Our Moses, Diluckshan Jeyaratnam, comes to us all the way from Denmark, and will travel back to Denmark with The Prince of Egypt when it is remounted at Fredericia Teater in April of 2018. We grabbed a few minutes with him during rehearsals to ask some questions so you can get to know Diluckshan before you see the show.
What is the theatre scene like in Denmark, compared to what you’ve seen in the United States?
Denmark has had a rich theatre scene for several years. Compared to the United States, musical theatre does not have a long history in Denmark. It is however a rapidly growing part of the Danish theatre scene, even becoming one of the bestselling art forms in recent times. Now, more than ever, it’s an exciting time to be a musical theatre actor in Denmark, because our theatres produce several original works and explore the art form and its potential, and we get to be part of it.
Did you always know you wanted to be an actor?
Not at all. I have always loved being a musician and a singer, and using these abilities to tell stories. However, I considered it a hobby. I never imagined it as a viable professional career path, so I went to university and took a degree in international communication and multimedia. I tried to apply for jobs without any luck, and I realized that a career in multimedia wouldn’t make me happy anyway, because my passion was elsewhere: the arts, more specifically, musical theatre.
During this time, I was fortunate enough to have been part of a few productions at our local theatre, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats. I even saw my very first musical at this theatre when they did their production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I was totally blown away by what I saw. After the show, I was lucky enough to get a backstage tour and witness the beautiful collaboration that was happening to create such an amazing production. At that moment, I realized that I wanted to be part of that community, even if it was only as a hobby. As it turns out, it has become much more than that, and I’m so grateful for it.
What was your family’s response when you told them you wanted to pursue a career in theatre?
This was the part I was most nervous about. My family’s support and blessing meant the world to me. I imagined all kinds of responses from them and I feared the worst when I went to them to share my thoughts, but they managed to surprise me. Their response was, “We always knew that this was the right path for you. We just wanted you to realize it for yourself, so you would be ready to take the leap.” After that beautiful blessing from my family, every little bit of doubt and fear totally disappeared, and I just went for it.
What is it like working in cast with so many people of color? Is that a new experience for you? What was the first day of rehearsal like, when the cast comes together for the first time?
This is a completely new experience for me. Most of the time, I’m the only person of color in the shows that I have done in Denmark, with a few exceptions where there have been one or two others. On the first day of rehearsal of The Prince of Egypt, I was surprised and so thrilled to see a cast with so many people of color and different ethnicities. We all come from different parts of the world and have different cultural and religious backgrounds, but we share the same core values needed to tell such an amazing story as The Prince of Egypt. I am truly humbled and grateful to be part of this cast.
Besides Moses, what is your dream role?
I have always had a hard time answering this question…I was fortunate enough to see Hamilton on Broadway with the original cast, and it was one of the most memorable theatre experiences I have ever had. Ever since I heard the music and saw the show, I have wanted to play Aaron Burr. I love the complexity of the character and the journey he goes through.
Diluckshan gave us a preview of the “Let my people go” scene, and it’s beautiful. Tickets for this show are selling quickly – visit theatreworks.org to secure your seats today.