My Endorsements

Here live the "official" reviews and testimonials: from print media and from fellow professionals. They are an honor to receive, and they are shared with gratitude.

Thank you!

General DKY

...Yarborough can whip up a sense of fun, keeping the crowd under her spell.  --MATTHEW J. PALM, ORLANDO SENTINEL
 ...a serious tour-de-force performer. --Road to 1000





"...The beauty of Yarborough’s tale is how it blends the everyday with the philosophical with the spine-tingling. She hits the tropes of any good horror story head on — and then turns them on their head... Unwanted feelings of darkness and pain and terror are not reserved solely to those who struggle with alcoholism, of course. But in a show as artful as this, they are welcome emotions to behold."

--Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel

"It’s impossible to reveal more about Yarborough’s plot without jeopardizing the nerve-jangling joy that comes from discovering this psychological thriller’s chilling secrets; suffice it to say that fans of Stephen King, David Lynch and H.P. Lovecraft will find plenty to sink their canines into."

--Orlando Weekly, Seth Kubersky May 20, 2021

"Rosegold is not a conventional horror story; Donna Kay Yarborough is so confident, she even mocks the clichés of the genre. ...Rosegold is an intense experience and essential viewing."
Reviewer: David Cunningham© 2021 British Theatre Guide


"Doing horror well on stage may sound like the ultimate challenge, because unlike on television or in the movies where filmmakers have an endless array of special effects to employ, in theater the audience is asked to use their imagination to a certain degree.

And there’s no question that Yarborough succeeds brilliantly at this, because without any visual effects beyond her own tour de force performance, she pulls us right into her harrowing nightmare — and causes us to take a second look at the Jaime we first were introduced to when the show began. How she gets there is handled masterfully, and yes, this one passes the most important test: it’s damn scary."

—Michael Freeman, Freeline Media Orlando
Rosegold [ONLINE] by Nico Marrone19 January 2021
"An enthralling exploration of the horrors of addiction and trauma ...At the heart of this is Yarborough’s own performance as Jamie. Her subtle ticks – glances off-screen to her socially distant sponsor, constant sipping from a coffee cup – and small gestures make for thrilling viewing despite the mostly static framing... Yarborough displays a masterful use of language throughout...Simple in its execution, but with far greater depth than one might expect, Yarborough proves herself to be a masterful writer and performer with a great deal of promise. 4 STARS

" toys with the tropes we recognise from both the traditional Christmas ghost story and the type of horror film that includes “found footage”...  it has a great power in creating the images being described within the viewer’s mind.... Remember how you felt when you passed a car crash and had a strong desire to look, even though you knew you shouldn’t?  Listening to Jamie’s recollection, with all its missing pieces and misremembrance, draws in the viewer, wanting to catch her out, to understand how that one event could have brought her to this level of indulgence and reliance on drink."
Reviewer: Louise Penn  Reviewed: 16th January 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

Rosegold/Good Enough (Online review) by John Chapman
"...Suddenly a somewhat predictable tale about the onset of addiction becomes a modern horror story with a paranormal element. ...As Jamie tells her story, Yarborough becomes increasingly haggard and distraught (understandably) and does so without recourse to make up or lighting changes – she is clearly in full command of her material and gives a mesmerising performance... this American tale may send you to bed with the horrors – both of the unknown which is in the darkness and that which constitutes addiction. [...]"
Review by Terrance McArthur
 "...a gently escalating exercise in horror that stands in the ranks of H. P. Lovecraft, Rod Serling, and Stephen King...  Yarborough is earnest, engaging, and EEEEK! Yeah, this show is creepy. "
The Munro Review


"Donna Kay Yarborough’s “Rosegold” takes a mountain-lion-sized bite out of the personal-trauma formula of so many solo fringe shows I’ve seen... I like the details that Yarborough brings us: the images of ice cubes clinking, of a plastic chair by a pecan tree, of a daughter-father relationship that thrives on dysfunction and, yes, love. At one point, Jamie tells us about another character that gives her a look she describes as the way someone would acknowledge a pet or child they have absolutely nothing but indifference for. That line gave me the chills."

"Diagnose This! Tales of a Medical Actor"
Vancouver Fringe Festival review: Diagnose This! Tales of a Medical Actor by Andrea Warner on September 4th, 2019 at 2:14 PM
 Donna Kay Yarborough has been an improv comedian for 25 years and she’s a commanding presence. Taking audiences inside the American health-care system from such a specific perspective—her day job is playing patients for med students in Portland—is brilliant. Some of the jokes and wordplay in the first half of the show—“You’ll feel a little prick”—are too easy, but Yarborough has this Jane Lynch quality to her delivery that makes them more tolerable. What’s infinitely more interesting is Yarborough’s observations about what she and other standardized patients really do: they teach the med students to “speak human again.” This is a show about compassion, humanity, and dignity, and how extreme capitalism is killing people. It’s a timely message for all of us, no matter what our field of practice, and Yarborough does a great job of pivoting from hilarious to heartfelt in the space of a few simple words.


Check the Program on Facebook  Fringe review: “Diagnose This!” **** (4 stars)
When it comes to weird acting jobs, being a “standardized patient” must be near the top of the list. But as veteran improvisor Donna Kay Yarborough recounts in this mix of monologue, improv & impassioned manifesto, it’s also the most rewarding job—and the finest acting—she’s ever done. Filled with true-life (and often cringe-worthy) stories about her intimate “face to place” experiences with medical students, this is fast-paced, funny and fascinating stuff; being an American, however, not all of Yarborough’s jokes work for Canadians, and the show does end on a very serious note—but it’s worth seeing simply for the visceral reaction she gets. If you’re squeamish about body talk, medical details or gynecological insights, this may not be the show for you; but it is ideal for anyone who has ever had to grapple with insensitive doctors, the medical system or personal illness. It's said that laughter is the best medicine; this show proves it right.  —JT
Monday Magazine  Diagnose This! Tales of a Medical Actor – Donna Kay Yarborough
Who knew there was such a thing as a standardized patient? Yarborough describes the job in great detail, sometimes in ways not for the squeamish, such as when she has her “pelvic region” examined. Her dedication to helping new doctors learn bedside manner and communication is admirable, but her stories about her experiences working with green and often terrified students is hilarious. Her delivery and wit are razor sharp and she makes those topics that don’t usually make the dinner table conversation seem somehow more palatable. A bad personal experience related to a prolonged health diagnosis led this longtime actor to the standardized patient job, a finale which leaves the audience with food for thought and respect for her mission.
***** (5 out of 5)  – Don Descoteau


"Query The Crone"

Query the Crone-- Review by Terrance McArthur
Donna Kay Yarbrough amazes me. She became a recovering country singer with anger issues for “The Fabulous Haydell Sisters,” she became Frank Sinatra trapped in a female body in Shenatra, and now…..Query the Crone. It’s more an interactive performance artist’s installation than the average Rogue show. You sit at the campfire of a 1920’s Appalachian witcher-woman, healer, or conjure-woman named Rosemary Conley. She talks to the people who come to her home, asking about this woman’s family, complimenting that man on being sober. Rosemary cuts, shaves, and crushes plant materials to make her charms and folk remedies, all while telling tales and singing back-country ballads. The true magic here isn’t the herbal concoctions, it’s seeing the character emerge: the unvarnished face, the intense gaze, the acceptance of fundamentalist religion and white witchery as existing together, superstitious tales of demons and congregations, and the mournful ballad of Lindabelle that resonates through the valley where you have been transported. Fresno gets to be the tryout venue forQuery the Crone, and we are lucky to be present at a birth that is not premature, but is full-term and already walking on its own.