stage & film director | arts leader
SEEMA SUEKO grew up in Honolulu, with a Pakistani father and a Japanese American mother. Conversations about the arts, politics and community wove through her upbringing, stitching the tapestry of her core belief: theater can be transformational and contribute to building successful communities when we intentionally activate this art form for the greater good. Now based in the Washington, D.C. region, Seema directs stage, film, consensus organizing and R&D projects and productions for theaters, policy organizations, and the community.
Seema currently serves as Deputy Artistic Director of Arena Stage in Washington, DC, where she drives the season-planning process, identifies ways to optimize the impact of artistic programming, directs plays, and oversees new play development among other programs. She recently created the Theater Artists Marketplace, brought playwrights and policy leaders together at the Power Play Summit, and spearheaded the Artistic Director Intensive. Her R&D work includes developing the Consensus Organizing for Theater methodology, creating the Green Theater Choices Toolkit, and researching the neuroscience of theater. Previously, she was Associate Artistic Director at Pasadena Playhouse and Executive Artistic Director at Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, which she co-founded in San Diego. She has directed plays and musicals and acted at theaters across the U.S. including Arena Stage, Denver Center, Ford’s Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, People’s Light, The Old Globe, Yale Rep, 5th Avenue Theatre, Native Voices, and Mo`olelo, among others. Her work has been recognized by the Chicago Jeff Awards, NAACP San Diego, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theater, San Diego Craig Noel Awards, and the California State Assembly. Seema earned her M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago, where she graduated with honors and was awarded the Morton Kaplan Prize for her thesis on UNRWA. Seema serves on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Entwined Viruses and Solving For Pattern by Seema Sueko
Washington Diplomat: Show Must Go On: Arena Stage Transitions to Virtual Events
American Theatre: Arena Stage Launches Artists Marketplace