Into the Grindr of this Gay Relationship Online Game: Gender, Dying, and Aging in ‘Stealing Sam’

Into the Grindr of this Gay Relationship Online Game: Gender, Dying, and Aging in ‘Stealing Sam’

Steven Gallagher’s prize-winning one-man enjoy sees an HIV-positive gay people within his 40s embark on a fraught dual mission—to admiration the desires of a-dead pal and to pick romance.

Tim Teeman

Older Publisher and Journalist

Racheal McCaig

Sex, death, really love, HIV, affairs, and internet dating over 40: the playwright and star Steven Gallagher and I talked, sporadically loudly, about these exact things over various rounds of cocktails one previous tips for dating a IOS nights in Toronto.

This Sunday mid-day, Gallagher, 49, gives their award-winning one-person play, taking Sam, to brand new York’s joined solamente movie theater Festival on movie theater Row after a much-garlanded records in Canada, in which they gotten better of Fringe and Patron’s choose during the Toronto perimeter Festival in 2013, and got given exceptional brand-new Gamble, creation, star, and movie director from Now journal.

In enjoy, Gallagher takes on Jimmy, who has been pals because of the unseen Sam for more than 25 years. They certainly were supposed to be dealing with “gay center age” together. Whenever Sam dies, Jimmy must prepare their unique final picnic. Jimmy steals Sam’s cremated keeps through the funeral homes and, states Gallagher, “tries supply his pal the send-off he deserves.”

The 60-minute gamble programs, says Gallagher, “a middle-aged guy adrift in an unfriendly matchmaking scene, as he attempts to look for enjoy in age Twitter and cordless technologies. The gamble examines internet dating for the blog post HIV/AIDS community, in addition to stigma that getting HIV great still holds. It addresses lifetime with HIV together with tactics they influences the life of the subjects, even when they’re live healthily along with it.” And, Gallagher reassures all of us, “It’s really, very funny.”

Where performed the concept when it comes down to gamble come from?

I was taking a publishing workshop, and something on the work would be to jot down our “obsessions” at the beginning of each night. I imagined i desired to publish a play concerning the Toronto bathhouse raids of 1981, but We quickly realized that I was obsessed with middle age, online dating, and the ways to navigate all of that if you are an individual people of a “certain get older.” I going writing scenes and monologues from viewpoint of a 48-year-old homosexual guy, that I was then, and extrapolated an account following that.

Just how personal is the gamble?

There are numerous personal information when you look at the gamble. Those info gave me a means in to Jimmy’s story. For-instance, we have been both insomniacs, both of us own a Boxer, so we comprise both abruptly unmarried within 40s. The real difference are how exactly we manage these components of our life. I tried to write a character who helps to make the opposite conclusion that i might in some problems, and go on it from there—sort for the road-not-taken way of playwriting. I do believe more playwrights bring heavily using their own experiences. In the event that you check people like Wendy Wasserstein, the girl plays were bits of their lifestyle on stage, and that I believe that private perspective can make a play more plausible.

What encounters of death maybe you have had?

Nearly all of my personal plays deal with dying. I’m a tremendously happy person, but also for some reason We come up with they a large number. I am a cancer survivor, and so I have already been up against my mortality. We had written a play called Craplicker based on that knowledge. The concept is actually awful, the enjoy was fun. A dear friend died some time ago, and I was at the center of creating something, in which he asked us to result in the gamble about him. My enjoy Memorial is all about their last day or two. Furthermore, a sort of funny, but sad play.

Available, something taking Sam around?

Stealing Sam is truly about precisely how we hook in this age of Twitter and OK Cupid and Grindr, in which with a swipe of a thumb, somebody can decide if you are worthy of getting in touch with. It’s about people who are nevertheless seeking adore in what can sometimes be a really unfriendly personal world. It’s about reduction and forgiveness and keeping someone’s memory space live.