What the National Performance Network has Meant to D’Lo

by D’Lo

D’Lo is a Tamil Sri Lankan-American, a political theatre/spoken word artist/writer and music producer, “currently causing the most trouble in Los Angeles,” according to his website (www.dlocokid.com).

“My bread-and-butter gigs are primarily in universities doing stand up and spoken word, but these gigs don’t push me as an artist — the audiences are all the same age. I wanted to expand the audiences that see my work and the way the work can sit on stage.” His break-through came with a commission through the Creation Fund in 2007, when Pangea World Theatre in Minneapolis and New WORLD Theater received funds to support D’Lo’s work on a new show, Ramble-ations: A One D’Lo Show. After first showing in Amherst, Ramble-ations toured to the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York with New WORLD’s backing, and then traveled to Philadelphia, New Orleans, Minnesota, Santa Monica and San Francisco for a three-week run at Brava! Women for the Arts.

“To receive support as a queer brown body that does inter-generational characters, all different genders and ethnicities, blending hip hop and spoken word into the political storytelling – to believe in this type of work and to have folks stand by me as an artist was amazing and moving,” says D’Lo. “The Creation Fund not only stepped up my game in the world, it validated my work, and allowed me to work with a director I really value, Adelina Anthony and take the time we needed. Theater is what I want to do for the rest of my life, and the Creation Fund was the next step in my career.”

Although D’Lo says that “the biggest thing is the validation and affirmation,” he loves the NPN Annual Meetings too – “they are invaluable, to connect with artists in the same boat and presenters who can help you move that boat.”

Published April 2010

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