Review Fix chats with “Bleeding Love” director Harris Doran, who details the production and lets us know why its a special work of theatre during a tumultuous time in human history.
About Harris Doran:
HARRIS DORAN (Lyrics/Director) is a writer, director, producer and actor who wrote book and lyrics for the musicals Wasp Woman (based on the Roger Corman B horror movie) and the rock/R&B musical Salvage. He wrote, conceived and produced the political concert Broadway Blue Wave For NY directed by Rachel Chavkin, starring Taylor Shilling, Edie Falco, Laura Benanti, Cynthia Nixon, et al. Harris is filmmaker whose film Beauty Mark won awards at festivals including LA Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, Austin Film Festival and he was shortlisted for the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards’ Someone to Watch Award. His short film The Story of Milo & Annie featuring Alysia Reiner and Cathy Moriarty won the Indie Memphis Film Festival and he produced the short film Photo Op directed by Dave Salomon and starring Randy Harrison which won best LGBTQ short in SENE, and he was a writer on the Lifetime series I Love You But I Lied. Harris is an award-winning actor who has been seen in projects ranging from Claude in the Actors Fund concert of Hair to TV to indies including the Sundance premiering My Best Day. Harris trained as an actor at The Juilliard School, is an acting coach, and a professor in Columbia University’s MFA film program. He is currently in pre-production for his next film Atticus Brown Is Still Here. harrisdoran.com
Review Fix: What inspired this production?
Harris Doran: Bleeding Love is about a world where it’s too dangerous to go outside so everyone is cloistered in their apartments. When the COVID lockdown happened we realized how relevant the show was and so we put pedal to the metal and made it happen.
Review Fix: What was casting like?
Doran: We already had our cast from when we made the demos a few years ago. We reached out to each of the actors individually, some we already knew and some we contacted through mutual acquaintances.
Review Fix: Who do you think will enjoy it the most?
Doran: I’ve had people who love musicals and those who don’t love musicals who have been loving BLEEDING LOVE. People who love musical theatre will especially enjoy this during this period where they cannot go to the theatre, because if you close your eyes you can experience the entire show, because it is fully produced radio play style and fully lived by the performers.
Review Fix: What have you learned?
Doran: I’ve learned how important art is in moments of crisis. The way many people are surviving COVID is by watching movies and tv and listening to podcasts. Art is how our society is surviving. More attention and funding should be put into the arts as it is clear that art is essential.
Review Fix: Why is it special to you?
Doran: The piece is special to me because it is about how one small person can change the whole world. And I think that’s what we’re seeing right now with the BLM movement, how each individual voice adds up to making real change.
Review Fix: How has COVID changed your perception of what is theatre?
Doran: It’s an interesting question that has arisen on a technical and functional level many times. Is this podcast theatre if there is no physical theatre? Which union is it under, theatre or film/tv? I am working on a couple filmed theatre projects that will be exhibited online – is that theatre? It lives in some hybrid of theatre and television. I think it is theatre because it is our only option for having theatre at the moment. I think theatre is a sensibility. Theatre is often long form in a way that film and tv usually is not. It’s a very good question, and I am not sure I have an answer yet; I just know it’s important to keep the flame of theatre alive so it can reignite when we move past this.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Doran: I am working on making theatre for the Queens Memory Project, which documents voices from Queens about their experience during COVID. This will be a filmed theatre piece. And I am beginning to work with Rodney Hicks to create filmed theatre of a brilliant play he has written that deals with many of the issues pur society is currently confronting. For when film production comes back, I have multiple films in the works, as well as moving BLEEDING LOVE onto the stage.