Joy Donley

Last updated

September 20, 2018

Joy’s current news

Currently doing publicity for LIFE GOES ON, the new original musical by Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble. Performed by Bucket Brigade, Sept 21-Oct 13 at Art House North.

See Joy Donley

Plays next
Thursday 9/27
at 7:30 pm


Joy is a freelance director, theatre teacher, publicist and stage manager.  After 20+ 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 old location.  She directed DANCING AT LUGHNASA at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (Jan, 2018) and is currently the publicist for TRIPLE ESPRESSO:  A HIGHLY CAFFEINATED COMEDY.  Joy stage managed CHURCH AND STATE and more recently NATASHA AND THE COAT with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company. 

Joy has worked for Open Window Theatre for several years as a director, publicist and youth drama teacher. Representative work: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, THE LILIES OF THE FIELD, SHADOWLANDS, AN O. HENRY CHRISTMAS and the E-Rhapsody youth drama class's JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and THE WIZARD OF OZ (Erin Detrick version).  Joy stage managed OWT's FREUD'S LAST SESSION (featuring Kurt Schweickhardt and Nathan Cousins).  She also worked for Bucket Brigade and Theater for the Thirsty (AMNESIAC JACK, KINGDOM UNDONE, THE SERVANT AND THE ENEMY). Last summer she co-produced and was publicist for THE LOONEY LUTHERANS in "Livin' La Vida Lutheran" at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm.

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 own backyard with ORPHIE AND THE BOOK OF HEROES (by Samuel French's Next Step Award winners, Michael Kooman and Chris Diamond). Joy holds an M.A. in Theatre Education from the University of St. Thomas and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Bethel University.   She is an adjunct professor for Bethel University.  Joy's Etsy store is 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.



M.A. Theatre Education, University of Saint Thomas, Minneapolis, 2011
Minnesota Teaching License in K-12 Theatre obtained 2011

University of Saint Mary Graduate & Professional Programs, Minneapolis, MN
--Classes in marketing and fund development, 2009

B.A. Theatre Arts, Bethel University, St. Paul, 1993

Educational Experience:

Adjunct Faculty, Bethel University - Introduction to Creative Arts, 2015, 2017

Theatre Teacher, Highland Park Senior High - 2013

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

Adjunct Faculty, Concordia University - Introduction to Theatre, 2011

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

Download Joy’s résumé