A Star Is Born at Cal State East Bay

Maha Sanad, Social Media Editor

CSUEB Alumnus, Reggie D. White, and His Success as a Theater Actor

On Nov. 19, Berkeley Playhouse began its run of the well-known and beloved musical “Into the Woods,” starring California State University, East Bay alumnus Reggie D. White as “The Baker.”

Reggie D. White is a multifaceted thespian based in New York. Not only is he a theater actor but a musician, writer, and director with a passion for developing new theater productions as well.

He shares his appreciation for how CSUEB impresses upon its theatre students the importance of learning all the ins and outs of every aspect of theatre production.

“It was very important for us not just to be actors but to work on the lighting crews; you have to take a bunch of design components, you have to learn dramaturgy, you’re asked to direct, and be involved in all these things because a life as a storyteller, there’s a lot of different ways to be involved,” White shared.

In this production of “Into the Woods” at Berkeley Playhouse, White stars as the character called “The Baker,” the hero of the story. Before starring in one of the most notable musicals of all time, White’s journey into theater productions blossomed right here at CSUEB.

“I really appreciate the solid foundation that I got at Cal State East Bay,” White said.

White was a student at CSUEB from 2006 to 2011, working towards getting a degree in Theatre Arts with a Musical Theatre focus. White did not complete his degree but plans on doing so soon, according to Catherine Cyr, the Administrative Support Coordinator and Box Office Manager for the Department of Theatre and Dance.

White confirmed that he does indeed plan on finishing his degree at CSUEB sometime soon and cites one of the biggest reasons for this decision as being his grandmother, who passed away in early 2019 who always hoped to see her grandson graduate. White also shares another reason for the decision to finish his degree.

“I’ve been talking with Professor Darryl Jones, who has been my chief mentor since before I wanted him to be in my freshman year. He knew there was an actor inside of me. He’s been a generous, thoughtful, persistent guiding voice. He’s been really helpful in helping me plan and figure out how I get to do that,” White said.

While a student at CSUEB, White was classmates with another distinguished and Tony award-nominated actress, Chalia La Tour. White and La Tour also premiered on Broadway within the same couple of weeks of each other.

Despite making his big break in New York, White remains involved in the CSUEB community. In May 2021, White returned to CSUEB and did an in-class “Esai’s Table” performance for students in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

After his time at CSUEB, White has found immense success in the theatre world. On top of acting in productions such as “The Inheritance,” White also has a passion for teaching students about theater and helping them in their journeys.

“I believe fully in the transformative power of theater education. The craft of theater-making has given me so much, and I deeply relish opportunities to share that craft in the classroom,” White said.

White is responsible for creating and contributing to many theater education programs and initiatives, including creating the Young Writers of Color Collective at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. He is currently the Artistic Director of the Atlantic Acting School, where he also teaches and is an alumnus of.

Critics rave about White and his stage presence while performing in previous productions. One reviewer wrote, “White is compellingly watchable, loaded with charisma that just makes us want to be his friend.” Another reviewer stated, “But by far, the highlight of the production is Bay Area veteran actor Reggie D. White.”

After hearing reviews like that, it is difficult not to want to take advantage of White being back in the Bay Area and performing so close by at Berkeley Playhouse.

Berkeley Playhouse is an intimately sized theater and offers affordable tickets to amazing performances. They offer various discounts, including students and seniors, season passes, and one “Pay What You Can” performance for each production.

“Into the Woods” will continue to run at Berkeley Playhouse until Dec. 23. Do not miss out on the chance to see the musical live, all while supporting a local theater and a CSUEB alumnus at the same time.

To learn more about White, his career, journey, and accomplishments, visit his website and check out his Instagram @r2thaedgy.

To purchase tickets to see “Into the Woods” at Berkeley Playhouse, go here.

For an exclusive interview with White, check out our conversation on The Pioneer Youtube channel.