Production of ‘Significant Other’ Debuts at UM-Flint this Week

The UM-Flint Department of Theatre and Dance will present a production of the play, Significant Other, beginning Friday, Mar. 29.

The plot revolves around four twenty-something friends and their quest for love in New York City. The main character Jordan, along with his buddies, are chasing that big shot from one of Cupid’s (sometimes barbed) arrows. He must deal not only with his own reality and perceptions but also those of the world around him.

Significant Other offers a deeply human, humorous, and at times dark view of what it means to be a young gay man in the modern era where marriage equality exists and is seen as a looming pinnacle of social achievement,” said Director William Irwin, associate professor of theatre at UM-Flint.

“The play examines the evolving nature of friendships as one feels left behind when their friends mature into adult relationships and are seemingly replaced by their new significant others.

“Consequently, the play reflects on the pressures and fears of change, growing up, securing a future, finding love in the modern era, living alone, dying alone and being forgotten, all the while putting on a good face at the bachelorette parties, bridal showers and weddings of all their closest friends.”

The play, written by Joshua Harmon, premiered Off-Broadway in New York City in 2015. The production moved to Broadway in 2017 where it has seen national success and is being presented by both professional and amateur companies.

“Harmon defies the antiquated ‘style and sass’ stereotype that has long promoted a narrow interpretation of such characters, resulting in a crude cluster of clichés, and lovingly changes the narrative of keeping gay characters in supporting roles, which has promoted a long tradition of marginalizing LGBTQ people,” said Irwin.

“By shifting the perspective and making the ‘gay best friend’ the hero of the play, Harmon attempts to transcend the stereotypes.”

Performances will be held on Friday, Mar. 29 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Mar. 30 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Mar. 31 at 2 p.m., Friday, Apr. 5 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Apr. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 7, at 2 p.m. in the Department of Theatre & Dance’s auditorium.

The regular price for tickets is $15, but for seniors (60+) the cost is $10, and college students may get a seat for $8 with a student I.D.

Gage Webster-Foote, an actor in the performance, has found the experience not only fulfilling, but the opportunity has been advantageous in the pursuit toward his further professional goals.

“This project has challenged me in ways I would never expect. It has become as big a part of my life as eating breakfast in the morning,” said Webster-Foote. “Jordan is a complex character who talks. A LOT. So, when I’m not at work or in class, I am in my script dissecting the text and putting it back together. There really isn’t a point in the show where Jordan gets a break so knowing this play like the back of my hand is essential.

“At this point in my college career I feel ready to step out into the real world and become an actor. And I have the University of Michigan-Flint Department of Theatre and Dance to thank for it.”