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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Theatre Group brings ‘Significant Other’ to Jurkowitz Theatre

Lauren Michelle McGee
From left, Cristian Duarte, Aurora Gooch and Irving Sota rehearse for the upcoming play “Significant Other” on Friday, March 8, in the Jurkowitz Theatre at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

City College’s Theatre Group has been hard at work rehearsing for their upcoming show “Significant Other” set to premiere mid-April in the Jurkowitz Theatre.

“Significant Other,” written by Joshua Harmon, who also wrote “Bad Jews”, follows the journey of a young gay man named Jordan as he struggles to find love in New York City. As his best girl friends are all falling in love and getting married, Jordan finds it difficult to support his them as he starts feeling more and more lonely.

“Jordan is in love with the idea of love,” said director Katie Laris. “It’s really a play about him finding peace with himself.”

Laris said that the struggles depicted throughout the play are extremely relevant and that audience members will be able to recognize connections to their own life through the comedic themes of friendship and finding love in present-day New York City.

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In addition to the main theme being relevant to many college students, the cast stressed the importance of LGBT representation in the story.

“This is a problem that everyone can have,” said Christian Duarte, who plays Jordan. “The characters are just gay.”

Instead of depicting the gay character as the typical overly flamboyant gay best friend or as another cliche trope, “Significant Other” puts Jordan center stage and is portrayed the same as his heterosexual counterparts. Jordan is shown with the same struggles of a person in their mid-20s in New York City trying to find love.

Aurora Gooch, who plays Laura, one of Jordan’s best friends, said that this play is “a good learning opportunity” about the LGBT community.

Duarte noted that every queer character on-stage is played by someone part of the LGBT community.

As the play goes on, Jordan starts feeling discouraged as more of his friends start their lives with their significant others. He then realizes that he needs to love himself instead.

“[There is] that sense of being able to create a dramatic arc as he becomes more happy with himself,” said Laris.

The entire crew and most of the cast is made up of students, with many from City College and some from UCSB. Laris has worked with a number of these students before, with quite a few having been in her previous production of “Grease” last July.

“It’s a very experienced group of young actors,” Laris said. “The main focus is creating characters that are believable.”

This play presents the opportunity for people to learn more about the LGBT community and understand how their lives and struggles are the same as anyone else’s in a humorous way that many will be able to relate to.

The play first debuted Off-Broadway in 2015, then had a Broadway run in Spring 2017 at the Booth Theatre in New York City.

“Significant Other” opens at 7:30 p.m. on April 12 at the Jurkowitz Theatre and runs through April 27.


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