audience members, was able to recognize familiar parts of his hometown. “I kept seeing the scenes and being like, ‘Oh, I’ve been there,’” he said.

Kaylyn Casassa
Jerabek sharing an embrace with junior Josh Stoner after the North Platte showing of “Frances Ferguson” on Oct. 18.

“Frances Ferguson” will soon be available for viewing on Amazon Prime. “Some people are going to like it and some people are not, and that’s just how it is,” said Jerabek.


Watch senior Megan Jarabek, playing Carmen, interact in a group therapy session with Fran in “Francis Ferguson, filmed in North Platte, Neb.