Joseph N Donia (born March 28, 1949) is an American Actor, Director and Teacher, best known for teaching theatre philosophy and the ascetics of theatre, and as the pioneer creator of Doni-Ography.

Early lifeEdit

Donia was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended school at Edinboro University, [1] where he earned a B.S in Secondary Ed English, English Theatre in 1971. His work has been influenced by such noted directors as Konstantin Stanislavski, Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski.


Donia's professional acting career began in the mid 1970's when he became part of a Shakespeare troupe based in Miami. He preformed in a Los Angeles Theatre production of Much Ado About Nothing.[2] He then settled in Thousand Oaks, California and began directing plays using local talent. Before the completion of his own theater building, Donia staged his productions outside using poor theater techniques, often using minimal sets and props. When a Performing Arts Center was completed Donia opened with an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. The performance was overshadowed by a competing theater's production of The Odd Couple. His plays would received critical acclaim when he staged a production of Peter Stone's musical comedy Curtains. [3] Unfortunately Donia overran his budget and did not recover his expenses. In his recent production of George Bernard Shaw's "You Never Can Tell" There was a horrible feud between cast and crew resulting in foul play and spit in other peoples drinks. One night of the production the tech abandon the show and went to the football game. The Tech crew has since been on a "Union Strike". He also made an appearance in a youtube video that is now a meme,


In the early 1990's Donia collaborated with USC filmmaker Michael Steffen in making the short documentary Can I Make It as an Actor. The documentary highlighted the attempts over the years by Donia to make it as a professional stage actor. The film concluded by encouraging young actors to follow their dreams if they wanted, but not to hope for too much. [4]

Political ActivismEdit

Donia participated as a write-in candidate during the 2003 California recall. In 2008 a grassroots campaign emerged supporting Donia to make a presidential bid. Fueled by social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook Donia appeared on the ballet in California as a write-in candidate, however he did not receive a significant number of votes. A facebook group where some of Donia's foreign policy and economic issues were discussed achieved a significant following.

Professional creditsEdit

  • Moon Over Buffalo (2007)
  • Spoon River Anthology (2007)
  • Into the Woods (2008)
  • You Can’t Take It with You (2008)
  • Working (2009)
  • How the Other Half Loves (2009)
  • Curtains (2010)
  • Wind in the Willows (2010)
  • Singin' in the Rain (2011)


External links Edit