Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway was born and raised in East London, England. Simeilia began her career in the arts as an Actor training at the Half Moon Theatre. At age 13 she went up for her first audition for the lead role in Rebecca Prichard's play 'Fairgame' at the Royal Court Theatre, St Martin's Lane. Simeilia was cast for the role and thus, experienced her first professional performance on a West-End stage.
At the end of the production, playwright Rebecca Prichard, presented Simeilia with several plays. Amongst these plays was the exceptional Black American Play 'For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf' by Ntozake Shange. Simeilia instantly felt a connection with this play and had a huge desire to see it staged in London. Ironically, when Simeilia went to Barking College, her tutor John Tolan used 'For Colored Girls' as a stimulus to discuss Black American history and language. Simeilia continued her studies at Roehampton University, disgruntled by the lack of black plays featured on the BA Drama and Theatre Studies Course, she decided to direct her first play 'For Colored Girls.' The play received a revival at Roehampton University and Simeilia was accredited her first 1st grade.
After graduating from Roehampton University with a 2:1 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies, Simeilia decided to pursue directing. She trained at the Young Vic Theatre and the National Theatre and was taken under the wing of UK directors Indhu Rubasingham and Michael Buffong. She went on to direct and assist various theatre productions across the UK. Including, 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic Theatre, Hanging on by a Thread at Almeida Theatre.
A few years later, David Lan (Artistic Director of Young Vic Theatre) offered Simeilia the opportunity to become the Assistant Director on musical adaptations: Magic Flute and Christmas Carols, in South Africa. The two musicals opened at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town before touring to the Young Vic Theatre in London which was subsequently followed by an world-wide tour. Whilst working in Cape Town, Simeilia met Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and they worked on many productions and research and development projects together.
In 2008, Kwame employed Simeilia as the Project Manager for his Black Play Archive (BPA) initiative at The Royal National Theatre. After managing the BPA project for two years, Simeilia went on to teach at Secondary Schools in East London and Essex, which inspired her to launch her first social website Bragbox UK. This was closely followed by an appointed role as the Project Assistant for the Open Stage initiative at Theatre Royal Stratford East, which led to various audience development roles at the Young Vic Theatre and The Gate Theatre. In 2013, Simeilia launched her 'Diversity in Plays and Monologue for Black Actors' course, which initially took place at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2014, Simeilia gained the support of Oberon Books, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Arts Council England to produce the first monologue anthology for Black Actors from Black British plays entitled 'The Oberon Book of Monologues for Black Actors: Classical and Contemporary Speeches from Black British Plays'. This included forewords by Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and Naomie Harris. She went on to produce a short film documentary entitled 'Voices From The Black Row', with Narrow Path Films, supported by Theatre Royal Stratford East.
More recently, with the support of Bloomsbury Publishing, Simeilia is currently working on a second collection of monologue books for black actors from plays by British and International playwrights.
Simeilia is the Founder and Executive Manager of the Artistic Directors of the Future, a training initiative designed to increase the number of Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic Artistic Directors in mainstream theatres. This initiative is supported by the Young Vic Theatre and Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme.