Artistic Associate


Ed Reggi - St. Louis, MO

Ed Reggi was born in Brooklyn New York. Diagnosed at the early age with a reading and speech disorder, Reggi took his early training to further his skills on the stage. He developed a great skill of acting and improv after graduating in 1988 from the nationally acclaimed, Edward R. Murrow School of television and communications. (Nationally recognized for it's excellence and for it's visual and performing arts.) With the Brooklyn NBC studio's located directly next door to Reggi's home, Ed became fascinated with show business when the Bill Cosby Show began taping in early 1980.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree in theater through the City University of New York, Ed studied at the Brooklyn College. After BC, Ed worked with master level New York City theater directors, playwrights and actors. It was shortly after this program when Reggi began working with several teachers from the New York City Improv School, Chicago City Limits. His work with CCL led him to join, The Commuters his very first improvisational troupe. While with The Communters, Reggi went on to perform with Theatersports(TM) and ComedySportz(TM) match competitions.

With the guidance of his drama instructors, Ed moved to St. Louis Missouri to finish his undergraduate degree. In 1994, Reggi graduated with a B.F.A. from Fontbonne University, a small liberal arts college known for it's strong musical theater program. While at Fontbonne, Ed worked with original troupe members of The Network, St. Louis' very first SNL style improv-sketch troupe. Upon graduation, Reggi quickly formed Onomatopoeia and his improv troupe performed in local comedy clubs. Many of the original cast members of Onomatopoeia went on to create St. Louis' first ComedySportz(TM) club, The Madding Crowd, Brand-X Sketch group and the original City Improv.

Reggi left the St. Louis improv scene and began touring with a regional theater company and traveled throughout California, Florida and Missouri. Performing mostly traditional musical and children's plays, his use of improv became limited as only a rehearsal tool.
After finishing his tours, Reggi began a short stint of success around the release of Disney's 101 Dalmatians. Reggi, a well known advocate of Animal Welfare and owner of Dalmatians, began working as a professional Animal Wrangler in the television, film and live theater industry. His wrangler commercial credits include Ralston Purina, Microsoft, Tidy Cat, Southwestern Bell Telephone, Schnucks, Save-a-lot, Wal-mart, Venture Stores and Disney Studio's. But his stay away from the stage didn't last for long.

In 1997-98, Reggi began working with several non-traditional theater companies and was exposed to Viola Spolin's work. He found that improv can be used as a technique to help create original plays-especially from non-actors. Reggi then began study at the historic Second City in Chicago when he was accepted into their minority outreach training program. His work with Second City Training school director Martin de Maat gave him insight of Spolin's original improvisational theater. Unfortunately, Reggi's study with Mr. de Maat ended shortly after his untimely death in the Fall of 2000. In December of 2000, Reggi began serving as the Artistic Director for CITY Improv at St. Louis ComedySportz(TM) club.

Reggi continued to pursue the original ideas supported by Spolin's improvisational theater. The legacy of de Maat was Reggi's strongest motivation. Reggi began a special task of finding any (of not all) the surviving students of Spolin, in the hopes to learn from those Masters. Jeffrey Sweet, Gary Schwartz, and Avery Schreiber are some of the few Spolin teachers Reggi sought out. Finally, improv fortune landed him studying with Viola Spolin's son and founder of the Second City, Paul Sills in 2001. (Ed Reggi continues to study with Sills to this day!)

Today, Ed Reggi instructs Spolin's Theater games, acting and improv to a variety of audiences. He is an artist in residency with Young Audiences of St. Louis, the Theatre Program Coordinator at COCA (Center of Creative Arts) and a professional improv performer that travels throughout the world performing, The Marty, with Lindsey Patrick. The Marty is a two-person improv format dedicated to the work inspired by Martin de Maat and Viola Spolin.

Whether corporate administration, high school teachers or young children, Spolin Improvisational Theater helps build a dialogue. Ed Reggi uses his foundation of improv as a method to teach effective healing and language rebuilding skills, while having meaningful fun.
Reggi is also the founder and director of Paper Slip Theatre (formerly known as the St. Louis Improv Project) a community based theatre experience using improv to help (re) build (healthy) relationships and communication. In 2001, Paper Slip Theatre, Inc. worked with several St. Louis community-based organizations in providing successful improv related programs/workshops.

http://www.stlmag.com/media/St-Louis-Magazine/August-2005/Say-What-/