Abigail is the director, Ring Master and co-founder of Circus Bella, creating and producing new work for over 14 years. Along with the more conventional duties she also serves as the company's catering service, laundress and occasional truck driver. An accomplished dancer, choreographer, and aerialist, Munn holds a BFA in Modern Dance from UC Santa Barbara. As a child, who was born and raised in SF, she appeared with the Pickle Family Circus, and later with Zoppe Italian Family Circus, Lone Star Circus, The Moisture Festival, New Pickle Circus, Cabaret Verdelet, Circus Cabaret, Tease-O-Rama, Va Voom Room, and The Velvet Hammer Burlesque. Munn was commended in the New York Times for her performance in Alma Esperanza Cunningham’s Princess. Munn co-directed the nouveau-vaudeville troupe Kitty Bang, an internationally recognized three-time “Best of the Bay” winner that is influential in the modern Burlesque resurgence.
Over the past few years Abigail has become increasingly involved in advocacy work for the Circus Arts. When transitioning Circus Bella performers to Employees, she became aware that the current workers compensation rates and policy descriptions in California were way out of step with the current reality of the Circus Industry. Munn embarked on a one women quest to help change this and after initiating a study from the Workers Comp Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), rates were significant lowered (by 80%) for ALL Circus Companies in California. In addition she is a founding member and on the board of the American Circus Alliance.
FOUNDER, ARTISTIC AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, CHOREOGRAPHER, TRAPEZE ARTIST
Circus Bella, San Francisco, California; 2008 - present
Provide artistic and administrative leadership, including creation of acts, scheduling, fundraising, personnel supervision, and overall inspiration for the company.
Created in 2008, Circus Bella’s mission is to produce and present the joy of high-quality Circus Arts entertainment and to ensure it is accessible to all audiences.
Circus Bella programs include:
- Since 2008 company has performed, 514 shows in 59 locations reaching over 97,500 people
- produced 44 original creations.
- All shows accompanied by live original music;
- Circus Bella has produced 2 albums:
Circus Bella and Mighty!
- Presented performances on the National Mall and participated in panel discussions and demonstrations at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, 2017.
- 10-week contract in Huis Ten Bosch, theme park near Nagasaki, Japan, 2012-2013.
Circus Center, San Francisco, California; 2019-2020
Supervised curriculum development, teacher hiring and scheduling for adult and youth programs.
OTHER PERFORMANCE, 2001 - 2016
TEACHING, 2004 – present
B.F.A. Modern Dance, 2001
University of California, Santa Barbara
PROFESSIONAL and VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES date: ongoing