Donna Anita Nikolaisen
Donna Anita Nikolaisen is an Irish-Caribbean actor. Stage highlights include Silk Campbell in ‘No Irish No Blacks No Dogs’ at The New Theatre, Bertha Mason in ‘Jane Eyre’ at The Gate and a Bacchae warrior in ‘The Bacchae of Baghdad’ at The Abbey. To date, Donna is best known for her role on RTE’s soap opera ‘Fair City’ as the stoic yet fun-loving Zambian nurse Ama Chisenga.
Since leaving the show in 2017 Donna won Best Supporting Actor at the 2018 Underground Cinema Festival for her role in the award-winning short film ‘QED’. Recent roles in TV and Film include ‘Lucy Doyle’ in TV Drama ‘The South Westerlies’ (2020), ‘Louisa Short’ in TV Drama ‘Blood’ (2020) and ‘Grace Ture’ in Feature Film ‘Sweetness in the Belly’ (2019).
Donna is a successful voice over artist. She narrated the audio book for Donal Ryan’s ‘Strange Flowers’ and her voice is used for various TV commercials and documentaries. Donna recently released her debut album ‘LORE’, of songs penned and performed by her. Set within a tapestry of the seasonal shifting of the natural world, ‘LORE’ is all about that perpetual inner conflict between the desire to hold on and the need to let go.
Of Irish-Caribbean heritage, Donna was drawn to the magic of the stage from a young age. She trained in speech and drama as a teenager at Monfort College, Cork and her earliest performance was at The Cork Cat Club. She went on to achieve a BSc in Business Information Systems in UCC, which lead to an exciting job as an analyst for the next 5 years.
However, after taking a sabbatical to travel around the world, certain aspects of life crystallised for her. She decided to answer the call and walk ‘The Artist’s Way’ so to speak. To focus her life’s energy in the pursuit of her art. Namely, to be an actor.
Her love for both acting and music meant that she first stepped on a Dublin stage in the musical ‘Evita’ with The Guinness Players and ‘South Pacific’ with the Pioneer Musical Society. Her first dramatic role in a play was that of Margaret in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with The Dublin Shakespeare Society. After further training with the Stanislavsky Studio at The Focus Theatre and in Bel Canto Voice she went on to portray a number of challenging characters on stage.
These include the formidable Mrs Muller in John Patrick Shanley’s ‘Doubt’; the embattled Silk Campbell in ‘No Irish No Blacks No Dogs’; the straight talking Lebanese journalist Rima in ‘Talking to Terrorists’; a terrorised mother in ‘Tea Chests and Dreams’; one of the warrior women in ‘The Bacchae of Baghdad’ at The Abbey; and the fragile yet feral Bertha Mason in ‘Jane Eyre’ at The Gate; Donna set up True Voice Theatre in 2010 as an independent theatre entity and to date has produced and performed in Melfi’s off-Broadway classic ‘Birdbath’ and Chekhov’s comedy ‘The Bear’ and ‘The Proposal’.
VOICE & MUSIC
Donna recently narrated the audio book of the novel ‘Strange Flowers’ by Donal Ryan. She also narrated the BBC/TV3 documentary ‘Ireland’s Refugee Hotel’ and the Virgin Media documentary ‘The Story of Water’.
Donna’s love for music lead to her 2019 online release of debut album ‘LORE’, released as double EP ‘Lore Bealtaine’ and ‘Lore Samhain’ – a collection of twelve songs drifting between the desire to hold on and the need to let go.
Directed by Amy-Joyce Hastings ‘QED’ was selected for the 2018 Cannes Short Film Corner and won Best Overall Short Film at the 2018 Santa Fe Film Festival and New Mexico Film Festival.
Donna won Best Supporting Actor for her role as Ali, a young woman dealing with a tragic event in her life, in the powerful short film ‘QED’ at the 2018 Underground Cinema Film Festival.
Acting for Camera Course, Film Venture
Stanislavsky Studio (2 years), The Focus Theatre
Chekhov Workshop, Rayla Tadjimotova
Meisner Workshop, Momentum Acting Studio
Jazz Ballet Course, Elena Degtyareva
Voice (1 year), BelCanto School of Voice
Music Theatre (1 year), Waltons School of Music
LAMDA Speech & Drama (3 years), Montfort College
Web Designer at Visual Aspects
BSc Business Information Systems (Hon), UCC
Full Drivers Licence