She is finding god in herself and learning to love her fiercely.
A Carolina girl, who believes grits (with butter) are essential for fast breaking on weekends, Briana Gibson Reeves is a wife, daughter, sister, and the favorite Auntie. Her most fulfilling mornings are fueled with coffee, sun salutations, and meditative gratitude. Her reserved, calming spirit soothes and her earthy energy grounds. She is most at peace, floating in water; most creative thrifting; most radiant wearing her favorite color, leopard; most energized, sharing breaking bread with family and friends. Travel is her favorite pathway to learning more about the human experience. Her favorite domestic trip to date was a month long road trip traveling south.
She lives to create, write, produce, and tell stories and her performing resume is stacked with over decades worth of credits from originating roles Off Broadway to co-starring in indie films. Although she is classical trained, will fight to the death with her longsword and rapier/dagger in a heartbeat, and has had many opportunities to breath life into the lovers, explorers, outlaws, jesters, and muses of Shakespeare, Moliere, and Etherege, she doesn’t limit herself to the classical canon. In fact, the work that she is most proud of spurs conversation and requires one to interrogate their own belief systems. And the space that is most freeing for her to create, is collaborative and inclusive, permitting her to enter in the full totality of who she is as a human, including her experience as a Black woman living in America.
In addition to performing, she is a master teacher. In fact, before transitioning to artistry full time, Briana is a Teach for America alum and taught high school math for five years. She excelled in the classroom, and brings her skill (which she credits to natural inheritance from the best teacher, her mother) and expertise to facilitating a wide spectrum of trainings including acting, movement, text analysis, and improvisation across all abilities and ages ranging from kindergartners to adults. She has impacted thousands in the Greater Washington DC and Baltimore communities - with her work in the education departments of Shakespeare Theatre Company and Everyman Theatre and has even helped to train teachers ion how to integrate Shakespeare’s work into their individual English curriculums.
While her professional body of work has garnered acclaim, including induction into Hampton University’s 40 under 40 Alumni Society and a Metrolina Theatre Association Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical, creation of own content excites her. Most recently, she wrote, produced, and starred in her own series, #blackhistorymoment highlighting inventions of Black Americans. She is currently in pre-production for a faith based docuseries in partnership with her husband, their production company NuWei, and Faith Counts, which is set to be released in Spring 2023 across social platforms.
She is married to fellow Hamptonian, Teddy Reeves, and the pair currently reside in Brooklyn, NY with many plant children.
Off Broadway, she flew west
Briana made her return to live theatre in Fall 2021 after Covid forced a break, working regionally at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. She brought to life fictional homesteader, Fannie Dove, one of the first settlers of the historical all black town of Nicodemus, Kansas in Flyin West. And through her work with the education department as an affiliated teaching artist, she entered over 20 Baltimore City classrooms facilitating workshops and discussions with students who got a chance to to see the play through the theatre's high school matinee program.
For years, Flyin West by Pearl Cleage was on her dream bucket list. Cleage's story is one about sisterhood, survival, creating family and holding onto them will all your might. Never did she imagine that less than six weeks shy of returning from the western frontier on a month long road trip rediscovering historically black spaces and towns with her husband, that she would be offered a chance to tell the story of the land that she had just traversed.
And the icing on the cake. For the first time in her professional career, she got to play the lover to a fellow Hampton University alum.
And her favorite line from the show was one spoken directly to her character Fannie by her love interest, Wil Parish:
"A colored woman is a precious jewel, deserving of my respect, my love, and my protection."
This story, this cast & creative team, this character, will always hold a special place in her heart.