Briana tackled for the third time, an Off-Broadway run of Richard III in three distinct roles: King Edward IV, Catesby and the Archbishop. She was one of seven ensemble members who identify as either female or gender fluid, bringing to life Richard's rise to power in a story filled with familial manipulation, egregious murder and political deceit.
She is a Carolina girl that lives for mornings 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 leopard; and most energized breaking bread with family and friends. Her favorite pathway to learning more about the human experience is travel.
Briana has a performing resume filled with decades of credits from Off Broadway to indie films. She is classically trained and will fight to the death with her rapier/dagger but she doesn’t limit herself to the classical canon. New work excites her and she is proudest when it spurs conversation and requires one to interrogate their own belief systems. The space that is most freeing for Briana to create is collaborative and inclusive, permitting her to enter in the full totality of who she is as a human being, including her experience as a Black woman living in America.
While her professional acting work has garnered acclaim, including a Metrolina Theatre Association Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical, producing original content excites her. Most recently she wrote, produced and starred in her own series, #blackhistorymoment, highlighting inventions of Black Americans. She and her husband are currently in pre-production as executive producers of a YouTube docuseries set to be released in Summer 2024. Briana will also star in this series which explores millennials and multi-faith integration.
In addition to producing and performing she is a coach, master teacher, training facilitator and Teach for America alumnus. Before transitioning to artistry, Briana was a high school math teacher, principal intern and curriculum design specialist. She now applies her extensive background in education as CEO of B.Improv to coach teams in the application of the rules of improvisational play to transform their organization's functionality.
she flew west
Briana brought to life fictional homesteader, Fannie Dove, a settler of the historical all black town of Nicodemus in Flyin West at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. Additionally, through her work with the education department, she entered over twenty Batimore City classrooms and facilitated pre-show workshops to prepare high school students to see the play.
For years, Cleage's story about sisterhood, survival and creating family was on her bucket list. Never did she imagine a month shy of returning from a road trip rediscovering historically black spaces and towns that she would be offered a chance to tell the story of the land she had just traversed.
The Bonus: For the first time in her career Briana played opposite a fellow Hampton University alumnus.