[ Her shows | Client list | Resume | Press Pictures/Articles | Contact ]
Marianne Donnelly
Available Downloads:
hi-rez tiff headshot
resume (MS Word)


Living-History Actress, Janis Joplin Impersonator
Event Producer, Writer (scripts and news) mdonnelly00@gmail.com
Marianne Donnelly

Multidisciplinary performing artist providing quality family entertainment with strong educational content in a creative dramatic style. Shows and workshops are developed for schools, libraries, fairs, festivals, promotionals, bookstores, conventions and private functions. Themes include humor, history, nature, respect, sharing and caring. Songs, stories, movement, magic, games participation and select cultural touchstones are woven into rich theatrical experiences that delight ages three through adult. Exquisite costumes enhance the vibrant, joyful performances. "A joyful riot…" according to the Boston Globe.


Harvard Graduate School of Education, MAMaster of Arts in Educational Media1984
Central Michigan University, MIMaster of Arts in Business Administration1981
Park College, MOBachelor of Arts in Social Psychology1978
Children's Theater Association of AmericaCertificate in Creative Drama in a Developmental Context1988


Las Vegas Weekly Tribune Online writer, arts reviewer, researcher, photographer2011 - present
Book in Progress: "I Wear Their Courage: women trailblazers I have become."
Absolutely Affordable Family Entertainment of Boston, MA1995 - present

Established my own family entertainment company providing shows performed by myself as well as a select group of local performing artists. Marketing, public relations, scheduling, and developing new material for diverse populations are some of the skills used daily.


Teach Creative Dramatics workshops at Weston, Brookline, Boston and Cambridge sites for young people. These include sections on diaphragmatic breathing, movement, voice production, memory skills, theatre directions, makeup, costuming, balloon twisting, magic and more.

Artist-in-Residence with Very Special Arts, MAl995 - present

Delivered several workshops, residences (ranging from one week through twelve weeks) and performances for special needs classrooms and festivals. Worked closely with teachers to design assessable activities using both dramatic and visual arts techniques.


Storytelling “Tellabrations”2002, 2003

Arranged site, publicity, beneficiary, and tellers for the annual worldwide weekend of benefit storytelling.

Annual Monarch Butterfly Migration Celebration 2001-Present

Obtain permits from City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department for the Parkman Bandstand and host a participatory family festival that includes educational displays about the life cycle and challenges for the monarch butterfly. Build a network of scientists, butterfly experts, musicians, dancers, and storytellers who will participate in this all acoustic annual celebration.

Children's Stages at Cambridge River Festivalsl986 - 1988

Coordinated logistics, hospitality, volunteers and entertainers for the Cambridge Arts Council as a paid contractor.

Rainbow Sky Children's Showl988

In collaboration with Continental Cablevision (Cambridge, MA) produced original, magazine-format, regularly aired shows. Nutritional, multicultural and tolerance themes were subtly delivered with exciting on-air guests, local school children, claymation and video insets. Designed format, selected talent, coordinated releases and transportation of children, wrote and recorded theme song and hosted each show. Post production surveys proved positive.

Earth Day Cambridge Celebrationsl990 - 1992

Produced citywide environmental education events serving thousands of people annually with forty environmental displays, three stages of music, youth activities, and roving entertainment. Recruited and retained a corps of volunteers, helped raise limited funds, obtained permits, designed program, coordinated print and radio publicity, organized related seminars. Worked closely with the City of Cambridge Department of Public Works, City Council and School Department. Received a Letter of Commendation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for these years of volunteer community service.


Historical Portrayalsl988 to Present

Beyond Little Women is a carefully researched portrayal of writer and activist Louisa May Alcott. Emphasizing her suffragist and abolitionist involvement, Civil War nursing experience and unique childhood Louisa is accurately and passionately brought to life. Curricula-linked learning guides and workshops available for history, social studies and literature.

How the West was Fun with Calamity Jane dispels myths about the westward movement as well as Martha Jane Cannary. Drawing from travel diaries and railroad history this informative and poignant show involves audiences in western capers, songs, strikes and successes. Special segments available for grades K-9.

Pith, Pluck and Pen: Nellie Bly, Reporter brings this brilliant turn-of-the-century reporter, factory owner and world traveler alive. Geography, history and journalism classes will find substance to draw from

Janis Joplin: Looking Backward. A lively interpretive tribute in words and song to this blues inspired American Rock & Roll legend. Stories from her biographies, events from her time in the late 60's, accurate costuming , vocalizations and movement bring Janis to life. Appropriate for birthday parties for ages 30 and above.

Seasonal Portrayalsl988 to Present

Integrating mythology and customs from around the world I have developed a popular cycle of costumed characters:

Pumpkinette the Harvest Lady revels in the harvest season from September through November with stories and songs of abundance. Inspired by folk customs from American early settlers, Native Americans and Old Celtic harvest lore this joyful show is popular in New England libraries, schools, festivals and Halloween celebrations.

Frostina the Winter Lady continues the seasonal cycle with influences from Alaskan, Russian, French and Japanese winter myths and celebrations. Quincy, MA “First Night” (New Year's Eve celebration) has dubbed “Frostina” the Official Merrymaker and Greeter since 1996.

Acorn the Merry Elf/Leprechaun is a winter/spring character with an original sharing and caring story Acorns Three as aired on national radio and enjoyed at “Brunch with Santa” celebrations in local Boston four star hotels. St. Patrick's Day Childrens shows include jigs, songs and Celtic inspired stories. Silver the Clown is a favorite at birthday parties, corporate functions. Everyone loves the magic, face painting, balloon animals and games. Professionally dressed in a costume that children are not afraid of. Lots of laughs for all.


Ready to Go Channel 7
Evening Magazine Channel 4
Kid's America N.P.R. radio
Channel 5 City Line
Children's Museum of Boston
Museum of Science
Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington
Copley Plaza Hotel
Charles Hotel, Cambridge

Additional appearances have included New England libraries, schools and festivals. I was also an on air intern "personality" on WBCN-FM radio for one year, doing the public service announcements for their 'Boston Sunday Review' show. Additional responsibilities included script preparation and guest profile research.


Academic Administrator1975 - l982

Managed accredited off-campus sites for colleges serving continuing education populations. Registrations, counseling students, selecting faculty, coordination of local logistics such as book deliveries, classrooms, supplies, and overseeing secretarial support. Coordinated closely with home campuses to ensure maintaining accreditation standards. Designed an effective arrearage collection system. Wrote local policy and procedures manual. Hired local staff. My entertainment career was limited to weekend coffeehouse and library performances.

[Top of this page]