For Anna Sharpe, a theater degree means her son sees her pursuing her dream

May 11, 2021

Anna Sharpe has never done something because it was easy. Quite the opposite. If it’s hard — if it’ll take all she’s got, if it’ll leave her in pieces, she’s interested. Because it shows that it means something. That it matters.

When Sharpe first arrived at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate student in 2017, she didn’t know that she wanted to be an actor — that being on stage would help pull her out of the postpartum depression she’d been experiencing since giving birth to her son several months before. But after taking a theater class to lighten her rigorous art history class load, she fell in love.

“I just felt pulled to theater, more and more,” said Sharpe. “I was really questioning why I was afraid to take the leap. I was thinking a lot about my dad and just how common it is for families of color to want their children to do something that is safe, you know, where there’s going to be a return. But, obviously, I wasn’t going to be a STEM major, so I just decided to go ahead and do it. Nothing terrifies me and excites me at the same time more than acting.”

Sharpe, a double major in theater, dance and performance studies in the College of Letters & Science, will deliver the undergraduate speech at her department’s virtual graduation ceremony on Monday, May 17, in which she aims to offer hope for this year’s graduating class — one that has “overcome a tumultuous college career, spanning so many unusual circumstances.”

Berkeley News