Pittsburgh native and St. Pete entertainer Davina Reed is a classic case of when the student becomes the teacher.
Way back when, Reed decided to dip her foot into the entertainment world after traveling the United States as part of the military. One of her first landing pads: the previous American Stage Improv Program, where she graduated from the theatre company’s first program.
Starting this October, Reed will come full circle as the teacher for Comedy Tonight! Improv for Beginners and Teen Comedy Club: Improv for Teens.
“For me, acting classes were a way to be a part of storytelling. To share peoples stories and connect,” Reed said.
Along with her graduation from American Stage, Reed studied at the Venue Actors Studio, the Andi Matheny Actors Studio and the Performers Studio Workshop. Her father was an actor, and her mother was a school teacher, so becoming a teaching artist was a natural move for Reed.
“I enjoy sharing with others what I've learned, seeing people grow creatively, and experiencing the shared joy when people create fun stories together,” Reed said. “Seeing an improv team form out of a class I taught, the students in that class bonded so well, they formed a team and continued to perform together well past the class ending.”
Reed’s teaching spot with American Stage is coming at a pivotal time for the downtown theatre company, as the Oct. 3 start of fall classes marks the first time American Stage will host a full-blown drama school for adults and kids.
The mission is arts accessibility, and Reed understands that.
“Arts education helps foster creativity, confidence and builds collaboration skills necessary in the creative process, which is used in a variety of career fields,” Reed said. “It also helps bring enjoyment to everyday life, aka, taking time to smell the roses.”
And once you're in class, don’t forget to ask her about her encounter with Mr. Rogers.
Those interested in booking a class with Reed, or looking into any of the American Stage Drama School classes can find more information online at americanstage.org