NYNW Theatre Festival: Meet Donna Thomas & From Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)From Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel by Donna Thomas

ONE WOMAN SHOW CHRONICLES REAL LIFE JOURNEY FROM WAITRESS TO WIFE OF COLUMBIAN CARTEL MEMBER

(Los Angeles, CA) – File this story under “True Life is Stranger than Fiction.” Former Discovery Networks and Technicolor Senior Executive, Donna Thomas, takes the stage in “From Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel.” The 30-minute one-woman show, shares her true-life journey from an innocent college student and waitress in Atlanta, Georgia to being married to a prominent member of a Columbian Drug Cartel. Except, she had no idea.

“I’m thrilled to be sharing my story at this years New York New Works Theatre Festival” said Donna Thomas, writer/creator and performer of “Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel. “After more than 15-years of never speaking of my ‘former life’, through the festival’s support, I am thrilled to be taking the stage.”

Margot Leitman, Moth Grand Slam Champion, and one of the most sought after experts in the art of Storytelling, is directing. Producing is Brian Palatucci, who has been integral at bringing the story to life through archival photos and video.

Donna’s Twitter and IG: @bestofdonna
From Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel hashtag: #belletocartel

Please provide us with a brief answer to the following:

1) What is your hometown? Warner Robbins, GA

2) What was the last show that you worked on and where?

From Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel is my first one-woman show. I was Vice President of the Media Services Division at Technicolor and on April 1st they closed our division putting 300 people out of work including me. It was traumatic but I decided instead of mourning the loss of my job, I would create. So that very day I signed up for the Hollywood Fringe Festival, decided on four dates and secured a venue. I hadn’t written a word and had no director but knew that in 60 days I would be telling my story so I got to work! We completed a 4 night sold out run and our rave reviews placed us as #2 or #3 on the Fringemeter throughout the festival.

3) Why submit to a Festival like this?

I honestly don’t know if I am unique as a playwright and performer but I believe that as a woman in my 40’s starting down this path that I am. I’ve spent my entire career climbing the corporate ladder reaching the top of my game as a senior executive and leader in the industry.
Writing this play was over 20 years in the making because I spent that entire time pretending that my story did not happen to me. Over the last three years I began sharing bits of my story through my comedy, as I am an improviser here in Los Angeles. This has been a healing process but also a very creative one. The story spans in total almost 7 years of my life in the early 90’s and if I hadn’t lived it I would not believe it.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the Festival and I’m excited to bring my show to New York. My 20-year career in the TV and Entertainment Industry has created a built in base of industry executives and friends in the NYC area that are excited to come and support the festival. My goal is to develop it further into a longer production and eventually a scripted television series.

Reviews:

“This show features a charming southern belle who unknowingly–and I mean in a real-life, true story–married a drug cartel dude!”
“The writing is hilarious and her spirit is infectious!”
“Donna tells one of the most unbelievable true stories from her life with humor and heart.”
“Southern Belle to Mrs Cartel is a one woman tour de force – and its poignancy and humor is only heightened by the fact that it’s (unbelievably) true.”
“Her story is thrilling, hilarious, horrifying, and painful.”

Full List of Fringe Festival Reviews: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2393?tab=reviews

Donna Thomas Bio:

Donna Thomas, a former award-winning Technicolor and Discovery Networks executive has always nourished her comedy passion. Having spent the last 20 years rising rapidly in her day job, she spent evenings at weekends for the last three years at Upright Citizens Brigade and Improv Olympic in Los Angeles. The 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival marked Thomas’s debut as a writer/producer/performer of her own one woman show. “Southern Belle to Mrs. Cartel” runs 30-minutes chronicling Thomas’ journey from innocent southern college student and waitress at the Steak & Ale to wife of a Columbian drug lord….but she had no idea.

Raised in a small town in Georgia, Donna has her BA in Marketing from Georgia State University. Along with comedy, Donna and her brother established the Thomas Angel Foundation in 2001 to fund scholarships for women studying comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade.

LA Magazine Story re: Thomas Angel Foundation (for background): http://www.lamag.com/citythink/public-service-announcement-meet-thomas-angel-foundation-founder-donna-thomas/

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?vpa=cxn1&locale=en_US

PERFORMANCE:

August 20th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase tickets.

The NYNW Theatre Festival is located in the world’s premier theater district at The Elektra Theatre in the Times Square Arts Center, and is a short play competition where the audience casts their votes to select the best play of the season.

Playwrights from all over the country will present their shows and have the chance to move from the First Round to the Semi-Finals, and then the Finals, where a winner will be selected.

The First Round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th. The Semi-Final rounds will be August 31st and September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Finals will be held September 16th.

http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com/

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