Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company's Co-Founder and Artistic Director Seema Sueko to Depart in Jan 2014
The Board of Trustees of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company announced today that Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director Seema Sueko has accepted the position of Associate Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse. Sueko will assume her new role as of Monday, January 6, 2014.
According to Board President Ilene Hubbs, "We couldn't be happier for Seema. She has really been a shining star in the local theatre community and we are not surprised that she has been specially selected for this newly created position at The Pasadena Playhouse. We are sorry to see Seema go, but she leaves Mo`olelo healthy and strong and poised for continued success. The board has implemented staff restructuring and will announce a national search for an Executive Artistic Director soon."
Tom Hall, Founder/Managing Partner of Albert Hall & Associates LLC and past Managing Director of The Old Globe, also expressed his support for Sueko and Mo`olelo, "It has been my pleasure to know Seema as both an arts leader and a community leader for many years. She is clearly deserving of this opportunity to join The Pasadena Playhouse team led by Sheldon Epps, former Associate Artistic Director at The Old Globe. I have no doubt she will do great things there. But perhaps most important to San Diegans is the fact that Seema has had a leading role in building an exemplary organization in Mo`olelo, leaving it in a strong position to recruit the next generation of leadership that will no doubt continue the company's extraordinary success well into the future."
Mo`olelo, which means "story" in Hawaiian, is a community-focused, socially-conscious, Equity Theater Company, and was co-founded by Sueko and Kim Palma Richmond in San Diego in 2004. Sueko, who is originally from Hawaii, held the artistic and managing leadership position at Mo`olelo since its founding. At Mo`olelo, in addition to directing and setting the artistic vision for the Company, Seema developed their greening initiative, consensus organizing methodologies, and led the Company through its selection as the Inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse. Sueko's vision has led to Mo`olelo's steady growth, financial health, and the production of three plays and arts education programs annually. Her honors include the 2010 Des McAnuff New Visions Award from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, the 2012 NAACP San Diego Branch Lorraine V. Hansberry Performing Arts Award, and Theatre Communication Group's inaugural Leadership U[niversity] grant funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse shared, "I am genuinely thrilled that Seema will be joining us here at The Pasadena Playhouse. Without doubt, she is one of the rising stars of the American theatre field. I believe that she is destined for great success in this new position and in other leadership capacities in the future. Her admirable intellect, passion for the work, and desire to engage the community have been a tremendous boon to her efforts at Mo`olelo. I know that those same qualities will be equally valuable to our very similar mission here at The Playhouse. She joins us at a time of tremendous vitality and great success. I have no doubt that this new partnership will keep that good energy going, and in fact I believe that her presence here will help to lead us to ever increasing theatrical vibrancy and new levels of artistry."
Sueko's last day at Mo`olelo will be December 13, 2013. Prior to her departure she will plan the Company's 2014 10th anniversary season. Says Sueko, "Though I am transitioning to another organization, my heart will always remain with Mo`olelo and I will continue to support the Company. My decision was made easier knowing what an exceptional staff and board are in place. My husband, Troy Hirsch, and I look forward to attending Mo`olelo productions for years to come and cheering on the new leadership."