Embracing the belief, “failure is not final,” Fidel Donaldson emerged from an eight-year prison sentence in England to become an author and pastor. His story is coming to the stage at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center on Sept. 3.

The play, Diamond in the Rough, is based on his book of the same name. Written and directed by Sherrie L Roberts, the play chronicles Donaldson’s life and its transformation. In a telephone interview, Donaldson said the play, “Speaks of restoration and the fact that failing is not final.”

Following his prison sentence for smuggling drugs, he said, “My life was transformed by the gospel while I was there. My life was turned around, I came back home and I was able to write ten books. I send these particular books into the prisons and they’ve been a source of inspiration.”

In March, Diamond in the Rough premiered in Jacksonville, where he resides and leads his church, Appeal Ministries. The play’s South Florida production is in partnership with Sonia Barnes’ non-profit, Failure is not Final. Barnes, who is retired from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, said she launched the program to “let more people know his failing, whatever caused him to be in prison, it wasn’t final.”

WHAT: Diamond in the Rough
WHEN: Sept. 3 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Lauderhill Performing Arts Center 3800 NW 11th Pl, Lauderhill
COST: $30 – $50
CONTACT: For more information, visit or call 954-777-2055.