Seema Sueko


Accomplished Leader, Artist, and
Deputy Artistic Director at Arena Stage
“Throughout my career I have focused on two overarching goals:
artistic excellence that creates space for all communities to engage
with our art form and pioneering new methodologies and models
of theater to build thriving organizations.”

Keynote Speaker



Photo by Greg Powers

SEEMA SUEKO has gained national prominence for her innovations in artistic leadership.  She has been Associate Artistic Director at Pasadena Playhouse and the Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego, where she pioneered the consensus organizing for theater methodology and the Green Theater Choices Toolkit, which has been used by theaters and universities on five continents. Her acting and directing credits include Arena Stage, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Old Globe, 5th Avenue Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, People’s Light, Native Voices, and Yale Repertory Theatre. As a playwright, she has received commissions from Mixed Blood Theatre Company and Center Stage, and her work has been recognized by the California State Assembly, NAACP San Diego, Chicago Jeff Awards, American Theatre Wing and American Theatre magazine. Her current R&D work includes applications of virtual, mixed and augmented reality for the nonprofit theater field, and the neuroscience of acting. Seema serves on the Diversity Committee of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.


In 2013 Seema received the inaugural Theatre Communications Group/Andrew Mellon Foundation Leadership U grant, which first brought her to Arena Stage as a Visiting Artistic Associate. Seema is now the Deputy Artistic Director at Arena Stage, where she is responsible for leading the organization’s Artistic Development department, which operationalizes the artistic vision of Arena through season planning, the Power Play Commissioning Initiative, Resident Artist Program, dramaturgy, consensus organizing, and casting.​​

Learn more about Seema in her interviews with

The Washington Post and theatreWashington!