Donna Dozier was born for the stage and has stayed true to this calling—surviving a life of sex trafficking, abuse and addiction to find that her dream had never died. A dedicated member of the Thistle Stop Cafe team, Donna has mesmerized audiences at the Thistle Stop Cafe with her vibrant voice and penchant for poetry. In the coming weeks, though, Donna will take her love for spoken word and the stage to new heights. On February 23rd and March 1st, Donna will stand before a full symphony orchestra as a survivor of life on the streets and a poetic voice for healing. Looking forward to her time onstage, Donna says,
“When I was a young girl, I was in the choirs at church and school. I was selected to the district choir, and I had the opportunity to sing my favorite songs. Believe it or not, I wanted to be an opera singer. That is a passion that I have had since I was little. I love that kind of music and I always have. Even though I spent over 20 years struggling with addiction, I never forgot my love for the stage. So when they asked me to perform, it’s hard to put into words…God is just awesome.”
It comes as no surprise to those that know Donna that she will be joining the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra to narrate A Magdalene Cantata, conceived by Abingdon editor Ronald Kidd, written by composer Anthony Plog and based on Thistle Farms's book, Find Your Way Home. The Abingdon Press book was written by residents and graduates who had survived prostitution, trafficking, addiction, and who found strength together by sharing those stories with each other. The collection includes the 24 spiritual principles that ground the survivors, staff and volunteers of the Thistle Farms community. Donna explained why she is so passionate about the performance,
“Words have healing in them. Words have a lot of meaning and expression and soul to me. When I read Find Your Way Home, I could sit in each story that a person wrote and picture them all the way down to how they looked, how they felt. I could share their pain and their joy— all at the same time—because I had been there, too.”
The Magdalene Cantata will be a new way to hear the stories of women who have survived violence, pain and abuse and have found the words to begin their healing. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
A Magdalene Cantata is part of the W. Ovid Collins Jr. Concert Series,and is presented by the Law Firm of Cornelius & Collins. Performances will be February 23, 7:30pm, in Collins Auditorium at David Lipscomb University; and March 1, 7:30pm, at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Admission is free and open to the public.