I am a retired high school math teacher with no experience in theater at any level although I do love to attend the theater. In 2004 I saw a play which included an actor that I found exceptional. The play was the Life Design of Jenny Chow and the actor was Seema Sueko. In the playbill there was a note about the actor starting a new performing arts company called Mo`olelo and if interested we could respond to an e-address that had been listed. I could hardly pronounce the name of the company but I e-mailed the artist an "got involved" in a new phase of my life. Seema is a work horse, non stop advocate of the arts, especially the performing arts. She was and still is determined that Mo`olelo will become a company that will out last those who have started it.
I have caught the "virus". It is almost impossible to be around this lady and not feel the energy that goes into her work. I have been the box office manager of some of the productions; I have help set the lights on other productions; I have helped strike the sets after most all productions and I have been on the board of trustees for almost 6 years. It has been a lot of work but I have said this many times. "I get more out of working with Mo`olelo than I give". It is amazing what one can "receive" from working for and with a group of people that has a mission which is renewed with each production. I am now the president of the board of trustees of Mo`olelo but due to board limits will go off the board at the end of this year. That will not keep me from supporting this company both with time and money for as long as it exists...and that will be for a long time to come. I have and will continue to work as a volunteer for this company because the energy of the board and others who volunteer for Mo`olelo feeds my will to continue. I truely believe that this small but growing company has a big future in the regional theaters of southern California and beyond. You would too if you knew our executive artistic director, Seem Sueko.
I choose to support Mo'olelo because of the fine work they do with social issues of the day. My first play that was so thought provoking was about brain injury and the challenges to the family after traumatic brain injury occurs. I have a brain injured child and the play was right on with its message of coping. Mo'olelo's work It so good it should be shown nationally.
San Diego is lucky to have the theartre company with such well focused messages.
Mo`olelo is a Hawaiian word that means tale, legend, or story. As it's name implies this performing arts company goes well beyond performing. The productions are always linked to a social issue that inevitably gets rave reviews. Our board of trustees, by design, is composed of a diverse group ethnically, professionally and by age. Our artistic director, the heart and soul of Mo`olelo is our inspiration. Her ability to select and often perform in such dynamic productions in the past five years has made Mo`olelo a common name in San Diego and beyond in the art community. I might add that we are just getting started. This is a company that is on the move up and even a bad economy is not going away. In the past two years we have added a "green theater" theme to our agenda. As a result we have been approached by other art companies concerned with how the theater can be more environmentally conscious. Visiting or living in San Diego without seeing a Mo`olelo production is a real loss. See for yourself. Mo`olelo is special.
As associate director of a three-school collaboration in a very diverse urbam community, I have worked with Mo'olelo for two years. Our goal has been to raise student achievement, improve motivation and expose students to the world of drama by linking theater-based programs to the schools' standards based curriculum. Mo'olelo has con- sistently provided excellent, well-managed programs that are sensitive to the needs of urban youths. The teaching artists understand how to respond to students from diverse language and ethnic groups and how to use these varied backgrounds to create meaningful learning experiences. Mo'olelo is resourceful and aggressive in seeking funding for schools in areas of high poverty. Leadership is professional, energetic and totally committed to helping urban youth overcome the adverse effects of poverty through arts experiences.