A.A. Brenner (they / them / he) is a playwright, dramaturg, actor, and
A.A.'s writing blends naturalistic dialogue with heightened realism to explore queer, trans, Jewish, and Disability themes, challenging both societal power structures and theatrical form.
Their plays have been presented or commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse, National Disability Theatre, Lincoln Center, the Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival @ Theatre Row, Queens Theatre, Phamaly Theatre Company, CO/LAB Theatre Group, Shakespeare Theatre Company (Fellows Consortium), Three Muses Theatre Company, Young Playwrights Inc., The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Columbia University, and The Hangar Theatre Lab Company; and their play for all audiences, EMILY DRIVER'S GREAT RACE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE (co-written by Gregg Mozgala), was featured on the 2020 Kilroys List. Additionally, A.A. was a Finalist for the 2020-22 Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellowship, the Platform Presents 2021 Playwright's Prize and the 2021 Columbia@Roundabout New Play Reading Series, and has been a writer-in-residence at the Catwalk Arts Institute, New York Stage and Film, and The Lark's Beyond the Binary initiative for trans and nonbinary writers.
A lifelong New Yorker, A.A. began writing plays at 14 years-old after the death of their great-aunt and mentor Helen Unger, a Disabled retired first grade teacher who worked in the Brooklyn public school system for over 40 years. Aunt Helen, who contracted polio as a young child, instantly connected with A.A., who was born with Cerebral Palsy, and taught them how to read and write, mentoring them through their very first stories and novels. After A.A.'s family took in Aunt Helen for the last nine months of her life, they knew they wanted to write something to help them process through the complex and life-altering experience of watching their best friend and mentor succumb to cancer; and, after reading Tennessee William's THE GLASS MENAGERIE in their 9th grade English class, they knew it had to be a play. Since then, they haven't stopped writing, and they'd like to think of playwriting and their career in the theatre as the last gift Aunt Helen ever gave them.
Most recently, A.A. graduated from Columbia University School of the Arts' MFA Playwriting program (Class of 2022), where they were mentored by Lynn Nottage and David Henry Hwang. They now live on Lenape land in Brooklyn, NY, and, when not writing, can be found watching Yankees baseball, working on a crossword, or taking photos of their slightly-demonic and incredibly-photogenic cockapoo, Cody.