Born and raised in the Peoria area, Ann Hagemann studied music and theatre at Edgecliff Conservatory and Actors Center of Chicago and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA/AEA. She makes her living in theatre, film and TV, and while she often works in Chicago and L.A., her home will always be central Illinois.
Ann credits her passion for the performing arts to the Peoria area’s vibrant arts community, beginning as a child in the Peoria Park District’s Community Children’s Theatre program. Over the years, she has performed at Eastlight Theatre (playing the original narrator in Joseph for 10 seasons) and at Corn Stock and Peoria Players. You can catch her on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the independent films Hannah Free, Dearest Jane and Jenny’s Wedding, to mention a few.
She is currently producing a feature-length film based on true events in her beloved father’s childhood growing up in central Illinois during World War II. The film is titled Real Prayers Are Said In German, and all principal photography will take place in central Illinois—proving it can be “made” in Peoria as well as played!
- Words to live by: BE. KIND. ALWAYS. You never know what someone else is going through.
- Three things I’d want on a deserted island: My hubby, a never-ending supply of coffee and my Yamaha piano.
- The one TV show I don’t usually tell people I watch is: Project Runway. Having reaped the benefits of so many designers and costumers in theatre and film, I have the highest respect for those with this talent!
- Most prized possession: My dollhouse, complete with electricity that “Santa and Mrs. Claus” made for me many years ago. Knowing that my parents made this for me from scratch—and must have spent many sleepless nights doing so—makes it priceless to me.
- Who are your heroes in real life? My parents, Jim and Pat Hagemann. There isn’t enough room here to tell you why, but I am so thankful to have been raised by them and to still have them in my life.
- What’s some of the best advice you’ve been given? “Live fearlessly. Yes, you will fail; however, you will never succeed if you don’t try.” —Betty Lou McGlasson, my first director through the Peoria Park District’s Community Children’s Theatre
- What is something that always brings a smile to your face? Children interacting with each other. We should all take a lesson from them and keep some playfulness in our daily lives.
- If Hollywood made a movie about you, who would you want to play you? Grace Gummer in my early years and her real-life mom, Meryl Streep, for the later years.
- What are you most proud of? My two sons. Raising them was a journey I’d repeat in a heartbeat!
- Favorite aspect of central Illinois: Its historic buildings and landmarks, and the people who choose to live in the heart of this great state. Happy Bicentennial, everyone! a&s