Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Jenny Magnus: Office Hours

Tuesdays–Fridays, noon to 1 pm / Jan 11–28, 2011, and May 17–27, 2011


Jenny Magnus is available: for conversation, for consultation, for any kind of discussion during her Office Hours. Seated at a table in the MCA lobby each weekday from noon to 1pm, Jenny is here for conversations with you.

This practice, staged as part of an extended MCA Stage artist residency, feeds her research for a new large ensemble performance. Conceived as an insider’s view of theater making, the finished Untitled Curious Show will be performed by the Curious Theatre Branch with Crooked Mouth String Band at MCA Stage in Fall 2011.

Some of the Office Hours topics that are relevant to the Jenny’s new work are:

  • The theater as a place of work, both physical and intellectual;
  • How to sustain the ecology of art making over a lifetime;
  • Sculpting attention, and how an artist can compose attention on a stage;
  • Being a parent and an artist, and how to be “good enough” at both;
  • The artist ensemble as tribe and clan.

But she will gladly talk about whatever you want to talk about. In the spirit of Lucy’s booth in Charles Schulz’ Peanuts, the Artist is In.

About the Artists
Jenny Magnus is one of Chicago’s most respected and accomplished artists in theater and music, as an actor, singer, director, and prolific writer. Her enduring plays have toured nationally and in Europe and include The Trips, The Nowhow (and How to Now It), and Round & Round: a sexfarcetragedy, which MCA Stage presented in 2008. Curious Theatre Branch was founded in 1988 by Jenny Magnus and Beau O’Reilly-as a “Branch” of the alt-rock cabaret act Maestro Subgum and the Whole. Curious has consistently worked with an ensemble of artists in a non-hierarchical decision-making process, exploring the philosophy of collaboration as a social force.

Curious Theatre Branch has produced more than 100 full productions of world-premiere shows in 20 years, using an economy of means and production to make deeper and deeper, rather than larger and larger, work.

…taut, funny, but finally mournful look at the power struggles and games played out in relationships.
- Chicago Reader (about Round & Round: a sexfarcetragedy by Jenny Magnus, presented by MCA Stage in 2008).