Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, to Italian immigrants from Calabria, in Southern Italy, Dina spoke only Italian until she was five. With Canada being a bilingual country (French/English) Dina studied French for ten years.
From an early age, her grandfather encouraged her to write and perform. In fact, at the age of four, after being coached by her grandfather, she took the stage for the first time, along with her older sister, to sing some Christmas songs at the Local Italian Hall Christmas Party. The surreal moment of receiving a box of chocolates for her efforts, and the applause, left her with a burning desire to be in front of an audience. After performing in numerous school plays and talent shows, Dina joined a modeling/talent agency.
This brought her briefly to New York City, where she fell in love with the Big Apple and discovered a passion for designing clothes. After graduating from the Ryerson University Fashion Design Program in Toronto, Canada, she designed garments for a local rock band and private clients. But Dina yearned to perform. She gave up the needle and thread and embarked on a successful career, in front of the camera and behind a microphone. She landed some high-profile commercials for Kodak, RCA Records, and American Express, to name a few.
Then while on location in Antigua, hosting a Travel Show, she met an Italian Film Crew who encouraged her to take her talent to Italy. She moved to Rome and, in just three months, was chosen by FORD Automobiles, Italy Division, for a National Ad campaign. More commercials and print work followed, which led to work in Film, Theater, and Voiceover. She was cast in several European and Italian/American co-productions, and feels privileged to have worked with the likes of Alain Delon, Klaus Kinski, Martin Sheen, Yari Gugliucci, Roberto Benigni, Inna Tchourikova, Alexander Gallin, Claudia Koll, Jacques Deray, Ralph Thomas, Tinto Brass, Elvio Porta, Bruno Corbucci and Norman Jewison, to name a select few.
Because Dina is bilingual, RAI Television hired her to host several Culturally Informative television news shows, which aired worldwide. In addition, she worked in the Italian dubbing community where she re-voiced/dubbed over one hundred films, narrated documentaries, and performed in animation. One of Dina’s many highlights in Rome – besides meeting the Maestro, Federico Fellini – was the opportunity to work with American screen and stage actress Susan Strasberg as her assistant coach during Susan’s Intensive Master Acting Workshops at Teatro Tordinona, near Piazza Navona.
Since moving to Los Angeles, Dina has been very active in theatre and voiceover. She is a member of Theatre West and the current co-chair of the artistic board. Theatre West is her home away from home, where she works out new material, whether it’s a solo show, full-length play, or short story. And where she has produced several solo festivals, including the Sunday Night Solo Series, Portraits of Humanity 2, and SOLOPALOOZA 2.022. In voiceover, Dina has worked on feature films, animation, video games, commercials, and announcer for several awards shows, including ACE Eddie Awards, MPSE, CAS, HPA Awards, and Vaughan International Film Festival. Her voice can be heard on Oscar-nominated films like LUCA, DUNE, AVATAR, to name a few, as well as Emmy, nominated shows like The Morning Show.
Through countless short stories Dina has written over the years, one of them gave birth to her One Woman Show entitled The Italian In Me, which had its World Premiere at the Globe Playhouse in Los Angeles. She garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences for her acting and writing. In June 2018, she received the Valley Theatre A
ward for Best One Person Show. In addition, Reviewplays.com named her one of the Top Ten Best Actresses, and the Los Angeles Woman’s Festival (LAWTF) presented her with the Inspiring Solo Performance Award.
The Italian In Me has also been performed at the Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival LAWTF, Marilyn Monroe Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu, Theatre West – WEST FEST Festival, Portraits of Humanity, a solo festival, The Odyssey Theatre, Sunday Night Solo Series, The Italian Cultural Institute, The Feast of San Gennaro, LA Women’s Club, Highways Theatre, The Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica CA, The Electric Lodge in Venice, CA, The Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, and The Diesel Playhouse, in Toronto, Canada.
Moose On The Loose, a comedy about an Italian family and a Canadian moose, is Dina’s full-length play with a cast of 12, which had its world premiere at Theatre West in Los Angeles, CA. The show was a smash hit and was subsequently picked up and produced in Canada by Magnus Theatre and Sudbury Theatre Centre STC. Mel Brooks said, “I cannot tell a lie. Moose On The Loose is really funny and surprisingly moving.”
Since 2015, Dina has been the Executive Contributing Editor and a Feature Writer of The Eden Magazine, a lifestyle consciousness magazine. She has interviewed Gina Lollobrigida, Bruce Dern, Paolo Sorrentino, Susan L. Taylor, Laura Turner, Blair Underwood, Louis Gossett Jr, Mariel Hemingway, and Ed Begley Jr., to name a few. The magazine aims to create a better environment where we all live among other living beings in peace and harmony and spreads compassion to all sentient beings. The magazine also supports artists whose work matches the criteria of the magazine.
Dina is a proud member of The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Playwrights Guild Of Canada, Dramatists Guild Of America, Women In Theatre, Theatre West, ATLA, The Producers League of Los Angeles, L’Accademia Italiana Di Cucina, Canadians Abroad, Theatre Ontario, LA Stage Alliance, SAG-AFTRA, ACTRA, AEA, Ryerson Alumni, UCLA Alumni, Beverly Hills Woman’s Club, Italian Cultural Institute, and Le DIVE (Donne Italiane che vivono a l’estero – Italian Women who live abroad.)