Center Theatre Group’s Dorothy and Richard Sherwood Award will go to two artists – D’Lo and Mikaal Sulaiman. Center Theatre Group recognizes and celebrates this year’s finalists for their exceptional contributions to the Los Angeles theatre landscape and their work as innovative and adventurous artists.
Paying tribute to the memory of Dorothy and Richard Sherwood, the $10,000 award aims to cultivate innovative theatre artists working in Los Angeles who push formal and aesthetic boundaries and demonstrate dedication to improving their respective artistic fields. Both recipients will receive the full $10,000 award. The additional finalist, Lena Sands, will receive a $2,000 honorarium.
“Each year we have the difficult task of selecting a single Dorothy and Richard Sherwood Award recipient out of the impossibly deep pool of talented theatre creators working in Los Angeles,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “I am thrilled that the Sherwood family made it possible for us to extend the award to two artists this year and look forward to working with D’Lo and Mikaal Sulaiman.”
Ben Sherwood added, “My mother and father shared a deep love of the arts and acted on that shared passion as they championed young artists and innovative new work. I know that they would agree that these challenging times require a redoubling of our dedication to the artists that will move theatre into the future. My sister Elizabeth and I are happy to announce that this year we will expand the Dorothy and Richard Sherwood Award to include two recipients.”
D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comic whose work ranges from stand-up comedy, solo theatre, plays, films, short stories and poetry. His solo shows “Ramble-Ations,” “D’FunQT,” “D’FaQTo Life” and “To T, or not To T” have toured theatres and festivals nationally, and he is a regular performer/speaker on the college/university circuit. He is currently working on his latest solo called Queer Noise with support from Center Theatre Group’s Library Series and LA LGBT Center. His work has been published or written about in academic journals and anthologies, with features in The Guardian, NBC and The Advocate. He created the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series with South Asian and/or immigrant LGBTQ Organizations nationally. His acting credits include: “Looking,” “Transparent,” “Sense8,” “Mr. Robot,” Connecting and Issa Rae-produced “Minimum Wage.” Currently, he has a series based on his life that is set up at BTR Media and Paul Feig’s Powderkeg Media. Most recently, D’Lo was awarded the Artist Disruptor Fellowship through the Center for Cultural Performance and 5050×2020 an initiative started by Joey Soloway, and he is also a Civic Media Fellow through USC’s Annenberg School of Innovation funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
Mikaal Sulaiman, originally from Rochester New York, currently resides in Los Angeles working primarily as a sound designer and composer. He attended the University of the Arts receiving a BFA and later studied the Jacque Lecoq approach to avant garde theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts. Mikaal also writes and directs from time to time. He is currently writing and devising an avant-garde headphone play titled Project Black Plague. PBP has received artist residencies at Space on Ryder Farm in Upstate New York, Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, as well as VoxFest at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Some of Mikaal’s sound design credits on world premiere shows include “Rags Parkland” (Ars Nova) *Lucille Lortel Award winner, “Fairview” (Soho Rep) *Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama and “Underground Railroad Game” (Ars Nova) *Obie Award Winner. He has received nominations from Bay Area Theatre Critics, Audelco Award, Lucille Lortel Award, and Drama Desk Award for sound design. He is also a Henry Hewes Design Award recipient. Mikaal also hosts a podcast, “Black Enso,” which can be found on most podcast platforms.
Since 1996, Center Theatre Group has recognized and celebrated local theatre artists with the Richard E. Sherwood Award. In 2018 Dorothy Sherwood, Richard’s wife and fellow champion of innovative and adventurous theatre artists, passed away. To honor the passion and dedication of both patrons of the arts, the award was renamed the Dorothy and Richard Sherwood Award.
Jason Martin, CenterTheatreGroup
Photo Credit – D’Lo and Sulaiman from CTG