In 2012 I wrote and performed my first one-woman show, Renegade Princess. It was one of the greatest accomplishments and joys of my life. Renegade Princess received critical acclaim and was performed in Santa Fe, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago and New York. Two years later I wrote and performed Raising Humans based on my TEDx talk, Raising Men.
I have always been a storyteller and storytelling has played a significant role in all of the work I do, so it made sense to leverage my shows to do good work. In 2014 I started to perform shows to raise money for charitable organizations. To date, Acts of Love has raised more than $35,000. It is my hope to continue to partner with organizations to offer a night of theater that serves two purposes: to bring those in the theater joy and to extend that joy into a meaningful contribution outside of the theater. Storytelling is a powerful tool of transformation, connection and community. It is an act of love.
“Ann marie is one of the most generous and talented artists I know AND she is funny, compassionate and tells her story as a parent like no other. Her Acts of Love performances brought new donors to Kids’ Turn San Diego and raised over $14,000 that went directly to programs that bring peace to children experiencing family separations. Every organization should have an “Ann marie”!
– Cindy Grossman, Executive Director, Kids’ Turn San Diego
“Ann marie is a hilarious and witty, observational comic who says what we all wish we thought first. Her humor and intellect is only matched by her compassion for those who need help. One of the great ones!”
– Dan Palmer, Board President 2015, Kids’ Turn San Diego
“Ann marie Houghtailing’s one-woman show, Renegade Princess, played a part as a tremendous Act of Love in July 2015 for 40 kids who are deaf or hard of hearing. She performed the show two nights in a row in San Diego to sold-out crowds and donated 100% of the proceeds to UR Charities, a non-profit whose mission is to make a difference by enhancing the lives of those with physical, emotional and developmental special needs. The money raised afforded UR Charities to send 40 kids who are deaf or hard of hearing to literacy camp. Without her show, the kids would not have been able to attend the camp. Working with her is a treat and I hope to do it again in the near future. Not only did she shine on stage, but she put her heart and soul into making her performance one the audience would remember forever.”
– Lynda West, UR Charities
“In a time when popular entertainment has the subtlety of a hammer, her humor, as well as her ability to craft a story, is refreshingly complex. Cautious and courteous at first, as every princess should be, she is quick to pull the rug from under your feet with a deft yet off-handed quip or gut-bustingly outrageous remark. Her unique and quirky tales ring true with a comforting universality and she is unflinchingly honest in her explorations of the many facets of a story, allowing us the audience to silently or uproariously comment on it with her. (At some point in the evening for the briefest of moments while catching my breath from laughing so hard, I looked to my left and right. To my left sat what appeared to be a balding man possibly in his early 60’s dressed in a no-nonsense grey blazer, and to my right sat a pair of 20-somethings wearing Uggs and North Face jackets. Both parties were howling and crying with laughter.) And yet her story, while at many times exceedingly comical, is not without an equally powerful tinge of the bitter-sweet. Quite a few laughs are flecked with the stains of love and loss, torturous self-realizations, and painfully relatable indignities suffered at the hands of the insensitive. A masterful wordsmith, she knows just the right proportions to give her story the gravity and weight it deserves while all the while never taking herself too seriously.” (Read the rest at TimesSquare.com)
After watching, the Off-Off Broadway play, Renegade Princess, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I have lived a pretty boring, drama free life. Ann Marie Houghtailing’s one-woman show is poignant, hysterically funny and always interesting. Her dry humor is a cross between Diablo Cody and Tina Fey. This small woman fills up the stage and her voice has the power of conviction of someone who has a story to tell. Read More…
“Ann marie Houghtailing is an entrepreneur and single mother from San Diego who presented her first solo performance, Renegade Princess. Her piece was the most successful of the evening. The writing was sharp, the delivery well-moderated and full of on-the-money punch lines, and the performance a powerful blend of storytelling, wry humor, and emotional reality. A travelogue of sorts started things off as a newlywed Houghtailing spoke about living in Japan with her husband shortly after becoming pregnant. Tales of a haughty French doctor and neighbors obsessed with her need to wear “pregnant panties” hilariously followed. Later, her marriage broken up, she took on a series of demeaning jobs to support her family, and the humor became leavened with sadness, especially when she related a story about her child nearly dying during an asthma attack. The writing showed heart and intelligence, and Houghtailing, whose delivery seems the sort that might be offered by a woman with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, was first-rate.” – Michael Wade Simpson (PASA Reviews, New Mexican)