Chronology: 1926 - 1959

 
1926 Born May 13th in Findlater, Saskatchewan, to Reverend George Coghill and Dorothy (Pollard) Coghill. Joy as a baby
Joy as a Baby
1928 Moves from Canada to Glasgow, Scotland.
1938 Due to the possibilities of war, was evacuated from Glasgow to Troon.
1939 Reverend George Coghill dies.
1940 Evacuated with mother and cousins from Scotland to Canada. Attends Kitsilano High School and begins elocution lessons with Anne Mossman.
1941 Appears with the Vancouver Little Theatre in Bunty Pulls the Strings by Graham Moffat - opening night is on the same day the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. The play was the 100th production of the Vancouver Little Theatre. Bunty Pulls the Strings Bunty Pulls the Strings
1943 High School Drama Festival - acts and directs in Room in the Tower for which Coghill wins a scholarship to the University of British Columbia's (UBC's) Summer School of the Theatre.
1943 Begins teaching elocution lessons in Vancouver with A.T.C.L. certificate from Trinity College in London, England.
1944 Wins Best Actress in the Vancouver High School Drama Festival, playing the Dowager Queen in Dark Betrothal by Thomas Baden Morris.
1944 Graduates from Kitsilano high school.
1945 Biondello in Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, with the UBC Players Club, Vancouver.
1946 Has the title role in John Van Druten's I Remember Mama with UBC's Summer School of the Theatre. I Remember Mama
I Remember Mama
1946 Member of the Theta Chapter of Phrateres at UBC.
1946 Membership in the literary and Scientific Honorary Society of the Alma Mater Society of UBC for services to the cultural activities of the student body.
1947 Housekeeper in Donna Rosita with UBC Summer School of the Theatre (directed by Dorothy Somerset).
1947 Graduates with a Bachelor or Arts degree from the University of British Columbia.
1948 Wins a Dominion Drama Festival (DDM) acting award playing Mrs. Phelps in The Silver Cord by Sydney Howard. It was staged by the Vancouver Little Theatre and presented in Vancouver for a week in February 1948 before being presented in Ottawa at the DDM in the spring of 1948.
1948 Directed Richard Brinsley Sheridan's School for Scandal with UBC's Players' Club. (View program cover.)
1948 Leaves Vancouver for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago to study for a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Chicago.
1948 Directs George Bernard Shaw's Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
1948 Plays the mother in This Happy Breed by Noel Coward, Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
1949 Plays another mother in Gerald Savory's George and Margaret, Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
1949 Title role, Candida by George Bernard Shaw, Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Director: David Itkin. Joy Coghill and Bob Borlik at Goodman Theatre
Joy with Bob Borlik
at Goodman Theatre
1950 Directs King Midas and the Golden Touch, by Charlotte Chorpenning, Goodman's Children's Theatre in Chicago.
1950 Adapts and directs Antigone, by Jean Anouilh, Goodman Theatre Studio in Chicago.
1950 Receives her Master of Fine Arts degree from Goodman Theatre at the Art Institute of Chicago.
1950 Joins the International Players in Kingston, Ontario for the summer. She directs and acts, doing thirteen plays in thirteen weeks.
1951 Begins teaching drama at UBC (1951 -1952 and 1954 - 1966).
1951 Directs Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with the UBC Players' Club.
1951 Actress and director at Tenthouse Theatre in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
1951 Actress and Associate Artistic Director with Sydney Risk's Everyman Theatre in Vancouver (1951 - 1953).
1951 Plays Mrs. Alving in Ibsen's Ghosts, Everyman Theatre in Vancouver. Director: Sydney Risk. Joy Coghill with Ron Wilson in Ghosts
Joy with Ron Wilson
in Ghosts
1951 Plays in Mama in House of Regrets, by Peter Ustinov, Everyman Theatre. Director: Sydney Risk.
1951 Directs Will the Mail Train Run Tonight? by Morland Carey, Everyman Theatre.
1951 - 1952 Directs Little Red Riding Hood and Rumplestiltskin for Everyman Theatre.
1952 Directs The Flies, by Jean-Paul Sartre for Everyman Theatre.
1952 Directs Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare for the UBC's Players' Club.
1952 Begins teaching at Goodman Theatre and De Paul University in Chicago (1952 - 1953).
1952 Directs The Emperor's New Clothes by Charlotte Chorpenning, Goodman Children's Theatre, Chicago.
1952 Directs Mrs. Henry Wood's East Lynne, Goodman Studio Theatre.
1953 Directs Noel Coward's Tonight at Eight-Thirty (Theoni V. Aldridge on piano), Goodman Theatre.
1953 Directs Huckleberry Finn by Charlotte Chorpenning, Goodman Children's Theatre.
1953 Directs The Swan by Ferenc Molnar, De Paul University.
1953 Founds Holiday Theatre, the first professional children's theatre in Canada, with Myra Benson. Becomes artistic director of the theatre (1953 - 1966).
1954 Directs Chekhov's The Seagull, UBC's Frederic Wood Theatre, Vancouver.
1954 Actress and director for Tenthouse Theatre in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Directs A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, and performs in The Heiress by Augustus and Ruth Goetz.
1954 Artistic director of Frederic Wood Theatre (1954 - 1955) at UBC in Vancouver.
1955 GM Theatre, live television on CBC: Never Say No with William Shatner, Toby Robins and William Needles. Director: Robert Allen.
1955 Marries radio producer John (Jack) Thorne.
1956 Birth of first child, Debra Dorothy.
1957 Directs Teahouse of the August Moon by John Patrick, Vancouver Little Theatre.
1958 Birth of second child, Gordon Alexander.
1959 Plays Inez in No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre at Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC.
1959 Alice in Anyone for Alice, CBC Television “Studio Pacific”.