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 production photos, videos, press coverage and reviews of a few of
Seema’s directing projects over the past few years below.
Director Seema Sueko has a gift for making little moments, that may seem like almost nothing if read on the page, stand out, both comedically and dramatically.
- Kay Kipling, January 23, 2023, Sarasota Magazine, "Silent Sky Shines at Asolo Rep"
Works in Progress:
SOMETHING MOVING: A Meditation on Maynard by Pearl Cleage
Ford's Theatre, Washington, DC, 2023
SONG OF THE EXILE by Seema Sueko, adapted from the novel by Kiana Davenport
Anything Arts: (1/30/23) Silent Sky Lights Up the Night at Asolo Rep
Sarasota Herald-Tribune: (1/24/23) Joyful 'Silent Sky' inspires pride and heartwarming spirit at Asolo Rep
Sarasota Magazine: Silent Sky Shines at Asolo Rep (1/23/23)
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "Asolo Rep's 'Silent Sky' goes to the stars with groundbreaking female scientists," by Jay Handelman (1/13/23)
SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson
Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota, FL
January 19 -March 5, 2023
Scenic Designer | Milagros Ponce de Leon
Lighting Designer | Rui Rita
Projections Designer | Shawn Duan
Costume Designer | Ivania Stack
Hair & Makeup | Michelle Hart
Sound Designer | Andre Pluess
Choreographer | Karma Camp
Dramaturgy | Katie Ciszek
Intimacy | Samantha Egle
Voice & Dialects | Patricia Delorey
Production Stage Manager: Nia Sciarretta
Assistant Stage Manager: Kristin Loughry
Directing Fellow: Marlo Rodriguez
Stage Management Apprentice: Lauren Boesch
Kendra Jo Brook as Henrietta Leavitt
Christian Douglass as Peter Shaw
Zoya Martin as Margaret
Suzanne Grodner as Annie "Jump" Cannon
Lise Bruneau as Williamina Fleming
Past directing projects:
Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver, CO
Sept. 9 - Oct. 16, 2022. EXTENDED to Oct. 23, 2022.
Scenic Designer | Alan E Muraoka
Lighting Designer | Charles MacLeod
Costume Designer | Meghan Anderson Doyle
Sound Designer | Andre Pluess
Dramaturgy | Katherine Chou
Voice and Dialect Coaching | Eva Breneman
Intimacy Consulting | Samantha Egle
Production Stage Manager: Malia Stoner
Assistant Stage Manager: Kristin Sutter
Narea Kang as Afong Moy
Sky Smith as Atung
Broadway World Review "Run, Don't Walk to See The Chinese Lady..." (pdf)
Denver Post Review "The Chinese Lady is witty..." (pdf)
Boulder Weekly Review: "American Sideshow"
a fantasy about our reality and a plausibility
Written and Directed by Seema Sueko
Commissioned by Mixed Blood Theatre (Jack Reuler, Artistic Director)
April 8 - May 1, 2022
In July 2021, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis commissioned Seema to create and direct a full-length artistic piece based on the prompt “imagine a U.S. without racism.” She embarked on a journey through zoom windows and cell phones, interviewing over 100 people across the United States, from a diversity of backgrounds, majority strangers to her, about this prompt. She gathered, wove, honored, hacked, and fictionalized elements from the interviews into this play. More thoughts, experiences, ideas and insights from the interviews can be found on this blog.
Seven individuals find themselves in a strange, remedial class with an inexorable teacher intent on provoking their imaginations. Comic and somber, foolish and hopeful, the class clashes their way into something unexpected. Drawn from interviews with real-life people across the United States, this play-with-an-ulterior-motive transforms the impossible into the plausible.
Creative & Production Team: Jay Claire (Production Manager), Liz Engelman (Dramaturg), Joe Stanley (Scenic Designer), Zahra Jangbar (Costume Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), Victor Zupanc (Composer), Scott Edwards (Sound Designer), Kim Ford (Properties Designer), Julia Reisinger (Technical Director), Jeremy Ellarby (Head Electrician), Caitlin Arndt (Covid Safety Manager), Colleen Lacy (Stage Manager), Kollie Shaw (Assistant Stage Manager)
Cast: Warren C. Bowles, Michelle Barber, Terry Lynn Carlson, Jayce Hanson, Kurt Kwan, Jiavani, Faye Price, Lisa Suarez
The list of interviewees can be found here.
The list of interviewee recommenders can be found here.
Special Thanks to Agent Max Grossman and his Assistant Jack Lavey with A3 Artists Agency.
"imagine a u.s. without racism" review on Cherry and Spoon (4/17/21)
As the days get brighter, these plays get darker, feature in StarTribune (4/18/21)
Smart People by Lydia R. Diamond
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
December 9 - 12, 2021
Scenic & Projection Designer....Tiffani I. Sydnor
Lighting Designer....Alberto Segarra
Costume Designer....Ivania Stack
Sound Designer....Roc Lee
Intimacy Choreography....Megan Behm
Nathan Burke as Brian White
Charlotte Kim as Ginny Yang
Lady'Jordan Matthews-Mason as Valerie Johnston
Alexander Robinson as Jackson Moore
Dear Jack, Dear Louise by Ken Ludwig
Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata
Virginia Stage Company
October 17 - November 7, 2021 (in rotating repertory)
Two plays set against the backdrop of WWII. In Dear Jack, Dear Louise, we meet U.S. army doctor Jacob Ludwig who begins a correspondence with an emerging Broadway actor Louise Rabiner. The play follows their love story against the obstacle of war. In Hold These Truths we meet Japanese American college student Gordon Hirabayashi who fights the US government's orders to forcibly remove and incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, including American citizens, on the West Coast. The two stories are launched in 1942, yet the experiences of the three real-life Americans featured in these stories 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. Read more about these shows here.
Scenic Designer.....Alan E. Muraoka
Lighting Designer.....Lynne Hartman
Sound Designer.....André Pluess
Costume Designer.....Jeni Schaefer
Hold These Truths Cast: Greg Watanabe
Stage Manager.....Adrienne Wells
Assistant Stage Manager.....Aimee Amelia Greco
Dear Jack, Dear Louise Cast: Dan Fenaughty, Larissa Klinger
Stage Manager.....Kurt Hall
Assistant Stage Manager.....Grace Weaver
Shakespeare in Clark Park, Philadelphia, PA
August 29, 2021
Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP), a small nonprofit theater in Philadelphia, contracted Seema to co-create and direct, with the community of Germantown, Philadelphia, an artistic project to take place outdoors in Germantown’s iconic Vernon Park at the end of August 2021, utilizing Shakespeare’s Pericles as the launching point for creative query. The overall goal was to connect and nourish the soul of the people of Germantown.
Seema led a six-month consensus organizing (CO) process beginning in March 2021, which prioritized the people and narratives of Germantown. Through this process, local residents and organizations co-created and named the project Germantown Plays Pericles, an all-ages fair where audience members perambulated through Vernon Park, interacting with nine 'islands,’ each reflecting a narrative moment in Pericles embodied through a contemporary Germantown activity that included interactive art installations, games, music, breakdancing, mutual aid and resources. The event culminated with an original 30-minute poetic play that refracted Pericles through a tale centering Black Germantown and the community's fight against gentrification. The play was written by Angela Bey and incorporated ideas and writings from community members that surfaced through the CO process. Photos and more info can be found here.
Click here for a 20-second TikTok video of the project
Click here for the digital program
Broadway World: Shakespeare in Clark Park Presents GERMANTOWN PLAYS PERICLES
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.
In the pandemic, the creative team worked on adapting a couple of songs from 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, "Meh Nam Khong" and "Home to You".
You may listen to them here:
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
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
Broadway World: Arena Stage and The Atlantic Council Premiere VETERANS DAY 2020
Military Times: ‘War Words’ film-adapted play brings veterans’ stories to the screen on Veterans Day
The film is no longer available online, but you may read about the project and view the talkback here.
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
Washington Post: ‘Silent Sky’ tells the story of pioneering female astronomers with humor and warmth
Broadway World: BWW Review: SILENT SKY at Ford's Theatre is Bursting with Imagination
Maryland Theatre Guide: This show is an incredible gift to all of us.
Video: Facebook Live Interview
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
Washington Post: Arena Stage tackles Internet privacy — and permanence — in ‘Right to Be Forgotten’
Broadway World: Right to be Forgotten at Arena Stage
DC Metro Theater Arts: Thoughtful ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ at Arena Stage
Video: Interview on Al Jazzera’s “The Stream”
THE HEIRESS by Ruth and Augustus Goetz
Arena Stage, Washington, DC
February 8 – March 10, 2019
Fichandler Stage – In-the-round