Joy Donley

Last updated

June 24, 2019

Joy’s current news

Upcoming: Directing SISTERS OF SWING: The Story of the Andrews Sisters at the Maplewood Area Historical Society, July 19-21 & 26-28, 2019. Go to for tickets! And currently doing publicity for Triple Espresso--a highly caffeinated comedy and That Wonder Boy (playing October 5 at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City).


Joy is a freelance director, producer, theatre teacher, publicist and stage manager. She is currently directing SISTERS OF SWING: The Story of the Andrews Sisters for the Maplewood Area Historical Society, located at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm (playing July 19-21, 26-28).

After 25+ years as a director, she recently returned to her acting roots by appearing as "Becca" in Lakeshore Players' production of RABBIT HOLE, the final show at their former location. She is currently the publicist for TRIPLE ESPRESSO--A HIGHLY CAFFEINATED COMEDY and for SPARK theater + dance. For the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Joy stage managed CHURCH AND STATE, NATASHA AND THE COAT and THE LAST SCHWARTZ. 

Minneapolis's Open Window Theatre was Joy's "regular" job for several years as a director, publicist and youth drama teacher. Representative directing work: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, THE LILIES OF THE FIELD, SHADOWLANDS, AN O. HENRY CHRISTMAS and the youth drama class's JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and THE WIZARD OF OZ. Joy stage managed FREUD'S LAST SESSION (featuring Kurt Schweickhardt and Nathan Cousins). She also worked for Bucket Brigade (AMNESIAC JACK, KINGDOM UNDONE, THE SERVANT AND THE ENEMY, SAM'S SON, LIFE GOES ON). The past two years she has co-produced and publicized two shows at Maplewood's Bruentrup Heritage Farm: THE LOONEY LUTHERANS in "Livin' La Vida Lutheran" and BOB STROMBERG: COMEDY CAFE AT THE BARN.

Joy’s own theatre company, Front Porch Theatre, has put up many shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival, including THIRST, NIBBLERS: A MUSICAL WITH SHARKS and the first-ever area production of SEUSSICAL. The most recent Front Porch show took place in her own Maplewood backyard with ORPHIE AND THE BOOK OF HEROES (featuring Suzie Juul). Other backyard shows included an original musical called LEMONY SNICKET: The Musical and THE SOMEWHAT TRUE TALE OF ROBIN HOOD.

Joy holds an M.A. in Theatre Education from the University of St. Thomas and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Bethel University. On the side, Joy has an Etsy store called Treadle the Boards, and features her own handmade quilts with designs inspired by theatre ( She is married to Michael Pearce Donley, co-creator and actor in TRIPLE ESPRESSO--a highly caffeinated comedy. They have two children, one in college and one in Heaven.