Anna Brenner: 'My friends helped me become the best version of myself'

May 23, 2016

Anna Brenner

English  Performing  Media Arts

New York City, NY

Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell because it was one of the only schools I applied to that would allow me to double major in both English and theatre (or, in this case, performing media arts). I wanted to be able to both have a liberal arts education while also furthering my knowledge of theatre and playwriting, and, at Cornell, it seemed like I could have the best of both worlds. I was also really awed by Cornell's student-run theatre community, both through Risley Theatre, as well as through clubs and organizations such as the Melodramatics Theatre Company.

What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?

My play, Twentyhood, went up at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts this past November. It was the first time I've ever had a full production of one of my works, and I was so grateful to have been able to be part of the Schwartz's season. It wasn't easy by any means, and my director (Andrea Fiorentini '16, without whom the show never would have happened) and I really had to pour our hearts and souls out to put it all together, but we sold out all four performances and really seemed to touch those in the Cornell community who were able to see it, which truly made it all worth it in the end.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

In regards to academic influences, definitely the writing professors I've been fortunate enough to have class with (Alice Fulton, Ernesto Quiñonez, Austin Bunn, and now Karen Joy Fowler); I've learned so much from all of them. But, in general, I've probably been most influenced by the friends I've made here. I've been fortunate enough to have found and gotten close to a lot of incredible people here, and they have taught me so much about life. They've truly challenged me to grow and to strive to become my best version of myself.

Anna Brenner '16