I was born with a mission to make an impact on the world through the arts. I share my voice and passion through theatre, film, the written word, assemblage art and photography. Addressing human issues and enabling people to tell their stories so they may be preserved and shared is at the core of my joy and work. Advancing the human potential through vision, integrity and creativity makes my soul sing. Birthing new ideas, breaking barriers and making life more accessible and bountiful is my chosen path.
There is something mystical about it, not in a way out sense, but in a very real sense. I remember reading that a mystic is simply one who recognizes a divine child within and lets it out to play in the universe. And I think Rod Lathim has a divine child in him that finds that child in others and invites them out to play in the universe.
Maryellen Kelley, educator/mentor
Founder/Artistic Director, Access Theatre 1979-1996
A professional, fully accessible, award- winning theatre company that created original works which toured the nation and to Europe and Canada. Co-wrote, directed and produced the majority of plays. Company was critically acclaimed by local, regional and national media. Accomplishments included establishment of an endowment; a documentary film on the company titled “Speaking Through Walls” by Anthony Edwards; an award-winning television production of “Storm Reading”; and a book on the history of the company titled “Storms and Illuminations: 18 Years of Access Theatre” by Cynthia Wisehart. Complete list of productions and awards available upon request.
Art & Soul Festival Consultant/Festival Director 1997-1999
Responsible for adjudicating and securing over 600 visual, literary and performing artists from 30 countries; wrote and directed the Opening Ceremonies in Downtown LA hosted by Marlee Matlin and Anthony Edwards; raised private and foundation support; designed five working stages and managed a staff of over 50 people. Worked closely with VSA Arts/Kennedy Center staff, Norman Lear, Mayor Riordan’s Office and LA media.
Santa Barbara Community Youth Performing Arts Center, Inc./Marjorie Luke Theatre Development Director and Renovation Project Manager 1999-2008
Established non-profit entity and created partnership with SB School Districts to create a successful, model public/private collaborative renovation and use of the historic 809 seat theatre on the campus of Santa Barbara Junior High School. Lead fund-raising campaign to raise private, foundation, state and federal funds paired with Measure V funds to complete the $4 million renovation. Oversaw daily progress of physical construction, maintained construction budget and timeline. Secured hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of in-kind materials, labor and design. Wrote foundation grants for operation and capital needs. Designed the operating structure of The Luke to be nearly self-sustaining. Established the Rent Subsidy Fund that supports area organizations and the Luke Theatre Sustainability Fund to insure financial security and longevity. Responsible for public relations and media coverage for renovation and theatre operation.
Theatrical Director/Producer Ongoing
♣ “The Boys Next Door” for Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, CA. 2002 Received Drama Logue Award, Los Angeles – Best Direction
♣ “Five Foot Feat” an independent, original dance/theatre work. Co-wrote and directed national tour, supported by UCSB, ELA Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. 2005
♣ “Children of a Lesser God” for Rubicon Theatre. 2007
♣ “Newton’s Cradle” an original musical. Co-wrote book, music and lyrics and co-directed for Patricia Henley Foundation. Premiered at Center Stage Theater, 2008
♣ The Remarkable Farkle McBride: Stage Directed for the Santa Barbara Symphony at the Granada Theatre - Santa Barbara, CA. Premiere of original symphonic work composed by Cody Westheimer and conducted by Maestro Nir Kabaretti, based on the book by John Lithgow. 2010/2011
♣ Center Stage Theatre’s 20th Anniversary Celebration: Wrote and co-directed original, satirical and musical production celebrating the colorful, diverse 20 year history of this iconic cultural venue. 2010
♣ “Hello, Dolly!” guest Director - April, 2011 - Dos Pueblos High School, Goleta, California
♣ “Seniors Have Talent” - Director - April, 2013/April 2014 - Marjorie Luke Theatre for the Center for Successful Aging
♣ “Unfinished Business” - A Glimpse into the Life's Mystical Transitions - Writer/Director/Producer - May, 2012 - Center Stage Theater, Santa
Barbara, California/ May, 2013 Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara / January, 2015 Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara
♣ “Puttin’ On The Ritz” - Director - April, 2015 - Marjorie Luke Theatre for the Center for Successful Aging
♣ “Senior (musical) Moments” - Director/writer - June, 2016 - Marjorie Luke Theatre for the Center for Successful Aging
♣ “One Good Egg” - Director - January, 2017 - World Premiere Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara
♣ "Teens Sing for Santa Barbara" - Director - March 2018 - Marjorie Luke Theatre - Benefit for Unity Shoppe Disaster Aid
Television production of the concert an Emmy Award in 2019 - Produced by Jeff Martin
♣ "LIV ON" - Co-Producer - April 2018 - Lobero Theatre - Featuring Olivia Newton John, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky
Television production of the concert an Emmy Award in 2019 - Produced by Jeff Martin
♣ "Mind, Body & Soul" Speaker Series - Creator/Producer - 2018/2019 - Marjorie Luke Theatre
♣ "Generosity of Eye Benefit" - Producer - February 2019 - Marjorie Luke Theatre - Featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall Benefit for Marjorie Luke Theatre
♣ "Marjorie Luke Theatre Virtual Concert Series" - Creator/Producer - 2020/2021 - Marjorie Luke Theatre - Fully produced music, dance and
spoken word concerts streaming at luketheatre.org
Partner, Resource Innovators, Inc. 2005-2008
Partner in a full-service fund raising and consulting firm for non-profit organizations.
Clients included: Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Marjorie Luke Theatre, Dream Foundation, Casa Serena, Performances To Grow On, Santa Barbara Channels (secured $1 million RDA grant for building acquisition; directed TV campaign to launch arts channel 21)
Independent Consultant 2000-Present
Consulting with non-profit organizations and foundations including:
♣ Santa Barbara Foundation: 75th Anniversary Celebration at The Lobero Theatre. Wrote and produced two separate productions featuring local music, dance, opera and theatre artists. Produced documentary film segments with area agencies supported by the Foundation. 2003
♣ KickstART Festival, Vancouver, BC: Consulted with artistic and administrative staff and board on creation of their first, national arts festival. Supported by ELA Foundation. 2005
♣ Santa Barbara Foundation/Foundation Round Table: Writing original material for Opening
Sessions of two Partnerships for Excellence Conferences. 2005/2006
♣ Dream Foundation: Event Producer – “A Day to Dream” Designed and produced an interactive event hosted by actor Brad Garrett at the SB Zoo. 2006
♣ Life Chronicles: Wrote and directed original script and musical material for A Tribute to Carol Channing, Betty Garrett, Jane Russell and Rhonda Flemming at The Lobero Theatre. 2006
♣ Santa Barbara Foundation: Irvine Arts Initiative Grant Program – Arts Task Force Coordinator/ Grant Proposal Evaluator. 2007
♣ Theatre Breaking Through Barriers, New York, New York. Consulted with artistic and administrative staff on strategies for establishing a touring network and how to package touring shows, supported by ELA Foundation. 2008
♣ Innovations Theatre Works: Bend, Oregon. Consulted with Artistic Directors on strategies for start-up of operations, media campaign, board development and fund-raising. 2008
♣ Playhouse 395: Bishop, California. Consulted with Board of Directors and Artistic Staff on strategies and successful solutions to the establishment of a joint-use agreement with local school district to utilize and upgrade a high school theatre facility. 2008 to 2009
♣ Santa Barbara County Schools: Created video segments focusing on the human element of the success behind County Schools, under the leadership of Superintendent Bill Cirone. 2015
♣ Planning and Design Consultant for PuppetPalooza 2018 Puppet Festival in Santa Barbara with Founder Mitchell Kreigman
Producer - "Celebrating Storm Reading" the 30th Anniversary of the play Storm Reading for the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation's Empowerment Series - September 2018 - at the Lobero Theatre
Director - "Teens Sing for Santa Barbara" with local teens, Kenny Loggins and his touring band. Marjorie Luke Theatre March, 2018
Co-Producer with Thomas Rollerson - "Liv On - Concert with Olivia Newton-John, Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman" - Advocated for All Things Good - April, 2018 - Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara
Producer - "Sophisticated Ladies" Featuring Ike Jenkins' Santa Barbara Big Band - Producer - March, 2018 - Marjorie Luke Theatre for Center for Successful Aging
Producer - "With A Song In My Heart" - concert of music from the Great American Song Book with nine professional musicians and vocalists - Benefit for The Center for Successful Aging, Marjorie Luke Theatre, April, 2017.
Producer - "With A Song In My Heart II" - concert of all new music from the Great American Song Book with seven professional musicians and vocalists - Benefit for The Center for Successful Aging, Marjorie Luke Theatre, October, 2017.
Producer - “Food Confessions” - with Lobero LIVE at The Lobero Theatre - World Premiere Sept 21-23, 2012. Rubicon Theatre 2013 Series - February, 2013. A Saucy New Comedy by Nancy Nufer, featuring Dan Gunther, Robert Lesser, Nancy Nufer, Kara Revel and Devin Scott; Directed by Jenny Sullivan.
Producer/Publicist - “GLEE at The Luke” - Benefit Event for and at The Marjorie Luke Theatre - 2010
A live interview and discussion of the hit Fox TV Show GLEE moderated by actor/producer Brad Hall, featuring GLEE Exec Producer Dante DiLoreto, Co-Creator Ian Brennan and GLEE Cast members Jane Lynch, the late Cory Monteith, Chord Overstreet and Mike O’Malley. Responsible for event development and design, fund-raising, media and public relations.
Co-Producer/Publicist CITIZEN McCAW – Documentary Film 2007- Present
Responsible for fund-raising, media and public relations, DVD distribution, interviewing subjects on camera, speaking to media, university film and journalism classes in multiple states, Q & A’s with public following screenings in Santa Barbara. Film screened on PBS regionally and was distributed to every journalism school in the USA.
Coordinator of Paradise Pit – Santa Barbara California AIDS Lifecycle Ride - 2001 – 2015
As a volunteer, I coordinate vendors, donors and 50+ volunteers to serve ice cream, strawberries, drinks, cookies and massage to 2200+ bicyclists and crew on Day Six of the seven day ride from SF to LA. Voted one of the Top Ten Reasons people do the largest AIDS RIDE in the world. Santa Barbara Independent Local Hero Award 2008.
Producer/PR Manager for the World Premiere of WEST OF THE WEST: Tales From California' Channel Islands - 2016
Documentary film – Arlington Theatre - Santa Barbara California
Coordinator of Curriculum Development and Teacher Resource Website for WEST OF THE WEST -
Over 5,500 people attended three screenings of this feature documentary including students and teachers from 17 school districts in greater Santa Barbara County. Feature stories in print, on radio and television fueled a strong premiere weekend.
Professional Speaking Engagements
♣ IBM Corporation National Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign
1988 Two-week national speaking tour to IBM sites throughout the USA, speaking to approximately 8,000 employees to encourage support for United Way. IBM was the top national corporate contributor to United Way that year.
Keynote and Featured Speaker for:
♣ National Endowment for the Arts
♣ The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
♣ The California Arts Council
♣ Western Arts Federation
♣ Pacific Northwest Theatrical Booking Conference
♣ Georgia Arts Council
♣ Theatre LA
♣ The Association for Fundraising Professionals – Santa Barbara/Ventura Chapter
Professional Workshops Presented
Mr. Lathim has conducted workshops in accessible theatre techniques, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and its Impact on the Arts, actor and theatre personnel training, and training for professionals in the areas of recreation, music, occupational, art and dance therapy across the United States, in England and Japan.
The following is a partial list of workshop sites:
♣ Washington State University Art Museum Symposium
♣ Oregon State University
♣ National Committee on Arts for the Handicapped National Conferences in New York and Dallas
♣ Texas Women's University
♣ The National Association of Music Therapy
♣ American Theatre Association National Conferences - New York and Dallas
♣ National Coalition on Arts in Action for the Deaf Conference
♣ Santa Barbara County Schools Special Education Department
♣ Stanford University
♣ The Japan Summit on Accessibility - the American Embassy - Tokyo, the New Zealand Embassy - Tokyo - the Japan Theatre of the Deaf - Tokyo
♣ Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson
♣ Portland Accessible Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival - Ashland, Oregon;
♣ Los Angeles Theatre Alliance
♣ The Association for Performing Arts Presenters
♣ Mid-America Arts Alliance; KickstART Festival, Vancouver BC
♣ Graeae Theatre Company, London, England
♣ Santa Barbara County Arts Commission - 1986-1989
♣ Lobero Theatre Foundation - 1984-1990
♣ National Association for Theatre and Accessibility - 1985-1996
♣ Dream Foundation – Founding Board Member - 1995-1996
♣ Center Stage Theater – 1989-1994
♣ Fund for Santa Barbara – 1997-99
♣ Access Theatre Endowment Fund at Santa Barbara Foundation – Advisor 1996 - present
♣ Santa Barbara Performing Arts League - 2003-2005
♣ Marjorie Luke Theatre 1999-2011 – Board President 1999-2008/ re-elected President 2018-2021
♣ Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Editorial Board for Accessibility Publications -2007 – 2010
♣ University of Kansas – Film and Theatre Advisory Board - 1997 - present
♣ Boxtales Theatre Company – 2006-2007
The Spirit of the Big Yellow House - authored 3 editions 1975/1996/2019 – Emily Publications
Open Auditions – co-authored with Martin Kimeldorf 1982 – Ednicks Press
Storms and Illuminations – 18 Years of Access Theatre – publisher – 1996 Emily Publications
“Montecito to Manhattan” - Cover story on the Montecito Journal Magazine Winter 2015 edition
1981 – Distinguished Service Award – Santa Barbara Jaycees
1982 – Local Hero – Santa Barbara Independent
1982 – President’s Appreciation Award – ARC – Santa Barbara
1985 – Outstanding Achievement Award/Grant – Princess Grace Foundation USA Presented by Frank Sinatra
1987 – Media Access Award – Outstanding Achievement – Access Theatre Presented by Steven Bochco
1988 – Five Outstanding Young Californians – California Jaycees
1989 – Alumnus of the Year – SB Public Education Foundation
1990 – Humanitarian Award – United Cerebral Palsy Association
1990 – Sunday 5 Hero – KTLA TV – Los Angeles
1990 – Special Recognition Award – SB Coalition of Services for the Developmentally Disabled
1992 – America’s 100 Real Heroes – Maxwell House Coffee 100th Anniversary Presented by Willard Scott
1995 – Big Canvas Award for Creative Community Spirit – Santa Barbara Magazine
1995 – Community Awareness Award – SB Rehabilitation Institute
1995 – Philip Feenstra Memorial Award - Work Inc.
1996 – Outstanding Service Award - Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Presented by Monty Hall
1997 – President’s Award for Leadership in the Arts – CA Association For Post
Secondary Education – Presented by Anthony Edwards
1998 – Stage Directions Magazine – Top Ten Theatre’s Nationally
1998 – Media Access Award – Best Documentary Film – Storm Reading
2004 – Founder’s Award – Dream Foundation Presented by Thom Rollerson
2008 – Local Hero – Santa Barbara Independent
2010 - Local Hero - Santa Barbara Independent (only person to be awarded this honor twice)
2012 - The Leadership in the Arts Award - for significant contributions to arts and culture in Santa Barbara County
Presented by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Barbara Arts Commission
2014 - VIVA! Award from the Profant Foudation for the Arts
The University of Kansas - Lawrence, Kansas
Majored in Music Therapy - 1976-1978
♣ Bill Cirone – Superintendent, Santa Barbara County Schools, retired 805 964-4711
♣ Pam Lewis – Executive Director, Hutton Parker Foundation 805 957-4740
♣Gerrie Fausett – Superintendent, Hope School District - (retired) 805 682-2564
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, a director/playwright/producer and a consultant to foundations, non-profit organizations.
Lathim’s cutting edge vision and drive have enabled him to create and develop programs, arts organizations and landmark cultural facilities. He has perfected a rare balance of being an award-winning writer, director and producer in theatre, and an effective, sought after administrator and manager. He has built a personal “brand” which reflects the integrity, communication skills, creativity and compassion he invests in all his work. He has proven his ability to galvanize for-profit and non-profit organizations, private and foundation donors, City Council Members, County Supervisors, Assembly and members of Congress through the value and impact of the projects which he has managed and lead to long-term success.
In 2012, Rod was honored by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Barbara Arts Commission with the Leadership in the Arts Award for his significant contributions to arts and culture in Santa Barbara County. 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.”
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. The company trained and employed artists who were disabled, able-bodied, blind, sighted, deaf and hearing, and staged primarily original works. 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. STORM READING and Neil Marcus are featured in a Smithsonian Institute collection on Disability Culture.
Access Theatre toured to regional and university venues throughout the USA and in Canada and England, including the Kennedy Center, Tribeca College in New York City, The Coconut Grove Playhouse, Stanford University, The Annenberg Center, The Vancouver Playhouse and the James A Doolittle Theatre. Celebrity board members of his company included Anthony Edwards, Michael Douglas, Robert Zemeckis, Kenny Loggins, Kate Mulgrew and Rue McClanahan.
An award-winning documentary featuring Lathim, titled SPEAKING THROUGH WALLS, was directed and produced by Anthony Edwards (NBC’s “ER”) in 1989. The Access Theatre Endowment Fund remains at the Santa Barbara Foundation and continues to fund accessible theatre and arts projects in Santa Barbara County. Storms and Illuminations: 18 Years of Access Theatre by Cynthia Wisehart has been published by Emily Publications, and was released in May of 1997. This book chronicles Access Theatre's history and is a one-of-a-kind resource book for artists with disabilities and arts organizations striving to increase accessibility.
The Access Theatre Archives have been digitized and the complete history of the company, including the book "Storms and Illuminations: 18 Years of Access Theatre" are accessible to all at this site: https://atarchives.worpress.com.
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.
As an actor, some of his favorite roles have been Sancho in two productions of MAN OF LA MANCHA, most recently at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, Walker in LISTEN FOR WINGS! An original play by Ellen K. Anderson which toured in three states, Leo in AT LONG LAST LEO, and he won an Independent Theatre Award for his role as the Sheriff in the musical SPITFIRE GRILL at the Garvin Theatre in Santa Barbara.
Rod served as Director of the VSA Arts “Art & Soul” International Arts Festival in Los Angeles in 1999 featuring professional and emerging performing and visual artists with disabilities from 37 countries. Lathim worked closely with the Kennedy family and producer Norman Lear on the festival, which he gave an entirely new look and artistic approach. He shifted a primarily educational, amateur event into a high quality, cutting-edge festival featuring contemporary professional music, dance and theatre artists from around the world. He attracted Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin and Emmy Award-winning Anthony Edwards to host the Festival.
Lathim served for four years as the President of the National Association for Theatre and Accessibility (ATA). He assembled and hosted the first national gathering of audio describers through ATA, which has since developed into a growing national association of audio describers. He has presented workshops and seminars internationally on topics of accessible theatre and the impact of the Americans With Disabilities Act on theatre.
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 premiere performing Arts Centers. Rod was key in forging a unique public/private partnership with the Santa Barbara Unified School District to create a venue utilized by public schools and the community. This state and local award-winning $4 million renovation of an historic landmark theatre was completed in October of 2003 and has become one of Santa Barbara’s busiest venues, utilized by over 145 area organizations. In addition to securing operating funds for The Luke, Rod was responsible for securing nearly a half a million dollars in private funds to establish the Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund – supporting over 30 area arts groups annually - and the Luke Theatre Sustainability Fund. He re-joined the Luke Theatre Board and was elected President again in August of 2018, and served in this role until February, 2021.
Lathim has consulted for many non-profit organizations in areas of development, board structure and strategic planning. He also consults with foundations including the Santa Barbara Foundation, ELA Foundation, the Patricia Henley Foundation, and Dream Foundation. He served as the Chair of the City of Santa Barbara Arts Sustainability Fund Task Force in 2007. He has served on the Boards of the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, The Kennedy Center Editorial Board for Access to the Arts, The Lobero Theatre, Center Stage Theater, The Santa Barbara Performing Arts League, and Boxtales Theatre Company.
As an event planner and designer, Rod has staged, written and produced special celebratory and fund raising events including Access Theatre’s 10th Anniversary “A Night To Remember” at the Lobero with Anthony Edwards, Kate Mulgrew, Estelle Getty, and John Randolph; the 1999 Opening Ceremony of the Art & Soul International Festival in Los Angeles; The Grand Opening Gala “Illuminations” at The Marjorie Luke Theatre; the 75th Anniversary Celebration Gala for the Santa Barbara Foundation at The Lobero; multiple movie world premieres at The Arlington Theatre with Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Joel Schumacher and Andrew Davis; “A Day to Dream” with Brad Garrett for Dream Foundation; script and musical material for a Tribute to Carol Channing, Betty Garrett, Rona Barrett and Jane Russell at The Lobero; two Partnerships For Excellence Conferences at the Double Tree Hotel; and private concerts featuring Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald and John Travolta.
Lathim 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 original scripts titled MIGUEL AND HIS CELL and THE VOICE WITHIN for the Santa Barbara Dance Institute. Lathim conceived and directed the musical variety show SENIORS HAVE TALENT in 2013 and 2014 for the Center for Successful Aging, which is now an annual production. PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ was the 2015 installment at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. SENIOR (musical) MOMENTS - a theatrical exploration of the joys and challenges or aging is in development. Rod has co-produced short films for the Santa Barbara Dance Institute, The Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, UCP/Work Inc. and Gene R. Kelley - Inventor of the Wind Wing.
Rod co-produced the feature-length documentary film titled CITIZEN McCAW with Sam Tyler. Peter Seaman, Charles Minsky and Brent Sumner. The film chronicles the meltdown of the Santa Barbara News Press. The film addresses issues of journalistic ethics, media ownership and the role of daily newspapers in communities across our nation. The film is a riveting look at the players, actions, and principles involved in the first year of an epic struggle for the soul of journalism. CITIZEN McCAW has been distributed to over 500 university journalism, film and communication schools nationally.
Rod is produced the March 2016 Premiere Screenings of the documentary film WEST OF THE WEST: Tales From California’s Channel Islands at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. He also oversaw the creation and development of the free educational website for teachers based on the film: launched nationally in 2017. This feature documentary by Peter Seaman, Sam Tyler and Brent Sumner, and narration by Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, is a three hour mini-series that continues to air nationally on PBS channels.
After the disastrous fires and debris flow in Santa Barbara and Montecito in late 2017 and early 2018, Rod donated his services to direct the highly successful TEENS SING FOR SANTA BARBARA concert featuring nearly 20 area talented teen singers, joined by Kenny Loggins and his touring band. The event was at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, raised $65,000 for disaster relief and was televised on KEYT TV. The concert was filmed for television and was nominated for an Emmy in 2019. Rod also co-produced with Thomas Rollerson the concert LIV ON with Olivia Newton-John, Amy Sky and Beth Nelson Chapman at the Lobero. This emotional and healing concert was a gifted (underwritten) event for those who were impacted by the disasters.
Rod produced the world premiere of Nancy Nufer’s new comedy FOOD CONFESSIONS, directed by Jenny Sullivan at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara in 2012, and served as Associate Producer of the play at the Rubicon Theatre in early 2013. In 2012 Rod wrote his first autobiographical play UNFINISHED BUSINESS which he directed at Center Stage Theater. The play returned for two productions at the Lobero Theatre in May of 2013 and January of 2015, in expanded form. UNFINISHED BUSINESS is a ground-breaking play about shared death experiences and explores end-of-life topics rarely discussed in public or in live theatre. The play is slated to be staged in Sacramento, CA in 2018, produced by Snowline Hospice.
Lathim penned two sold-out editions of The Spirit of the Big Yellow House - a History of Summerland's Founding Family. The third, expanded edition of this book was published in April of 2019 by Emily Publications. He has co-written the screenplay of a feature film titled ILLUMINATION with Pamala Oslie. He also enjoys being a published photographer and is an accomplished assemblage artist. He is currently working on his new sculpture series of vintage found objects and neon titled "Of Light and Legacy" which can be viewed on this site under "Sculpture." His newest series of piano sculptures can be seen on the page titled "Piano Sculptures."