Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Spotlight On...Anna Brenner

Name: Anna Brenner

Hometown: South Haven, MI, but now Brooklyn, NY

Education: BA University of Chicago, MFA Columbia University

Favorite Credits: The Three Sisters in grad school – a humble production, but still one of my favorites

Why theater?: I love the process of making something with a group of people.  The questions I get to ask, and the different tools we get to use to share a story with an audience, there’s nothing else like it for me.

Tell us about After People Like You: After People Like You is about four old friends who reunite on the R train one late night in a near-future New York.  It’s a post-apocalyptic world, where natural disasters are frequent, and where corruption is rampant and government support is limited.  It’s a stressful place, but inside all of that these are just four people trying to live their lives with some semblance of normalcy.  It’s a story about human behavior and relationships, and how each of them deals with suffering.  I’m having a really wonderful time working with everyone on this one.

What kind of theater speaks to you? Who or what inspires you as an artist?: I love theater that is made by ensembles, where you can really feel the process and commitment coming through in the performances.  I like virtuosity and vulnerability on stage in equal measure.

If you could work with anyone you have yet to work with, who would it be?: I mean I’d like Oskar Eustis, Sarah Benson, and Tim Sanford to hire me to direct at their theaters.

What show have you been recommending to friends?: I’m really excited to see the 600 Highwaymen show at Under the Radar in January.  Also, I really want to see Mark Rylance in Richard III and Twelfth Night.  And I have to give a shout out to Black Wizard/Blue Wizard at Incubator!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: It would be a movie staring Cate Blanchett where she just listens to Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams songs on a cross country drive, called "You Don’t Meet Nice Girls In Coffee Shops".

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?: It’s a tie: watching Nashville, and drinking Manhattans.

If you weren't working in theater, what would____?:  Who knows, but if I had another life I’d want to live somewhere in nature (but not far from friends) making pottery and textiles, or rescuing horses and being the village sage.

What's up next?: I’m continuing to develop Won’t Be a Ghost with Francis Weiss Rabkin about Chelsea Manning, and in February we’re doing a Brecht Fest at Classic Stage Company.