Ann Duke has been on stage most of her life. As a small child she caught the theatre bug participating in school plays and then joining her local theatre troupe at age 12. She studied theatre at University of Michigan earning both a B.A. and M.A.
Life took its twists and turns as Duke spent the early years of her career owning a Fine Arts Gallery and lecturing on Twentieth Century architecture and design. That was followed by a long stint in publishing as one of the founders of Hour Detroit magazine.
In 2019, she got the bug to perform on stage again and tried her hand at stand-up by participating in comedy classes at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle. Duke has been a fan of Ridley’s for years and fondly remembers meeting comics like Bob Saget, Dave Coulier and Louie Anderson in the eighties and nineties at the club’s original location on Woodward Avenue.
Now, over three years later, she has performed at comedy shows across the region and has become a favorite among “women of a certain age,” who can relate to the trials and tribulations of getting older, being single in your sixties and battling body image issues. “As long as my boobs are sticking out further than my belly, I figure I’m winning the battle!” She laments in her segment on undergarments.
Duke has become an accomplished emcee and has hosted multiple shows at Mark
Ridley’s Comedy Castle including Thanksgiving weekend of 2021 opening for Nathan Timmell. Other hosting duties have included shows at Little Camille’s by the Bay, the Marvelous Misses Show in Brighton, Doomsday Shelter at the Grave Cap in Oxford, the BLAC Comedy Showcase, numerous open mics, and multiple Comedy Fundraisers. She is booked to emcee at the Traverse City Comedy Club in June 2022.
By day, Duke is the Director of Philanthropy for Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County and consults as Associate Publisher of BLAC Detroit magazine. She lives in Bloomfield Hills.