Joey Wishnia

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Joey Wishnia (1930s-). Actor and director.


Born in South Africa and began performing as a child in 1942. He was educated at Rhodes University and received a teaching diploma from Trinity College in London. He joined the professional actors’ union in 1962 and in 1993 earned an award for his contribution to children’s theatre in South Africa. He later moved to Denver, Colorado, where he continued acting for local companies.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance


As an actor he appeared in Macbeth in Maynardville in 1967. He played in The Dock Brief in Lunch Time Theatre. He performed as the Burglar in Heartbreak House in 1967 and as Foigard in The Beaux' Stratagem and Larry in Winter Journey in the same year.

Performed in It was a helluva Funeral, Applause, A Macbeth, Manners and Morals, Sagmoedige Neelsie, The Resistable Rise of Arturo UI, Gypsy, The Sound of Music, Shut Your Eyes and Think of England, Tarradiddle Travels, Kings of Rok, Three Cheers for President Charlie, The Man Most Likely To, Whose Life is it Anyway?, Who Saw Him Die?, Roar Like a Dove, The Three Little Pigs, Guys and Dolls, Woyzeck, The Wizard of Oz, 'Buckingham Palace', District Six, The King and I. He was to have performed in Adam Leslie's satirical revue Sweet Fanny Adams in 1972 but had to be hospitalised on opening night and was replaced by Cy Saks.

As a director, he was responsible for The 65th Square (1972), an original play Shape of Murder in Pretoria (19**) and The Princess and the Pea (which he had also written, 1989).

He also appeared at the Candlelight Theatre.

Having settled in the USA, he appeared in local productions, e.g. Vintage Theatre's The Lyons (2014) and Cherry Creek Theatre Company's The Last Romance, with Martha Harmon (2016).

Film, and TV

"Joseph" in Turkey Day (Short, 2004)

"Mr. Russell" in That Englishwoman: An Account of the Life of Emily Hobhouse (1990)

"Stones de la Porte" in Bye Bye Booysens (TV Movie, 1980)

"2nd Reporter" in Fraud! (1974)

"Attorney" in Taxi! (1970)

Awards, etc


SACD 1973; 1974; 1978/79.

Winter Journey theatre programme, 1967.

Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

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