Michael’s love of musical theater and comedy is not an act.  He’s serious about the transformative power that stories and laughter can have to break down barriers in people’s hearts.

Michael, along with his friends Bob Stromberg and Bill Arnold, wrote the international hit play Triple Espresso: a highly caffeinated comedy, which he has performed thousands of times in dozens of cities, including London, Dublin, L.A., Chicago, San Diego, Seattle and Minneapolis.  The Los Angeles Times called it “A triple jolt of inspired craziness,” American Theatre Magazine named it “A caffeine buzz that won’t quit,” and The London Metro said “This is entertainment as it ought to be.  Stunning.

In Minneapolis, Michael has performed with Ten Thousand Things Theater, Nautilus Music-Theatre, Plymouth Playhouse, Beyond Broadway, Hey City Stage and Front Porch Theatre. 


Here's a promo video from a recent show Michael acted in.

"2 Pianos 4 Hands" with press quotes from Park Square Theatre on Vimeo.


He is also a music director, with recent work including Godspell, Junior Claus, Working, Alice Unwrapped, Landscape of the Body, Seussical, Titanic and Into the Woods.  He creates original scores and underscoring for plays, along with soundscape design.

Most recently, Michael has collaborated with Bob Stromberg to provide a score for his one-man show Mr Wonder Boy, and with Bill Arnold and John Gaspard in the musical Stupid in Love.

Michael Pearce Donley Theater       Michael Pearce Donley Theater       


Donley is a terrific pianist, with the kind of mellifluous voice that makes you enjoy the parodies you know you’re supposed
to groan at.

Los Angeles Times

… some superb piano playing. All are portrayed with exceptional acting. The performances throughout are hysterically funny.
The Sunday Business Post, Ireland

Mike is an outstanding music director.  In a kind, gentle manner he gets the most out of his actors and collaborates effectively with the show director and choreographer.   
Steve Barberio, The Directors, LLP

Mike Donley makes our shows better. Period.
Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble, Theatre for the Thirsty

I appreciate Mike's creative energy, collaborative spirit and inspired vision. He makes everyone around him look better than they deserve to look!
Doc Rainbow, Professor and Director of Theatre, Northwestern College

He is certainly on the level of all of the professional musical directors I've worked with in New York, and I would gladly fly him out to New York to do my next show.
-Michael Kooman, composer,