Rod Lathim is a fifth generation Santa Barbaran. He enjoys embracing his life-long goal of utilizing the arts to affect social change. Lathim is a social activist, a pioneer of the accessible theatre movement on a national level, writer and a consultant.
Lathim Founded Access Theatre in 1979, and developed the company from a grass-roots community theatre, to a professional, award-winning, international touring company. For 18 years, Access Theatre was a national model of accessibility. Lathim directed and in many cases co-wrote many of the company's 20 productions including the award-winning international tour and television production of STORM READING starring Neil Marcus. Lathim worked with multiple Emmy Award-winning producer Gary Smith to produce and direct STORM READING for television.
A few of the awards for Lathim's artistic and civic work include the Princess Grace Foundation USA Outstanding Achievement Award presented by Frank Sinatra and the Royal Family of Monaco, Maxwell House's America's 100 Heroes, multiple Media Access and Drama-Logue Awards, multiple humanitarian awards, Santa Barbara Magazine's Big Canvas Award for Community Service and the only person to receive two Santa Barbara Independent Local Hero Awards. In 1998, Stage Directions Magazine honored his company, Access Theatre, as one of Ten Theatres Nationally who have "Made a Difference. "
Rod is a freelance director, having staged THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD for the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California. He also directed the national tour of the original dance theatre work titled FIVE FOOT FEAT. He collaborated in 2008 to write the book, music and lyrics, and co-direct the original musical NEWTON'S CRADLE for the Patricia Henley Foundation.
He is the producer of Nancy Nufer's new comedy FOOD CONFESSIONS which premieres this fall at the Lobero and will enjoy a four week run at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura in February of 2013.
His autobiographical play UNFINISHED BUSINESS will return to Santa Barbara at the Lobero Theatre in May of 2103. It is a glimpse into life's mystical transitions and follows his experiences surrounding his mother's passing.
Rod served as the President of the Board of Directors from 1999-2008 and served as Project Manager and Development Director for the creation of the Marjorie Luke Theatre – one of Santa Barbara's newest Performing Arts Centers.
He Guest Directed Dos Pueblos High School's Spring 2011 production of the classic musical HELLO, DOLLY! Lathim also produced the Benefit Event "GLEE at The Luke" with the Executive Directors, Co-Creator/writer and cast members of the hit Fox TV show. He wrote and produced the 20th Anniversary Celebration production for Center Stage Theater; cast and stage directed John Lithgow's children's book THE REMARKABLE FARKLE McBRIDE with composer Cody Westheimer for the Santa Barbara Symphony; wrote an original script titled MIGUEL AND HIS CELL for the Santa Barbara Dance Institute; and co-produced short films for the Santa Barbara Dance Institute, The Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and Gene R. Kelley - Inventor of the Wind Wing.
Lathim penned two editions of The Spirit of the Big Yellow House - a history of Summerland, California and its founding family. He also enjoys being a published photographer and is an accomplished assemblage artist.