Going Places with Donna On The Go

It’s a wrap on the star-studded season 3 of Donna On The Go! This very-funny, internationally acclaimed web series features the wheeling adventures of Donna Reed, the alter ego of Abilities Expo Ambassador Donna Russo. The show tackles the issues and challenges that people with disabilities face each day in a way that makes you think while you are laughing hysterically.

Donna Russo and Acting Friends

You Can’t Beat a Dream Sequence

The goal of the show creator Peggy Lane has always been to entertain and inform. If her 7 years on Will & Grace taught her anything, it’s that the power of laughter is a gentle teacher.

In the episode “JUDGE,” written by Peggy and directed by Craig Hutchinson, Donna plays the iconic Judge Judy Sheindlin. In a hilarious dream sequence, Donna takes on her negligent building manager and his outmoded thinking that people with disabilities want “special treatment.” With classic Judge Judy panache, she literally throws the book at him!

 

In the episodes “MEETING” and “MAMMA” which address what people want and don’t want to be called, Donna fights to stay awake in a mind-numbingly boring town hall meeting. As she drifts off she hears someone say, “Mamma Mia” and she does what anyone would do. She dreams she the lead singer of ABBA and belts out this signature song. When she comes to, she makes an impassioned speech about the PC terminology for people with disabilities.

 

Written and directed by Peggy, “MEETING” and “MAMMA” feature stellar performances from soap opera legend Kate Linder of The Young and the Restless as Donn’sister, Bubba Ganter of Game Shakers as the moderator and Emmy® winner Kim Estes as her best friend, Mick Russo.

 

Another fan favorite this season was “NINJAS.” Written and directed by stunt great Vince Deadrick Jr., this episode presents Donna Reed as a skilled warrior, besting 12 minjas with ever leaving her wheelchair!

Vince’s work stuntman and stunt coordinator is infamous, standing in for such distinguished actors as Michael Douglas and Jeff Bridges. His 80 foot drop down a waterfall in Romancing the Stone is considered in the top 5 most memorable stunts in motion picture history, set world records and won him the prestigious Stuntman’s Award. But don’t worry, no Donna’s were harmed in the making of this episode.

 

The show was submitted for Emmy® consideration in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In the past year, Donna On The Go has been submitted to many Film Festivals all over the world. People in Romania, Scotland, France, Calcutta, Africa, Spain, the UK, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, India, Poland, Austria, Germany, Australia and New Zealand have seen and been moved by the show.

To date it has won over 28 awards and has been chosen to screen in more than 40 festivals, including the World Famous Chinese Theatre in February 2020 as part of the Golden State Film Festival.

More episodes are streaming on the Donna On The Go You Tube Channel. Episodes and official show merchandise are also available on the official show website.

Donna On The Go Advocates for Lifelinks at Abilities Expo

Joining Donna and Peggy in their third Abilities Expo appearance (booth #254) is the show’s co-executive producer, Craig Hutchinson, who hails from New Zealand.

Craigs ties to the disability community run deep. Craig runs LifeLinks, an organization that works with families whose disabilities significantly impact their daily life and challenge their independence. It is the oldest organization providing this service in New Zealand.

LifeLinks was first formed in 1995 and is contracted by the Ministry of Health to deliver outcome planning and outcome coordination services for people who have an intellectual, physical, sensory and/or neurological disability as well as their families and caregivers. Their services are provided free in Canterbury, South Canterbury and the West Coast.

Craig Hutchinson and Donna Russo working on set

Each year, LifeLinks partners with nearly 5,000 people with disabilities and their families to develop outcome-focused personalized plans and facilitate their access to a tailored range of natural, universal and Ministry of Health-funded supports. Services are designed to enhance service users’ participation and inclusion within their communities, and to maintain the well-being and resilience of their respective families and care givers.

Craig, who has been living with respiratory and vision impairments since birth, has strong beliefs in empowering individuals and enjoys getting people to talk and share their stories. He is also the award winning director of the short films, Letter For Hope and Utu Pihikete. He has also directed many theatre productions through his CASnOVA Productions.

Come by Booth 254 and meet Craig, Donna and Peggy and come have a few laughs.

We all need that.

Donna Russo and Acting Friends

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