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Shav'on Smith

Founder/Artistic Director

My favorite quote is from the legendary Amiri Baraka aka Leroi Jones; "The artist's role is to raise the consciousness of the people. To make them understand life, the world and themselves more completely. That's how I see it. Otherwise, I don't know why you do it." This quote sits in my spirit as my duty and my ministry. It is up to the artists/teachers to teach the people about our history, struggle, and triumphs in this world. There is no reason to put on a production if no lesson was learned.

Shav’on is a North Philadelphia native and a graduate of the Philadelphia school district. She has been a part of theatre since she was in the sixth grade at the former John Wanamaker Middle School under the direction of Virginia Lam. She participated in theatre and concert band at Abraham Lincoln High School and Community College of Philadelphia, finally settling in the theatre department at the prestigious HBCU, Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. There, under the direction of Dr. Shirley Basfield-Dunlap, Shav’on held down several titles; costume director, stage manager, actress, and lighting designer. Upon her graduation in 2009 she continued her love of theatre spending eight years running a very successful children’s theatre program at Methodist Services. In 2017, after two and a half year as an Emotional Support teacher Shav’on became a worker for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation finding her path and destiny at Venice Island Performing Arts Center as the Assistant Recreation Leader (ARL) and program facilitator. Now she is a Rec Leader Trainee at Simons Recreation Center. In 2018, Shav’on began the development of her own theatre company settling on its name and purpose. Grounded Theatre Company’s goal is contained in its tagline, “from the root of our history to the stage” Our company’s goal is to tell the stories of the African diaspora and to honor our traditions and legacy.

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Shav'on Smith: TeamMember
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