“Magnuson is like a six-armed Shiva, each hand holds a different aspect; enchanting song-bird, pop-culture critic, wise-cracking comedienne, camera-ready actress, sassy
temptress, and an extremely poignant, emotionally provocative performance
artist. She is a one-woman mandala of brilliance. And she has the wardrobe to
match!” – Ben McCoy
Ann Magnuson is a writer/ actress/ singer/ musician/ performer whose eclectic resume traverses the entertainment landscape like few others. She has acted in Hollywood blockbusters, Off-Broadway plays, TV sitcoms and indie films, fronted various bands, written for numerous publications and has presented her original performance art pieces at the Whitney Museum (performing a 5-hour “Tribute to Muzak” in the museum elevator), The Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, BAM, LACMA, MOCA, The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, The Walker Art Center, The Andy Warhol Museum and in places as far flung as Tokyo’s Sogetsu Hall and Sweden’s Ice Hotel in the Arctic Circle.
Current projects include a recurring role in Season 3 of the Amazon series “The Man In The High Castle;” guest curating the Club 57 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (October 31, 2017-April 1, 2018); and performing The Bongwater Songbook with her former band mates (the first show is November 4 at PICA in Portland); released a new music-and-spoken-word CD ‘Dream Girl” in (2016) and the bonus track “Open Letter to an Open Letter: Seriously WTF?!,”a serio-comic rant about the insanity of the internet (2017) and is working on a new single “The Sun Don’t Care (Who’s President)” that offers a cosmic ray of hope in this crazy koo-koo world. In 2016 she performed excerpts from “Dream Girl” (along with Bongwater songs) at The Museum of Modern Art in a show called “Dream Sequencing.” She will be inducted into the West Virginia Hall of Fame (along with Hasil Adkins, Fred “Sonic” Smith and others) in February 2018.
Ann Magnuson currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, architect John Bertram.
Born and raised in Charleston, WV, Ann received a BFA in Theater & Cinema from Denison University and studied theater in London at the British and European Studies Group. She came to New York City in 1978 as an intern at The Ensemble Studio Theater and soon became part of the seminal art, music and performance scene that exploded in downtown New York City in the late 1970s and throughout the1980s. There she managed the now-infamous neo-Dada cabaret space Club 57, was president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lower East Side and started the all-girl percussive ‘cacophony orchestra’ Pulsallama. She performed regularly in downtown theaters,galleries and clubs including the The Mudd Club, Danceteria, The Pyramid and CBGB. In addition to her many bands and solo work, Ann collaborated with performers Eric Bogosian, Kestutis Nakas, John Sex and Joey Arias in numerous shows. She also directed the New Wave Vaudeville show that launched the career of New Wave operatic icon Klaus Nomi.