Director of Stories

 

 

 

 

 

Whether working in live theater, online platforms or film, Seema begins her directing work with the questions: Why is this story necessary today? Who is transformed? Interrogation of each character’s arc surfaces a primary action which informs tone, style, shape, and a distinct and clear vision for the production. Seema pulls together expert teams of playwrights, dramaturgs, actors, scenic, costume, sound, lighting, projection designers and voice, dialect, text, fight, and intimacy coaches as necessary. She collaborates with each artist to optimize their work and elevate complex and truthful performances. Her consensus organizing methodology ensures each production is speaking to, engaged with, and informed by a diversity of communities that build stake in the project.

Please find below production photos, videos, press coverage and reviews of some of

Seema’s directing projects over the past ten years.

Sueko, along with this cast, finds the humor and humanity and awe in asking the big questions when we’re just small humans. And she understands the excitement and awe when you’ve got a piece of an answer that leads to even more wonderful questions.

- Mary Ann Johnson, Jan 30, 2020, review of Silent Sky at Ford’s Theatre, Maryland Theatre Guide

Current directing projects in process:

Germantown Plays Pericles

Shakespeare in Clark Park

August 28-29, 2021
Utilizing Shakespeare's Pericles as a jumping off point, Seema is consensus organizing (CO) with residents of Germantown, Philadelphia, over zoom and in person to create an experimental, interactive artistic piece that connects and nourishes the soul of the people of Germantown, Philadelphia. The co-created artistic experience will invite the community to perambulate through various "islands" in the iconic Vernon Park and will culminate with a performance each night. Each island will be interactive, reflect a section of the Pericles story and manifest in a 100% Germantown way by connecting and collaborating with the wisdom, activities, goals and objectives of community partner organizations, local residents and local artists. Read about the process and view photos here

Dear Jack, Dear Louise by Ken Ludwig
Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata
 

Virginia Stage Company

USS Wisconsin Battleship Reading - May 18-23, 2021
In rotating repertory at The Wells Theatre - October 17 - November 7, 2021
These two plays share different views of WWII.  The real-life narratives at the center of these plays -- of Gordon Hirabayashi, Jacob Ludwig, and Louise Rabiner -- are all disrupted in the same year, 1942. Yet their experiences are extremely disparate, demonstrating the multifaceted nature of life in the United States. Love and victory coexist with hate and the painful, important and ongoing pursuit of liberty and justice for all. Then as today. In directing these two stories in rep Seema hopes to widen the lens so we see and embrace more of America, this complex, complicated, and beautiful country. Read more and view photos here.

Land of Smiles
A new musical

Book, Music, Lyrics By Erin Kamler

Producer Gregory Franklin, Franklin Theatrical Group

LoS Graphic copy.jpeg

Land of Smiles is Part One of Erin Kamler's trilogy of new musicals set in Southeast Asia between 2012 and the present. An artist and academic researcher, Erin wrote Land of Smiles as part of her PhD dissertation research at the Annenberg School at USC. Her continued work at the Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process (AGIPP) in Myanmar gave her the fuel to expand her writing into the trilogy. You can learn more about the musical here: 

http://www.landofsmilesmusical.net/.

In the pandemic, the creative team worked on adapting Land of Smiles to a podcast format. With the director in Hawaii, actors in California and New York, the writer-composer, musicians, and sound engineer in Thailand, the music supervisor in Michigan, and the sound designer in Chicago, the team recorded a prototype of two songs/scenes.

You may listen to them here: 

http://www.landofsmilesmusical.net/media/.

We continue to develop the musical trilogy. For queries, contact Gregory Franklin, Producer, Franklin Theatrical Group at gregory@franklintheatrical.com

Prototype Creative Team: Music Supervisor: David O | Sound Designer: Andre Pluess | Sound Engineer (Thailand): Thomas Van Ness 

Podcast Prototype Cast: 

Cathy Ang as Lipoh

Melody Butiu as Soon Nu

Past directing projects:

Veterans Day 2020
A filmed adaptation of the stage play War Words

By Michelle Kholos Brooks 

Atlantic Council and Arena Stage, Washington, DC

Creative Team: Virtual Multimedia Designer: Jared Mezzocchi | Sound Design and Original Music: Andre Pluess 

Cast: Shaun Baker as Nash | Jacqueline Correa as Amy | Ramón De Ocampo as Nate | Angel Desai as Emily | Justin Emeka as John | Brian Lee Huynh as Dan F. | Alyssa Keegan as Kimberley | Thomas Keegan as Danny | Brian Letscher as Chase

Veterans-Day-2020.jpg

Available to view here 

Welcome remarks: Adrienne Arsht speaks at 0:54;

General David Petraeus speaks at 4:51


The film starts at 10:57

37 minutes long, followed by a talkback.

May 22, 2020, a filmed docudrama

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

Holly Twyford in "A Boiling Frog"

Dawn Ursula in "Joy"

May 22, 2020 captures one day in the life of DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten individuals were interviewed by 10 DMV playwrights, from which they composed original monologues performed by 10 professional DMV actors. Filmed outdoors with new SAG-AFTRA safety protocols, these two monologues, "A Boiling Frog" and "Joy", were directed by Seema Sueko.

 

The complete film can be viewed here.

SILENT SKY  by Lauren Gunderson

Ford’s Theatre, Washington, DC

January 24 -February 23, 2020

Creative Team: Scenic Design: Milagros Ponce de Leon | Lighting Design: Rui Rita | Costume Design: Ivania Stack | Sound Design: Andre J. Pluess | Choreography: Karma Camp | Hair and Wigs: Anne Nesmith | Dialects and vocal direction: Lisa Nathans | Directing Assistant: Katie Ciszek | Stage Manager: Brandon Prendergast

Cast: Laura C. Harris as Henrietta | Jonathan David Martin as Peter | Holly Twyford as Williamina | Emily Kester as Margaret | Nora Achrati as Annie

RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN by Sharyn Rothstein

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

October 11 – November 10, 2019

Creative Team: Scenic Design: Paige Hathaway | Projection Design: Shawn Duan | Lighting Design: Adam Honore | Sound Design: Andre Pluess | Costume Design: Ivania Stack | Voice and Dialect Coach: Zach Campion | Dramaturg: Jocelyn Clarke | Directing Assistant: Gregory Keng Strasser | Stage Manager: Kurt Hall

Cast: John Austin as Derril Lark | Melody Butiu as Marta Lee | Rachel Felstein as Annie Zahirovic | Guadalupe Campos as Eve Selinsky | Shubhangi Kuchibhotla as Sarita Imari | Edward O’Blenis as Alvaro Santos

THE HEIRESS by Ruth and Augustus Goetz

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

February 8 – March 10, 2019

Fichandler Stage – In-the-round

Creative Team: Costume Design: Ivania Stack | Scenic Design: Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams | Sound Design: Emma Wilk | Lighting Design: Sherrice Mojgani | Wig Design: Anne Nesmith | Voice and Text Coach: Jan Gist | Directing Assistant: Malek Mayo | Stage Manager: Susan R. White

Cast: Laura C. Harris as Catherine Sloper | James Whalen as Austin Sloper | Nancy Robinette as Lavinia Penniman | Jonathan David Martin as Morris Townsend | Janet Hayatshahi as Elizabeth Almond | Lorene Chesley as Marian Almond | Lise Bruneau as Mrs. Montgomery | Kimberly Schraf as Maria | Nathan Whitmer as Arthur Townsend and Coachman

VIETGONE by Qui Nguyen

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

August 24 - September 30, 2018

Creative Team:  Scenic Design: Jason Sherwood | Lighting Design: Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew |Costume Design: Valerie Bart | Sound Design: Andre Pluess | Rap Consultant: Bianca Mikahn | Fight Choreographer: Geoffrey Kent | Associate Fight Choreographer and Intimacy Consultant: Samantha Egle | Assistant to the Director: Bettina Mueller-Tuescher | Stage Manager: Chris Ewing

Cast: Lisa Helmi Johanson as Tong | Glenn Morizio as Quang | Melody Butiu as Huong and others | Brian Lee Huynh as Nhan and others | Jordon De Leon as Playwright and Others

THE PRICE by Arthur Miller

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

October 6 – November 19, 2017

Creative Team:  Scenic Design: Wilson Chin | Lighting Design: Allen Lee Hughes | Sounds Design: Roc Lee | Costume Design: Ivania Stack | Voice and Dialect Coach: Zach Campion | Wig Design: Anne Nesmith | Stage Manager: Trevor A. Riley

Cast: Hal Linden as Gregory Solomon | Maboud Ebrahimzadeh as Victor Franz | Rafael Untalan as Walter Franz | Pearl Sun as Esther Franz | Ricardo Frederick Evans as Victor Franz (extension)

SMART PEOPLE by Lydia Diamond

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

April 14 – May 21, 2017

Creative Team:  Scenic Design: Misha Kachman | Lighting Design: Xavier Pierce | Projection Design: Jared Mezzocchi | Sound Design: Andre Pluess | Costume Design: Dede M. Ayite | Wig Design: Anne Nesmith | Vocal Coach: Zach Campion | Stage Manager: Kurt Hall

Cast: Gregory Perri as Brian White | Lorene Chesley as Valerie Johnston | Sue Jin Song as Ginny Yang | Jaysen Wright as Jackson Moore

THE FANTASTICKS by Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt

The Pasadena Playhouse

September 6 – October 2, 2016

Creative Team:  Music Director: David O. | Choreographer: Kitty McNamee | Scenic Design: David F. Weiner | Lighting Design: Josh Epstein | Sound Design: Joe Huppert | Costume Design: Shirley Pierson | Fight Director: Tim Weske | Stage Manager: Lurie Pfeffer

Cast: Philip Anthony Rodriguez as El Gallo | Ashley Park as Luisa | Conor Guzman as Matt | Alyse Rockett as Mute | Gedde Watanabe as Hucklebee | Regi Davis as Bellomy | Hal Linden as Henry | Amir Talai as Mortimer

Press

Los Angeles Times: Pasadena Playhouse tweaks 1960s’ ‘The Fantasticks’ for a post-9/11 era

South Pasadenan: Incandescent ‘The Fantasticks’ at Pasadena Playhouse

Broadway World: Forever Entertaining FANTISTICKS Receives a Sterling Production at Pasadena Playhouse

Video: Trailer

Video: Tom Jones Speaking about working with

Seema on Re-writes of THE FANTASTICKS

A SINGLE SHARD by Linda Sue Park, adapted by Richard Schenkkan

People’s Light, Malvern, PA

April 27 – May 29, 2016

Creative Team:  Choreographer: Jungwoong Kim | Scenic Design: David F. Weiner | Lighting Design: Porsche McGovern | Costume Design: Moria Sine Clinton | Sound Design: Daniel Perelstein | Dramaturg: Gina Pisasale | Stage Manager: Kate McSorley Fossner

Cast: Brian Lee Huynh as Tree-Ear | Graham Smith as Crane Man | Thom Sesma as Master Potter Min | Jeanne Sakata as Min’s Wife / Ensemble | Jade Wu as Min’s Wife replacement/Ensemble | Jungwoong Kim as Deer/Fox/Ensemble | Greg Watanabe as Master Potter Kang/Ensemble | Kevin R. Free as Emissary Kim/Ensemble | Aaron Bell as Apprentice 1/Ensemble | Taysha Canales as Apprentice 2/Ensemble

REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES by Josefina Lopez

The Pasadena Playhouse

September 8 – October 4, 2015

Creative Team:  Scenic Design: David F. Weiner | Lighting Design: Josh Epstein | Sound Design: Cricket Myers | Costume Design: Abel Alvarado | Props Master: Marissa Bergman | Community Organizer: Victor Vazquez | Stage Manager: Jessica R. Aguilar

Cast: Santana Dempsey as Ana | Cristina Frias as Estela | Blanca Araceli as Carmen | Diana DeLaCruz as Rosali | Ingrid Oliu as Pancha

STOP KISS by Diana Son

The Pasadena Playhouse

November 2014

Creative Team:  Scenic Design: David F. Weiner | Sound Design: Joe Huppert | Lighting Design Lap Chi Chu | Costume Design: Dana Rebecca Woods | Stage Manager: Hethyr “Red” Verhof

Cast: Angela Lin as Callie | Sharon Leal as Sara | John Sloan as George | Brandon Scott as Peter | Amanda Carlin as Mrs. Winsley/Nurse | Jeff De Serrano as Detective Cole

EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS by David Wiener

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, San Diego, CA

June 2013

Creative Team:  Scenic Design: David F. Weiner | Lighting Design: Jason Bieber | Sound Design: Joe Huppert | Costume Design: Jeannie Galioto

Cast: Greg Watanabe as Dr. Heng | Esther K. Chae as Rom Chang | Albert Park as Sopoan | Erika Beth Phillips as Mara | Manny Fernandes as Carter

KITA Y FERNANDA by Tanya Saracho

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, San Diego, CA

September 2012