hooray for Pat!

June 5, 2009

Pat Launer’s review of GOOD BOYS from San Diego News Network:


…….Seema Sueko, founding artistic director of Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, loves to explore and lay bare complex social issues, engaging the community in dialogue and debate, raising awareness and consciousness. She has scored again. Bull’s eye. Partnering with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, dedicated to preventing bullying and violence in schools, and the Jenna Druck Foundation, which provides support to bereaved families who’ve lost a child, Mo’olelo is reaching out to school kids, both as audience (for special matinee performances) and as participants (collages, hanging outside the theater, were created by Hoover High School students in response to the play). This is what theater was meant to do: inform, inspire, question values, alter perspectives and hopefully, change minds. The talk-back after the performance I attended was exceptional; the comments were incisive, the contributors ranging from a parent who’d lost a child, to folks who’d grown up around guns and can’t understand their gross misuse by young people today. The origins of violence were discussed; of course, no resolutions were reached, but it was deeply moving to hear the thoughtful, heartfelt comments.

Both the issues and the performances ignited and intrigued the attendees. And what performances they were! Sueko cast exceptionally well, and guided a gifted ensemble through the seesawing emotions and shifting sympathies of this well-crafted play, which managed not to be overly melodramatic or neatly concluded like a movie-of-the-week. “Closure does not exist,” we’re rightly told.


read the entire review here.


We are so excited about the many groups planning to attend Good Boys. Here’s a list of some of them. We offer discounts for groups of 10 or more — if you’d like more info on how to book a group, email Laura Lauzier at laura@moolelo.net or call us at 619-342-7395.

Tariq Khamisa Foundation
Heggeness, Sweet, Simington & Patrico
La Mesa First United Methodist Church
Friends of Eugenia Kuttler
Friends of Jill Hansen
Pearson Foundation
San Diego County Association of School Psychologists
Blue Summit Financial Group
Helix Charter High School
Friends of Phil Harding
North County Lifeline
The Teen Recovery Center at South Bay Community Services
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego
Restorative Justice Mediation Program
Hoover High School
High Tech High International
The Preuss School UCSD
KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy

Theatre and the Environment Panel

(And an excerpt of a work in progress)


Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

The CUNY Graduate Center,

365 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10016-4309


April 23rd, 2009, 6:30 pm



Join us on the evening after Earth Day to explore what theatre artists and production staff are doing to meet the extraordinary challenges of climate change. At a time when local, state and federal governments are setting goals for reductions in carbon emissions, holding public meetings to solicit public recommendations for adapting to rising sea levels; when businesses are beginning to talk about renewable energy, closed-loop waste streams, and innovative mobility systems; what are we doing in the theatre?


This event will explore theatre and the environment from two perspectives: the process of making theatre, and the theatre we make.  On the process side, we will explore building performance and renewable energy, facilities management, closed loop set design and construction and intelligent recycling. On the content side we will see an excerpt of a new play by Shelia Callaghan. Directed by Daniella Topol, we will learn from her how this multimedia theatre piece about water has been shaped through her consultations with scientists at the Department of Environmental Conservation. We will also reflect on Bill McKibben’s lament that the theatre lags behind other art forms in grasping – and mining – the full artistic potential of this issue.


Panelists include Gideon Banner, actor and founder of the Green Theater Initiative; Bob Usdin, founder and CEO of Showman Fabricators; Benno Van Noort, LEED-certified director of facilities at the New Victory Theatre and The New 42nd Street Studios; NYC Director Daniella Topol; Marda Kirn, founder and Executive Director of Eco-Arts Connections in Boulder, Colorado. Seema Sueko, Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego, and Ben Todd, Executive Director and fuel cell technology expert at the Arcola Theatre in London will participate via a Skype feed (as a way to lower our carbon footprint).


This program is co-curated for CUNY by Michael Johnson-Chase, a former theatre professor, international program director at the Lark Play Development Center, producer and writer. After a stint as a solar installer, he is currently developing Green Collar Job training programs at Solar One; an environmentally focused arts and education center in NYC soon to feature New York City’s first net zero carbon classroom and performance facility.


Introducing Laura

March 31, 2009

Laura Lauzier

Laura Lauzier

Hi Friends, let me introduce myself. I am Laura Lauzier and I am Mo`olelo’s Audience Development Manager for the production of Good Boys. I am so excited to be a part of the Mo`olelo family and look forward to this exciting show. I am busy spreading the word about Good Boys and hope that you’ll all plan to attend.  Feel free to call or email me about group tickets and special events, or just to say “Hi”. I look forward to seeing you all at Good Boys!

costume design meeting

February 7, 2009

Jeannie and Lauren

Jeannie and Lauren

We met today with Costume Designer Jeannie Galioto and Dramaturgy Intern Lauren Beck to start design discussions for Good Boys. We discussed each of the five characters, time of year, location, temperature, and contemporary teen culture. Jeannie provided preliminary images and sifted through Mo`olelo’s costume stock. It was a great start…

We’re looking forward to our birthday party on Saturday, Feb 14 at 2 PM at The Old Globe. As of Feb 4, we have only 6 tickets remaining. Call 619-342-7395 or order online at www.moolelo.net to get your ticket.

If you’re on the fence, here are some reviews of SINCE AFRICA:

North County Times
“Director returns to Since Africa with even better results”
by Pam Kragen

San Diego Reader
“Help too much”
by Jeff Smith

Since Africa
by January Riddle

La Jolla Light
Losses mended, hope renewed in ‘Since Africa’
by Diana Saenger

Hope to see you at the Birthday Bash!

*** Updated 2/5/09 at 5:33 PM – Now only 4 tickets remaining!

Photo Shoot – Good Boys

January 27, 2009

We’re starting to create the graphic identity for our upcoming production of Good Boys by Jane Martin, and we held a photo shoot of some of the actors at Hoover High School’s football stadium.

Actors Mike Sear and Robert Barry Fleming with Photographer Nick Abadilla

Actors Mike Sears and Robert Barry Fleming with Photographer Nick Abadilla

 Actors Mike Sears, Robert Barry Fleming, and Sacha Allen braved the cold weather last night.

Mike Sear and Robert Barry Fleming

Mike Sears and Robert Barry Fleming

Stay tuned for the final product….

Announcing Birthday Bash

January 13, 2009

For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Seema Sueko, 619-342-7395





Birthday Bash Celebration with Since Africa at The Old Globe

Saturday, February 14, 2009, 2 PM


January 14, 2009 – San Diego, CA – Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, San Diego’s socially-conscious community-focused Equity theater company, celebrates its fifth anniversary with a Birthday Bash fundraiser on February 14, 2009. The event will include the 2 PM performance of Since Africa by Mia McCullough at The Old Globe, followed by an exclusive reception in The Old Globe rehearsal halls.


Originally produced in San Diego by Mo`olelo and directed by Mo`olelo’s Artistic Director, Seema Sueko, Since Africa tells the story of a Lost Boy of Sudan refugee and his resettlement into life in urban America. The leadership of The Old Globe saw Mo`olelo’s award-winning production in 2006, and asked Sueko to direct the play as part of The Old Globe’s 2008-2009 Winter Season. “It’s a nice feather-in-our-cap that The Old Globe elected to produce this play after seeing our production, and we are thrilled to see Seema make her Old Globe directorial debut,” said Mo`olelo’s Board President, Clifford D. Sweet, III. “What a wonderful way to celebrate our fifth birthday,” he continued.


Mo`olelo’s Birthday Bash starts at 2 PM with the matinee performance of Since Africa at The Old Globe’s Copley Arena Stage. The exclusive post-show reception, catered by Viva Pasta, will take place in The Old Globe rehearsal halls and will include raffle prizes donated by the Westgate Hotel, Ivy Hotel, Bali Hai, Jake’s Del Mar, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Barona Valley Resort & Casino, and more. Tickets to the Mo`olelo Birthday Bash are $100 and $150 and are available at www.moolelo.net or 619-342-7395.


Event Details

What:                           Mo`olelo Birthday Bash

When:                          Saturday, February 14, 2009, 2:00 PM

Where:                        The Old Globe Copley Arena Stage & Rehearsal Halls

Cost:                            $100 – $150

Info & Resrvations:     619-342-7395 and www.moolelo.net



About Mo`olelo:

Mo`olelo means story in Hawaiian. Selected as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company is a socially-conscious theater organization dedicated to broadening the scope of San Diego’s cultural environment by telling powerful stories that are as diverse as the islands of Hawaii while paying Equity wages to local actors and developing environmentally-friendly theater practices. A recipient of the Patté, McDonald Playwriting and the Anti-Discrimination Awards, its mission is to create new works based on research within various communities, produce lesser-known works by master and contemporary playwrights, and to educate youth.

To learn more, visit www.moolelo.net or call 619-342-7395.




Birthday Bash, page 2

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company

Five Year Production History


¨       2004 – remains by Seema Sueko

·          Original play about Israeli-Palestinian conflict

·          Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Artistic & Cultural Achievement Award; KPBS Patte’s McDonald Award for Playwriting.

·          Productions & readings in Chicago, San Francisco & Minnesota

·          Taught at University of Puget Sound Theater Classes


¨       2005 – A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro

·          A play a bout the American women who served in the Vietnam War

·          Unique partnership with Veterans Museum and Memorial Center

·          Launched Mo`olelo’s innovative Three Part Arts Education Outreach Program


¨       2006 – Since Africa by Mia McCullough

·          A play about Lost Boy of Sudan’s resettlement in urban America

·          Sold out before opening

·          MY HOME Literacy-through-Theatre After School Program in partnership with International Rescue Committee

·          KPBS Patté Award for Theater Excellence: Outstanding Ensemble

·          Selected for 2008-2009 season at The Old Globe


¨       2007 – The Adoption Project: Triad by Kimber Lee

·          An original play, commissioned by Mo`olelo about the complexity of the adoption experience told from multiple perspectives

·          Community Art Installation Project


¨       2007 – Cowboy Versus Samurai by Michael Golamco

·          Contemporary, Asian American re-telling of Cyrano de Bergerac

·          Partnership with Asian Business Association

·          Patté Award for Lighting Design

·          San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for Sound Design


¨       2008 – Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons

·          A play about art, race, representation & the media inspired by The Barnes Foundation

·          Partners: Young Audiences, San Diego Museum of Art


¨       2008 – Night Sky by Susan Yankowitz

·          A play about traumatic brain injury and aphasia

·          Partnerships with San Diego Brain Injury Foundation, Sharp HealthCare Rehabilitation Services / ThinkFirst program, Disability Awareness Network, National Aphasia Association

·          Inaugural play in residence at La Jolla Playhouse


# # #

Dear Friends,


Mahalo to all of you for making 2008 such a successful year for Mo`olelo. I am pleased to report that thanks to so many of your year-end contributions, Mo`olelo ended another year in the black! A rarity among nonprofit theater organizations, Mo`olelo has never sustained a deficit since our founding, though we continue to pay Equity wages, health insurance and pension to local San Diego actors. As stewards of the Company, the Board of Trustees wishes to assure you that every dollar contributed to Mo`olelo is applied responsibly and efficiently to fulfill our mission and serve our community with integrity.


We have a wonderful year planned for 2009. First up, we’ll be celebrating our fifth birthday at The Old Globe’s production of Since Africa, directed by Mo`olelo’s Artistic Director, Seema Sueko! Many of you may recall that we produced this show to sold out houses in 2006. It’s a nice feather-in-our-cap that The Old Globe decided to include this play in its 2008-2009 winter season after seeing our production. This has offered us a wonderful way to celebrate our birthday! We hope you can join us for the festivities. All the details are here. And if you can’t join us on February 14, please go see the production on another day to support The Old Globe’s decision to produce this play and hire a local director.


I’d also like to update you on some new faces on Mo`olelo’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Board. We are honored to welcome San Diego County Superior Court Judge Desiree A. Bruce-Lyle to the Board. And we are privileged that Robert deRose, President of The deRose Foundation and Chairman of the Board of the National Lending Associates, Inc., has joined our Advisory Board. You can see the entire Board and Advisory Board rosters on our website, www.moolelo.net, click on “About Us” then “People.”


Again thank you for your continued participation with Mo`olelo. Wishing you and yours a peaceful and prosperous 2009.




Clifford D. Sweet, III

President, Board of Trustees


audition thank yous

December 10, 2008

Thank you to everyone who auditioned for GOOD BOYS this past weekend, and thank you to the audition monitors and volunteers: Debra, Lynn, Robin and Susan.

We are still in the casting process and suspect it might be a few weeks before everything is finalized, but in the meantime, here are some observations that might be useful for your future auditions…

The most successful auditions were the ones where the actor was more or less “memorized”, but still held the script in his hand just in case, and perhaps used the script as a “prop” to represent a photo or a stick or to make the noise for a slap.

The most successful auditions were the ones where the actors clearly visualized their environment and used the space accordingly, thus making it real for the auditor.

And most importantly, the most successful auditions were the one where the actor was in relationship, clearly making his audition side about the other person — either the person they were talking to, or the audience, if they were addressing the audience — and not selfishly about himself. In other words, the actor had strategized what the imaginary person at the other end of his side is giving back to him and responded accordingly, thus making twists and turns in his side that kept it alive and exciting.

Hope this information can be helpful to all who auditioned.