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Into the Grindr in the Gay Relationships Games: Gender, Death, and Aging in ‘Stealing Sam’

Into the Grindr in the Gay Relationships Games: Gender, Death, and Aging in ‘Stealing Sam’

Steven Gallagher’s prize-winning one-man play views an HIV-positive gay man within his 40s set about a fraught double mission—to value the desires of a-dead pal and to select romance.

Tim Teeman

Senior Publisher and Blogger

Racheal McCaig

Intercourse, passing, appreciate, HIV, relations, and online dating over 40: the playwright and star Steven Gallagher and I also talked, sometimes loudly, about this stuff over many rounds of cocktails one current night in Toronto.

This Sunday day, Gallagher, 49, delivers his award-winning one-person play, Stealing Sam, to brand new York’s joined solamente movie theater https://datingranking.net/popular-dating-sites/ event on movie theater Row after a much-garlanded background in Canada, in which it gotten good edge and Patron’s Pick at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2013, and was actually granted exceptional brand new Play, Production, Actor, and Director from Now journal.

Within the play, Gallagher plays Jimmy, who has been family together with the unseen Sam for more than 25 years. These were allowed to be facing “gay middle age” with each other. When Sam dies, Jimmy must plan her last picnic. Jimmy steals Sam’s cremated stays through the funeral homes and, states Gallagher, “tries to offer his buddy the send-off the guy warrants.”

The 60-minute play programs, states Gallagher, “a middle-aged man adrift in an unfriendly relationship scene, as he attempts to discover like from inside the age Facebook and wireless innovation. The enjoy examines online dating from inside the blog post HIV/AIDS world, additionally the stigma that becoming HIV good nonetheless carries. They covers life with HIV additionally the tactics they influences the life of the sufferers, even though they’re residing healthily along with it.” And, Gallagher reassures all of us, “It’s extremely, extremely funny.”

Where did the theory your gamble originate from?

I happened to be getting a crafting working area, plus one of jobs was to jot down our very own “obsessions” at the beginning of each night. I imagined i desired to write a play about the Toronto bathhouse raids of 1981, but We quickly knew that I happened to be enthusiastic about middle-age, online dating sites, and how to navigate all that when you are one man of a “certain era.” I began writing scenes and monologues from the point of view of a 48-year-old homosexual people, that I was then, and extrapolated a tale after that.

How individual is the enjoy?

There are various personal details into the play. Those facts provided me with a way into Jimmy’s tale. For-instance, the audience is both insomniacs, both of us obtain a Boxer, therefore happened to be both instantly single inside our 40s. The real difference is how exactly we manage these parts of our lives. I tried to write a character who helps to make the reverse choices that i might in a few issues, and take it from there—sort from the road-not-taken method of playwriting. I do believe most playwrights draw seriously from their very own encounters. If you look at somebody like Wendy Wasserstein, her has were bits of their lifetime on-stage, and I think that personal standpoint tends to make a play most credible.

Just what encounters of mortality maybe you have had?

Nearly all of my personal has deal with demise. I’m a really happy people, however for some need We write on it a whole lot. I am a cancer survivor, so I happen confronted with my own personal mortality. I had written a play labeled as Craplicker based on that enjoy. The name is awful, the gamble try fun. A dear buddy passed on some time ago, and that I was a student in the center of composing anything, and then he expected me to result in the gamble about him. My enjoy Memorial is all about their final couple of days. In addition, sort of funny, but unfortunate play.

Individually, what exactly is taking Sam over?

Stealing Sam is truly about how exactly we hook inside chronilogical age of myspace and OK Cupid and Grindr, in which with a swipe of a flash, individuals can choose if you’re worthy of contacting. It’s about those who are however seeking fancy in what can be an extremely unfriendly social scene. It’s about loss and forgiveness and keeping someone’s memory space alive.

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