NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, has announced that Seema Sueko has been awarded the Alan Schneider Director Award, established in honor of Schneider’s significant contribution to theatre in the U.S. and his lifelong commitment to the development of career opportunities for freelance directors. The award is designed to identify and assist exceptionally talented mid-career freelance directors whose achievements have been demonstrated through work in specific U.S. regions or territories, but who may not be known more widely or recognized nationally.
“At TCG, we have long admired Seema Sueko’s work,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, in a statement. “From her founding of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, where she developed the Green Theater Choices Toolkit, to her work in consensus organizing, to her development of the Arena Stage Theater Artists Marketplace, Seema has always matched her directorial artistry to a transformative vision of what theatre can do and be. She truly models TCG’s mission of leading for a just and thriving theatre ecology, and we’re thrilled to honor her with the Alan Schneider Director Award.”
Sueko is a freelance director focused on building just communities through a practice which includes generative work, consensus organizing, and research and development. Most recently, she was commissioned by Jack Reuler at Mixed Blood Theatre to create an original piece, imagine a u.s. without racism, for which she interviewed 100 strangers across the U.S., two from each state, and wove, hacked, honored, and fictionalized elements from the interviews into a cohesive story, which she directed in April 2022 along with a blog and community pantry. Past positions include deputy artistic director at Arena Stage, associate artistic director at the Pasadena Playhouse, and co-founder and executive artistic director at Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company. Next, she will direct The Chinese Lady at Denver Center and Silent Sky at Asolo Repertory Theatre. Raised in Honolulu, Seema received her M.A. in International Relations from University of Chicago and resides in the D.C. region. Seema serves on the executive board of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and the board of trustees of their Foundation (SDCF), and is currently learning about Solidarity Economy (SE) and exploring how the tools of SE could be applied to theatremaking.
A prolific director and mentor, Alan Schneider was responsible for over 100 productions in U.S. theatre, introducing audiences to playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee, Michael Weller, Harold Pinter, and Bertolt Brecht. Schneider taught at Catholic University, the Juilliard School, and the University of California at San Diego; was associated with Arena Stage for 30 years; was the co-artistic director of the Acting Company; and at the time of his death was the president of the board of directors for TCG.
Recent recipients of the Alan Schneider Director Award include Daniel Banks (2020), May Adrales (2018), Kimberly Senior (2016), Liesl Tommy (2014), Bart DeLorenzo (2012), and Anne Kauffman (2010). A full history of the award can be found here.
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