B Street Theatre always finds great talent from around the country to perform for our audiences. For We’re Gonna Be Okay, the talented Doug Harris has joined to play the role of Jake. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with the actor to talk about the play, B Street Theatre, and how he takes his steak.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from North Carolina; both from Charlotte and Chapel Hill.
How did you find acting?
I started acting when I was in high school. I got tired of playing football, and my drama teacher offered me a job as a crew member, but instead, I auditioned for the show and I got cast. So that’s how it started, I kept doing it in college, and then I got picked up for an apprenticeship at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and it all just started spiraling into a career.
Where do you live now?
Queens, New York. It’s a good place to live. I keep busy. I love the city a lot. It’s been a great place to grow up in the past 4 or 5 years. I enjoy living there a lot.
When did you first hear about B Street Theatre?
A lot of people at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville talk about B Street Theatre. It’s was a theatre that not only came to the Humana Festival but picked up plays from the festival. I heard it was great place to work. A lot of my friends have worked here over the years and everyone has said it’s a creative environment. A lot of people speak highly of the B Street Theatre.
How’s your experience been thus far?
It’s been good. I really like Sacramento. It’s seems to be growing a lot. A lot of great restaurants: I love Lowbrau, Red Rabbit, there are a lot of great stop & go places. It’s a good city to work in.
So you play Jake in We’re Gonna Be Okay, who is a young man in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. How’s it been to act in this show?
It’s an interesting show. It lives simultaneously in 1962 and in present day. So there are stylistic choices and tonal choices that have to be clear. You have to be able to flip flop between 2018 and the early 60’s. The interesting thing about the story is that it talks about something that still resonates today. This brewing culture of fear around something we can’t control, larger political issues that effect everyday lives, and the only logical manifestation is a hyper fear and a need to do something about it when you don’t feel like you play a big role. My character in particular confronts questions about what a man is supposed to be, and how we handle our sexual identity. There’s been so much revolution in the past 40 to 50 years, but there are still places in the country and the world where kids still grow up wrestling with these questions. I think it’s important for stories like this to be told.
B Street Theatre’s known for its company of actors, and you’re currently working with five of them. How has it been to be the new guy in the room?
Whenever you go into a resident company it can be an intimidating situation. They all have decades of experience with each other that is illustrated with short hand and quick ways of communication and lots of different style choices that you want to try to bring to your work. But I’ve noticed here that while there is definitely a familiarity and a direct sense of communication, they’re extremely open to hearing me and incorporating me into their style. I feel very welcome. It can take a long time to find a dialogue with a resident company, and I’m very thankful that they accept and include a new comer.
Best thing to do on a lazy Sunday?
What are some books you’ve ready lately?
I just read A Little Life. That was a great book, a bit intense. I’m reading The Fates and Furies. That’s a great books, but that’s also really intense. I’m reading intense books right now. But I can read Calvin & Hobbes any day.
What’s your choice for a sporting event?
It’d usually would be football, but at the moment, I’d say college basketball. I went to UNC, so I grew to love college basketball while I was there. I also enjoy a good baseball game. I’m a Phillies fan.
You have all the money in the world, what’s the meal you purchase?
My mom’s home cooked egg plant parmasean.
That’s really sweet.
It’s really good.
And how do you take your steak?
We’re Gonna Be Okay continues on the B Street Theatre Mainstage until September 9. Get your tickets now and come see Doug Harris make his debut at the B Street Theatre.