• Celebrating Storm Reading Lands at Lobero Theatre September 21, 2018

Published on July 13, 2018

Celebrating Storm Reading Lands at Lobero Theatre September 21, 2018

"Pure theatrical magic. A heightened mindset-altering universality of theme engulfs the is likely to leave viewers irrevocably changed." Daily Variety

The world says “You are a spastic quadriplegic.” I say I’m a dancer. There’s a new movement happening in the world. People are beginning to realize they are more than what they’ve been told they are. The flame is fanned. The fire spreads. Every moment is a new moment to do what’s never been done before.” – from Storm Reading

A ground-breaking theatrical sensation called Storm Reading debuted in Santa Barbara at the Lobero Theatre in 1988 and went on to inspire audiences in show after show worldwide for nearly a decade. What made this play so extraordinary?

The central character is Neil Marcus, who played himself during the play’s six-year run. He lives with a rare and incurable neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable spasms across his entire body while leaving his brilliant mind intact. Storm Reading focuses on Neil’s relentless pursuit of living life to the fullest, breaking down barriers and not letting anything hold him back.

On September 21 at 7 p.m. Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation will host “Celebrating Storm Reading,” an evening with the acclaimed cast (Neil Marcus, Matthew Ingersoll and Kathryn Voice) and director/producer Rod Lathim of Access Theatre’s pioneering play. Along with special guest Anthony Edwards, the cast and creators will return to the Lobero Theatre to take a look back at the impact the play had on audiences and at its sustaining message that art holds the transformative power to heal body and mind. Selected scenes from the show will be staged and scenes from the television version will be screened.

“This year is the 30th anniversary of the debut of Storm Reading, which premiered in Santa Barbara at the Lobero in March 1988,” said Rod Lathim, founder and artistic director of the award-winning theatre company, Access Theatre, from 1979-1996. “Storm Reading was unique because it was created here in Santa Barbara and went on to tour internationally. The play was ground-breaking, and a great risk to produce, but proved to be the most successful and long-lasting show Access Theatre ever produced.”

Storm Reading went on to tour through 20 states in the USA, as well as Canada and England over six years, and it garnered recognition from several luminaries in the entertainment world. Maria Shriver interviewed Neil on “The Today Show,” and Linda Wertheimer featured him on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Storm Reading was performed as part of the NBC TV Special “From the Heart” at the Kennedy Center with Access Theatre Honorary Board Member Michael Douglas.

Don’t miss “Celebrating Storm Reading” at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. on September 21. VIP reception begins at 5:30 pm. For tickets and more information, visit

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