‘Significant Other’ Caps Successful Year for the Theater Guild


Something I have always liked about the theater program at Transy is that every show is different. And I’m not just talking about genre- the people running the show are different, too, depending on the season. The plays produced during the regular semesters (fall and winter term) are done so by the Theater Department, while Fright Night and the May Term shows are all led by the Theater Guild, which is student-led. Significant Other was the Guild’s most recent production, finishing its last performance on the 12th. I attended Saturday’s performance and I was very impressed at how well it turned out.

Significant Other was written by Joshua Harmon in 2013 and features a young man (Jordan) struggling to find love and happiness while he watches his friends (Kiki, Vanessa, and Laura) find their own. Jordan often feels like his efforts are doomed, his mental health spiraling with each wedding he’s asked to do a reading for, culminating in a confrontation where Jordan expresses his desperate need for things to stay the same, despite knowing that they won’t. After some advice from his grandmother (Helene), Jordan resolves to keep moving forward despite his drifting friendships, and the show ends with him at a wedding, standing alone yet still happy for his friend’s success. Generally speaking, it’s a fairly comedic play with some dramatic scenes that lend themselves well to the show’s pacing. The portrayal of depression is modernized, but it isn’t made fun of or exaggerated. The characters are well-balanced, and the small cast means that everyone gets their chance to shine. It’s a very well-written show.

And speaking of the cast, they were excellent. Jordan was played by Luke Aguilar, who performed wonderfully while holding comedy in one hand and tragedy in the other. His performance was so dynamic I hardly noticed that he was on stage the entire show. Kiki and Vanessa were played by Macie Moore and Faith Hubbard respectively, whose performances brought some much-needed laughter to an otherwise emotional story. Samantha Farr was brilliant as Laura, and her skill for wielding raw emotion shined throughout the show. Lumi Kaono’s dry wit and steady command of character made Helene’s short scenes all the more remarkable. This was Tanner Peck’s final role at Transy-or rather, his final three roles. Tanner was triple cast as two husbands (Conrad & Tony) and Jordan’s love interest (Will) and brought to all three the same professionalism and passion he’s brought to every other role he’s played during his time at Transy. Not to mention the hard work of the tech crew, designers, and managers. Many people contributed to make this show a great one.

There is one other person without whom this show wouldn’t be possible: Kevin Johnson. Kevin is a Psychology & Theater Design/Tech double major and has been participating in the Transy theater program for several years. You might have seen him as Kyle Carter in Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Louis in Angels in America, or Ida in Ballad of Bride and Blue. He’s also worked in costume design for The Tempest and Little Women and has generally been an invaluable part of our community for the last few years. Significant Other is his last show at Transy, and I’d like to congratulate him on making it a good one. It can be difficult to get Guild shows off the ground, and it takes a lot of determination and creativity to do that job, much less do it well. For the performance to run as smoothly as it did with virtually no errors or drop in energy is not only the sign of a great cast and crew but of a great director. The actors were clearly well-rehearsed, the scenery changes were practically seamless, and the handling of the show’s themes was excellent.

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Hello! I’m Peyton Dunaway. I’m a junior here at Transy and I’m currently majoring in WRC, although I’m considering a minor. I’m also involved with TUnity and the theater program, and I encourage everyone to come see a play of ours sometime. I’ve recently been working with the writing/editing team, and I’ve written a couple of stories already. I'm hoping to do lots more before I graduate next May. I don’t know if I’d like to write for a living, but I’ve always had a love for the medium, and I hope to keep falling in love with storytelling for the rest of my life.