Tim Post: joining Sky Gilbert for comedy, politics and
questioning if It's All Tru
by DREW ROWSOME -
"He's a provocative writer and he likes a reaction and I think he's definitely going to get a conversation going with this play," says actor Tim Post of Sky Gilbert's It's All Tru: A Play About AIDS. "At the same time he cares about the relationships in the play. Beyond the broader politics of the play, it is about relationships and jealously, and what happens when new forces come in and disrupt what seems to be this perfect coupling."
Post agrees with the assessment but laughs saying, "It's not all politics, it's good theatre. The play is really funny, Sky loves a good gag. The great thing about the play is that at the end different members of the audience will come to different conclusions. My character can be viewed by some as very unsympathetic but I think there's another group, who will certainly understand where he's coming from. What sacrifices do we make to maintain the idea of a happy marriage, a happy coupling? What do we turn a blind eye to? What choices do we make to sustain a reality that we want to sustain? It'll be very interesting to see among the audience members, who they side with at the end."
HIV is considered differently by to different parts of the community, let alone beyond. "What I find particularly interesting is the generational aspect," says Post. "We decided to play the character as my age, they may adjust it in the future with a different actor, and the other two guys in the play are in their twenties. Their experience of AIDS and HIV is completely different than mine. I think that even within decade spans, our experiences are quite different. Men that are in their sixties and seventies have a different experience, they have an experience of complete decimation of their social group. I lost close friends, and lost a part of my community but not to the extent of older men. And someone ten years younger will have a much different experience as well. The idea of PrEP and how the absence of something like that coloured the experience of my character. And myself. I lived through that period where you had to ask, 'When do you sort of stop having sex?' where people just didn't have a lot of sex. The idea that you can have sex without a condom and it's not necessarily going to be a fatal conclusion: how that changes what we think. And the almost fetishizing of condomless sex. It's all pretty fascinating. And will provoke debate."
Post is mainly known for his film work and after working with Denis Villeneuve and Bryan Singer, Post was honoured to move up to theatrical genius Gilbert. "I knew Sky socially but I'd never worked with him. He's really collaborative and if you come up with something that works, he can throw out lines, he can change things on a dime. He's very egoless in that way. He's looking to make it great. And he loves actors. He enjoys what actors bring so he's like laughing and enjoying the three of us doing our stuff."
Gilbert is not the only one having a good time. "I'm really lucky, everyone's super nice and super talented," says Post. He and David Coomber (The Wizard of Oz, Fortune and Men's Eyes, Red) play the couple and Post says, "David's great. We have a very natural chemistry. He likes to try things out, he's loose, he'll fool around. He'll go with you if you go in a different direction. He's a very, very talented actor." As is Caleb Olivieri as the sexy third, "I think he did a play with Sky when he was younger, like 19 or 18 or something for something in Hamilton." Post laughs, "He's not that old right now. But Caleb is amazing. He has a completely different energy. He's like a free spirit and will come at things in his own way and it's really surprising. He's very fun and exciting to work with."
And It's All Tru has another bonus, the location. "I've had lots of fun at Buddies and seen lots of Sky plays and other social occasions," says Post. "I feel like I'm part of the Buddies community but I've never performed there so I'm thrilled to perform there for the first time." Will he be doing more theatre or going back to film and TV? "I'm open to all of it right now, the experience of doing this play, and doing Gash! at Summerworks, is feeding a part of me that's pretty hungry. It's a creative, collaborative process that's pretty fulfilling. I hope to do more. I'd be happy to be part of the troupe."