Woman Crush Wednesday Dorinda Toner

This week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to Dorinda Toner, a talented actress, director, staunch nonprofit advocate, and leader of one of the fastest-growing theatre companies in Portland! 

Dorinda has been performing on stages all across the continent for more than three decades. 

She double-majored in Classical English Lit and Theater/Directing at University in her native country of Canada. Multi-talented Dorinda is also a Canadian Recording Artist – she’s produced a number of albums and has been on tour several times!

She’s an award-winning play director AND actress – you may have seen her locally as Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire, for which she won a Twittie award (Twilight Theater’s Best Of awards) for Outstanding Performance by a female lead. That role also earned her a Best Regional Actress Applause NW Ovation Award. Her work has garnered many, many more awards over the years.

More than once, Dorinda has written articles published in a national theatre magazine called Spotlight. 

She has served on several nonprofit boards in the Arts and Humanitarian sectors and is proud to be at the helm of the Twilight Theater Company, one of the fastest-growing theatre companies in Portland, since May of 2016. They were selected as a finalist for Best Theater in Portland, in the Willamette Week Readers’ Poll. She credits their success with the fact that they’ve created a company culture of joy and optimism – well, that, and the fact that their theatrical work is awesome, award-winning, and compelling! Theatre that moves us, inspires us, and sparks conversations that address real concerns – so, so rewarding. The company enables her to give back, build community, and make human connections – all are very important to her. She’s also inspired seeing art make a difference in her life, her kids’ lives, and her patrons’ lives.

Dorinda scorns the archaic idea that women are too “emotional” to be in leadership. She wants folks to understand that being emotional translates into being empathetic, understanding, and able to relate to others – qualities that have served her quite well in the nonprofit world!

Luckily, she doesn’t run across these outdated attitudes often – most of the people she works with are respectful of and appreciative of women in leadership roles. For women/girls out there questioning their leadership abilities, Dorinda has just one thing to say to you – DON’T! Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you bring you down. Believe in yourself and what you’re passionate about and you can do anything! Also – it’s okay to admit you don’t have all the answers. It’s okay to learn as you go.

Her biggest personal accomplishment is her family – she’s been happily married to the kindest person she knows for 24 years and together they’ve raised two amazing kiddos…who are now amazing adults.

A few final words of wisdom from an exemplary woman: Women are powerful! Emotions are good! Don’t let anyone else define who you are! Stop using single use plastics! Support the Arts in your community!

#WCW #SupportTheArts #MakeADifference #DoGoodBeGood

Edie RogowayAdrienne Livingston