Reviews

“A great storyteller makes you forget that a particular person is standing before you, and you are transcended somewhere else. Donna Marie is truly a vessel. Not a gesture or word was wasted – it was all purposeful!”― Carey Cannon, Vienna, GA

FESTIVALS and CONCERTS

“She takes possession of her performing space…with great use of voice and body. When she sings, her voice soars up, taking your heart with it. Her use of body is remarkable. She writes her own pieces, touching the heart and making you laugh and laugh and then laugh some more. And she can scare you to death.” Gwenda Ledbetter, National Storytelling Network Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

“A gifted storyteller whose stories flow with imagery, humor, emotion, and truth.”
Connie Regan-Blake, Storyteller

“When Donna Marie was the featured storyteller at the International Festival Gathering her performances were fantastic – full of humor, pathos, whimsy and beautiful singing and storytelling.”― Carole Danby, Brisbane, Australia

“She’s not just a storyteller. She’s a movie projector!”
Michael Reno-Harrell, Storyteller, Songwriter

“Donna Marie is an excellent workshop presenter and performer. The singing portions of her stories are so beautiful and eloquent that the listener can hardly believe what they are hearing.” ― Jane Sims, Past Co-President, Florida Storytelling Association and Asheville, NC Storytelling Circle

“Donna Marie’s great storyteller voice projects and portrays emotions. She holds an audience in the palm of her hand.”― Bob Hinkle, Owner, White Horse Black Mountain

“It was great to see you at the Brevard Storytelling Festival.  You were your amazing self and I so enjoyed watching you perform!” – Sherry Lovett, Past President, North Carolina Storytelling Guild

“I was able to visualize the old house and the mountain man as if I were there. I loved Donna Marie’s description of the snake handlers and the holler… actually ALL of it!” ― Diane Garrett, Houston, TX

“Her performances were just A+, as I expected they would be, after seeing her perform at the Starburst Storytelling Festival. Donna Marie can size up your audience and give them something from her repertoire which seems appropriate for that particular group…and she blended all that with her superb singing voice…Top rate from first to last!”― Lawrence Webb, Foothill Writer’s Conference, SC

WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES

“Your weekend with us was so well-received. People have already been talking about having you return.”
Patricia Lind, Carol Stream, Il.

“We were all charged up from Donna Marie’s GREAT, entertaining, informative, eye-opening, and soul-searching, look-at-things-through-new-eyes workshop!”
Jim Payne, Participant, Wild Acres Retreat, Little Switzerland, NC

“For me, Donna Marie was the highlight of the Worship and Music Conference at Montreat.” R. Craig Dobbins, PAM (Presbyterian Association of Musicians) Conference Faculty

“Tonight was a beautiful, significant, deeply meaningful and sacred night of the Spirit…Donna Marie, you are so genuine and real.”
Rev. Marina Gopadze, Wee Kirk Conference, Montreat

“I loved working with Donna Marie at the Presbyterian Association of Musicians Music Conference at Montreat.”
Joan Gray, Past Moderator, PCUSA, Faculty, Columbia Seminary Atlanta, GA

“Donna Marie is a talented and dynamic storyteller, a gifted and patient teacher, and a beautiful person with an incredible voice! ”
Tracy Taylor Bailey, Conference Director, Montreat Conference Center

“I attended your presentation at the Presbytery event and learned a great deal of information from it. I had an opportunity to use it today and it was very effective and I had many very favorable comments. Just thought you might like to know your session really helped me!” ― Judy Hofman, Iverness, FL

RETREATS

“Donna Marie was my top choice to facilitate our first parish women’s retreat. The event she created for us was such a phenomenal success that we invited her to lead the retreat again the following year, and our attendance grew from 58 to 75! The increased participation was due entirely to the positive feedback from retreatants regarding Donna Marie. She consulted with me in advance of planning the retreat in order to learn about our group and what we had been studying so that she could tailor a program specifically for us. She provided such a complete program of music, entertainment, reflection, and spiritual exercises that it allowed me to participate along with my group and not be concerned about any of the logistics. She went above and beyond what we hoped to receive from her, and I would highly recommend her to any organization!”
The Rev. Cynthia Park, PhD, Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville, Georgia

“If I had to describe her retreat in one word, it would be POWERFUL. I was pleased to be able to bring this retreat to my community and honored to have met the founder, Donna Marie Todd. I would strongly recommend other hospice agencies to bring A Widow’s Tale retreat to their community to give grieving women a voice, a chance to make connections, to learn self-care, and to make plans and have hope for the future.”Jennifer Cox Bereavement Coordinator, UPMC Altoona Hospice

“We are still absorbing and reflecting on the powerful weekend we had with Donna Marie.”  Rev. Mike Foley, Storytelling Retreat, Ormond Beach Presbyterian, FL

“Donna Marie Todd’s retreat leadership blended personal experience and professional skills to engage, validate, empathize, educate, and grow the retreat guests.  Her open, honest, and entertaining personality put the guests at ease with the retreat format, with each other, and most importantly with their grief.” Brittany Feathers, Hospice Social Worker, UPMC

“Thank you for the fabulous weekend.   I loved everything about it.  Your work is a gift to the universe and all of us who where there for the weekend!”
 Patricia L Borza, Christmount Women’s Discovery Weekend

“Donna Marie is consistent, easy to work with, professional and very flexible about adapting her performance to suit a specific audience. God uses Donna Marie through her art form.”― Beth McConnell, Providence Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC

“God is doing a new thing through her.”― Rev. Dr. Jerry Bron, PCUSA, Richmond, VA

“Donna Marie relates to all different age groups and works well with them. She is a powerful storyteller with great compassion. I would work with Donna Marie any day, under any conditions – she is a joy and a blessing.”― Rev. Susan Verbrugge, Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Blacksburg, VA

“Donna Marie shares herself with her audience and instills a desire for spiritual growth.”― Relma Hargus, Alliance of Baptists Retreat, Atlanta, GA

“Donna Marie is a wonder beyond compare! Nostalgia and reverie that enthralled and delighted us all!”― Ladye Margaret Arnold, Evergreen Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN

“Donna Marie’s storytelling is deeply moving. She is the best in her field because her audience can connect personal experiences to the stories she tells.” ― Rev. Dr. Tom Boomershine, Founder, Network of Biblical Storytellers, International, Dayton, OH

“Donna Marie’s love of learning and sharing is impacting the lives of others in ways that she can never imagine.”― Ethelene Edwards, Mount Airy, NC

SCHOOL RESIDENCIES

“I loved how you taught us the plan for the story. It was really fun and I’m going to remember this for a long time.” Your friend, Blue Lizard 2, Hendersonville NC

“I’ve done residencies with Donna Marie for 9 years now. She makes a great impression on the children, and they want to learn more about writing and storytelling.”― Bill Feste, CD Owen Middle School, Swannanoa, NC

“I enjoyed you teaching us how to calm ourselves down into our imagination to make a character.” – Logan Steppe – Grade 4

“I did residencies with Donna Marie Todd year after year. She levels the playing field to allow all students, regardless of their abilities, to rise to their highest level of creative thought.” Jim Griffin, newly retired, Black Mountain Elementary, NC

“When you told that story I could see what was happening in my head!” – Sydney Gilliam, 3rd Grade

“Donna Marie is one of the most talented people I have ever met – her level of artistic ability far exceeds anyone we have worked with before. Her work ethics and creativity are impeccable. She has an unusual ability to work positively with both young and old.”― Vickie Begley, National Board Teacher, Asheville, NC

“I can’t believe that you just made that story up! All the people that you acted out seemed so real. You explained what they were thinking and feeling, where you were and what the scene was. Which is what we are working on in school right now! We’re going to use what we learned from you and we’ll make you proud!” – Your writer, Emma (PS… I never liked writing before)

“Our children need the kind of artistic connections to the writing process that she offers.” ― Charles Sneed, Elementary Principal, Anderson, SC

“I loved the assembly you did for us. I thought it was really awesome that all the story came from your imagination. When you came to our class it was really fun. I loved the game where we had to pick a word out of pile and give it to you to make wacky sentences.” –Julia Michels, Hendersonville, NC

“She received very high marks from our staff and has been a very reliable artist for our school”― Jerry Green, Primary Principal (retired), NC

“Her process …improved my children’s writing test scores. These were the best scores I’d ever had!”― Nancy Hudson, Elementary Teacher, NC

“Her residency did more to raise awareness about bullying than anything else we have tried before.” ― Vicky Matthews, Middle School Principal, NC