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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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‘Significant Other’ to play

ROMANCE SHOMANCE—Student actors overcome new challenges as they navigate the uniquely small space in the Black Box Theater, using this opportunity to present a quirky love story.

Love and laughter will soon fill the air of the James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre, as students prepare for the Forest Roberts Theatre’s (FRT) upcoming production of “Significant Other.”

The performance “Significant Other,” as described by Director Shelley Russell, is an “unromantic, romantic comedy.” It tells the story of a young gay man struggling to find love. All the while, everyone close to him seems to find their own.

While the story seems simple at first glance, Russel explained that she selected the work for the characters and for how much it seemed to relate to the diverse experiences present in a campus community.

“I really like it and thought it lent itself to college-age sensibilities, questions and relationships,” Russell said. “I began to have a love affair with all the characters and I just thought, there is no one in here that is unlikable, although they occasionally do really screwed-up things.” 

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Performing in the Black Box is a different setting than the large traditional stage at FRT. It’s smaller, and as a result, there is very little distance between the actors on stage and the audience. Junior theatre major and cast member Kate Karling explained the challenge the small venue poses has become a significant learning opportunity. 

“It’s been difficult to deal with having to worry about more than one side, in terms of the audience. But it’s been interesting and fun to figure that out,” Karling said. 

Aside from the layout of the Black Box, Karling said that the contrast from the usual larger productions is a welcome change, causing the actors to deal more closely with reality. 

“Usually we’re on a big stage with a musical that is larger than life, but in this, it’s like a collection of slices of life,” Karling said.

With the variety of things that the story of “Significant Other” handles, freshman theatre major Noah Proctor explained that he hopes audiences walk away with just one thought:

“Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan it and that’s not always a bad thing,” Proctor said. 

“Significant Other” runs from Feb. 13 to 22 at the James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre.

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