Joy Donley

Last updated

July 24, 2016


Joy is a freelance director and theatre teacher.  She is currently directing Erin Detrick's The Wizard of Oz with the e-Rhapsody youth drama class at Open Window Theatre (June 24-26, 2016).   Next up she'll direct the local premiere of Kooman and Dimond's musical, Orphie and the Book of Heroes, which will be performed with her own theatre company, Front Porch Theatre (August 18-21, 2016). 

Joy frequently works for Open Window Theatre where she recently directed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  She also directed The Lilies of the Field, Shadowlands, An O. Henry Christmas and the E-Rhapsody youth drama class's James and the Giant Peach.  Joy is the publicist for Open Window Theatre and was stage manager for Freud's Last Session.  Earlier this year Joy directed ‘Til Death: A Marriage Musical for Bucket Brigade and was a costumer for Kingdom Undone at Art House North (also with Bucket Brigade). 

Joy’s own theatre company, Front Porch Theatre (, has put up many shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival and her most recent show took place in her backyard with The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, and featured Ivey Award winner, Nathan Cousins. Joy received her B.A. in Theatre Arts at Bethel University and holds an M.A. in Theatre Education from the University of St. Thomas.  She is an adjunct professor for Concordia University, the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and Bethel University.  Joy also has an Etsy store called Treadle the Boards, which features her own handmade quilts with designs inspired by theatre (  She is married to Michael Pearce Donley, co-creator and actor in Triple Espresso.



Directing Portfolio:

Up next: 

The Wizard of Oz (by Erin Detrick), June 24-26, 2016 (Open Window Theatre)

Orphie and the Book of Heroes (musical), August 18-21, 2016 (Front Porch Theatre)

Open Window Theatre:

--The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2015
--James and the Giant Peach (e-Rhapsody Youth Production), 2015
--The Lilies of the Field, 2014
--Shadowlands, 2013
--OWT Christmas Soiree Concert, 2013
--An O. Henry Christmas (musical) (Director/Music Director), 2012

Theater for the Thirsty:
--'Til Death: A Marriage Musical, at Open Window Theatre, 2012, Art House North, 2014-2015
--Kingdome Undone (Co-Producer, Assistant Director), at Southern Theatre, 2012 & 2013
--Amnesiac Jack, at MN Fringe 2006 & re-mounted at FridgeFest, Loring Theatre, 2007

Front Porch Theatre (Joy Donley, founding Artistic Director/Producer):
--The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, Backyard show, 2014
--The Jesus Chair, MN Fringe, 2012
--Lemony Snicket: The Musical, Backyard Musical, 2011 (Also adapted/wrote script)
--Someone Else’s Clothes: Michael Pearce Donley Sings Jason Robert Brown, MN Fringe 2007 & re-mounted at FridgeFest, Loring Theatre 2007
--Nibblers: A Musical with Sharks, MN Fringe Festival, 2005
--Seussical, MN Fringe, 2004
--Three on the Seesaw, MN Fringe, 2003
--Thirst, MN Fringe, 2002

Moorlyn Theatre, NJ: Ocean City: The Musical! June, 2014

Bethel University Royal Celebration Shows, 2014 & 2013

Northwestern College, Seussical!, 2007

Concordia Academy-Roseville:
--Brokenville, 2011
--Stage Door, 2008
--Into the Woods, 2008
--The Gifts of the Magi, 2007
--Titanic the Musical, 2007
--Flowers for Algernon, 2006
--Honk! A Musical Tale of The Ugly Duckling, 2006
--Thirst, 2005
--Footloose, 2005
--Time Flies: A Comedy of One-Acts by David Ives, 2004

Jon Hassler Theater, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, 2006

Roseville Covenant Church:
--It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, 2009 & 2010
--Tales of Christmas-3D, 2008
--The Gifts of the Magi (musical), 2004
--Michael Pearce Donley & Friends Concert, 2003
--Tales of Christmas Chapter ’02, 2002
--The Butterfingers Angel…, 2000
--Christmas Eve at Café Java, 1999
--Hot Under the Collar (youth musical), 1997
--Spare Change (youth musical), 1996
--Shakedown Tuesday (youth musical), 1995



Amnesiac Jack at the 2006 Minnesota Fringe Festival
--Rated “Cream of the crop” by the Star Tribune, 8/10/06

Nibblers: A Musical with Sharks at the 2005 Minnesota Fringe Festival
--Rated a “Must See” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, 8/8/05
--Received Top 10 Show by Capacity & Attendance

Seussical the Musical at the 2004 Minnesota Fringe Festival
--Received 2nd Highest Attendance of the Festival

Hennepin Theatre Trust's SpotLight Musical Theatre Program
--Received "Community Engagement Awards" at Concordia Academy, 2006, 2007, 2008



University of Saint Thomas, Minneapolis, MN Master’s in Teaching Theatre Arts, May 2011
Minnesota Teaching License in K-12 Theatre obtained January, 2011

University of Saint Mary Graduate & Professional Programs, Minneapolis, MN
--Completed two classes toward Arts & Cultural Management Masters degree, May 2009

Bethel University, St. Paul, MN Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, June 1993

Educational Experience:

Adjunct Faculty, Bethel University - Introduction to Creative Arts, Fall - 2015

Theatre Teacher, Highland Park Senior High - Spring, 2013 - Beginning & Intermediate Acting, IB Theatre

Adjunct Faculty, University of Northwestern-St. Paul - Musical Theatre, 2007, 2009, 2012

Adjunct Faculty, Concordia University - Introduction to Theatre, 2011

High School Musical Theatre Adjudicator
--Hennepin Theatre Trust SpotLight Musical Theatre Program, 2009-2012