Dona Werner Freeman
Artist in Residence
Office: 45 Theater
Dona Werner Freeman serves as an Artist in Residence in Theater for her alma mater, St. Olaf College. A professional actor, Dona began her stage career as a company member of the Guthrie Theater. Minneapolis stage work also includes performances for Actors’ Theatre of St. Paul, The New Classic Theatre, Theatre Exchange, Hidden Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, and Frank Theatre, where she has performed a wide range of roles over the last twenty years, including Isabella (Measure for Measure), Mertuil (Quartet), Lady Nijo (Top Girls), and most recently Joan Noakes (Vinegar Tom). During her long acting career Dona is proud to have acted for directors such as Garland Wright, Liviu Ciulei, Andre Serban, Charles Nolte, D. Scott Glaser, Wendy Knox, and her St. Olaf Theatre colleague, Gary Gisselman. In Detroit, Dona won the James Kisiki Award for Acting from the Detroit Free Press for her role as Sophia in the Attic Theatre’s Tom Jones. While there, she initiated a training program for the Attic Theatre, taught at Oakland University and performed for the Meadow Brook Theatre, playing Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) and Lady Anne (Richard III).
Dona holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Minnesota, where she was named Outstanding Graduate Actress, and awarded the Bush/McKnight Fellowship in Acting at the Guthrie Theater. She also served on the theatre faculty at the University of Minnesota for nearly a decade, specializing in characterization and period styles acting courses.
Dona’s particular interest in acting Shakespeare has led her to train with the British Academy of Dramatic Art at Oxford’s Bailiol College. Our course, Topics: Acting Shakespeare has grown out of that study. Dona teaches a variety of acting courses for our department, and directs as well. St. Olaf Theatre directorial credits include A New Brain, Les Belles-Soeurs, The Taming of the Shrew, Pippin, Nickel and Dimed, The Winter’s Tale, The Seagull, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Twelfth Night and The Heidi Chronicles. She is also faculty advisor for our student-run theatre, Deep End Productions. Dona enjoys collaborations with St. Olaf Theatre students, on our stages, or in Twin Cities Theatres.