Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, CACenter Stage Theater
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An intimate black box theater with weekly performances by a variety of artists and companies, located in Paseo Nuevo in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara cultural district.

Personal Stories 2018

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Center Stage Theater is an intimate space, therefore LATE SEATING is limited or not allowed at all. The LATE SEATING POLICY will vary with each show. The theater staff strongly suggests allowing ample time to find parking, locate the theater, and pick up your tickets.

February 26 and 28

Megan Burwell

Dear Megan Burwell - A journey to New York reflects a woman's journey through motherhood. 

Megan Burwell is a communication studies graduate from Westmont College who currently spends all of her free time herding three small children. She has dabbled in theater over the years and has enjoyed performing in such esteemed venues as “Falls Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room,” “The Public Library,” and “Her Backyard.” When she does have a moment to herself, she can be found watching high-octane TV such as The Great British Bake-Off, or having a half a glass of wine amongst friends. She would like to thank her amazing husband Nick for always indulging her in her wild ways.

February 26 and 28

Anna Jordan

I'm Gonna Need Backup- A story about interracial adoption, motherhood, and understanding what it means to love and care in different seasons.

Anna Jordan is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. She holds a BA in English Literature from Westmont College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently fast at work (or, more accurately, quite slow at work) on a linked collection of short stories. While that book remains in process, many of the individual stories have made their way into the world through a number of online publications. Additionally, Anna is a collaborating writer on the book The Magic of Motherhood (HarperCollins 2017).

February 26 and 28

Rudi Lion

Transported - This piece speaks about the tears and dreams that are stirred after the last child leaves home.

Rudi Lion is from Switzerland and has always loved stories and books from all over the world. She shared her enthusiasm with her children by reading to them until long after they could read themselves. Last summer her youngest child left home, and Rudi is discovering a new joy by writing her own stories. She also greatly enjoys her work as a marriage-family- therapist and teacher. When not working or writing, she can be found on the various hiking trails of Santa Barbara, on Facetime with her adventurous children or philosophizing with friends.


February 26 and 28

Robert MacNeal

Wooing -  Love in all its magnificent, myriad, manifestations.

Robert MacNeal is delighted to be on the Speaking of Stories stage under the artful direction of Maggie Mixsell. After years of acting experience Robert was pleasantly surprised to discover what he recognized as a unique art form; Speaking of Stories! This inspired him to take several of Maggie’s classes, along with a writing class with Kim Maxwell.  The result is tonight’s story about Love.  Robert hopes everyone’s heart is warmed.


February 26 and 28

Kathy Marden

Coming Home - A story of learning to dance with one’s deepest self.

Kathy Marden’s love of stories began by listening to her grandmother spin magical tales. Her work as a psychotherapist gives her the privilege of listening to client’s stories and acting is a way of becoming a character in the story.  Kathy was last seen in Ensemble Theater’s production of The City of Conversation.  At Center Stage Theater she has appeared with Speaking of Stories, as well as in The Boondawgle Estate and Dance Me To The End Of Love with DramaDogs;The Producing Unit’s 154 and Paradise and Happy Destiny’s productions of Mornings at Seven and Bill W and Dr. Bob. Additionally, she was seen in SBCC’s production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone.  For 11 seasons she was part of Circle Bar B Theater Company.

February 26 and 28

Lesley Miller

The Most Unexpected Year – Lesley Miller tells about the year she became a mother and the wife to a cancer patient.

Lesley Miller is a wife to Jonathan (cancer free for 5+ years!) and mom of three young children in addition to being a writer and podcaster focusing on faith, motherhood and cancer. Her work has appeared on Coffee + Crumbs, Christianity Today, (in), Hello Dearest, and various other publications. A Westmont College graduate, Lesley is also a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild. She loves the beach (with a good book), date nights (with a strong Moscow Mule) and skiing (preferably in Mammoth). You can connect with her at


February 26 and 28

Pauline Nelson

Thereby Hangs A Tail - A search turns into a rescue mission, when a passion for pecans puts someone in peril.

Pauline Nelson As the daughter of two great storytellers, and youngest of six noisy children, I learned the power of the spoken word early. Thanks to my parents' unusual medical careers, I had lived on three continents before I turned ten, but everywhere we went, the family stories came along like the furniture. My own family – Mark and I have three daughters – have moved between countries almost as often as I did years ago, but in my work as a writer, teacher, researcher, and presenter, stories have remained my constant companions. 

February 26 and 28

Marcia Orland

Breakfast at Tiffany’s - Once upon a time, an idea became reality, more wonderful than I could ever have imagined.

Marcia Orland In 2003, at age 65 Marcia left the corporate world and founded Afterglow Media, to help people record and preserve their memories for their families. Marcia creates professionally crafted books and digital video projects, providing priceless family legacies of each storyteller’s memories, experiences and values. In 2015, Marcia embarked on a solo 5,000 mile journey, taking her “Show (and Tell)” on the road. She interviewed her cousins, and conducted “Show & Tell for Grownups” events at various locations to inspire others to start their own family storytelling conversations. Storytelling is her passion.

February 26 and 28

Jan K. Ruskin

My Sexual Revolution - Coming of age came later in life: it doesn’t really matter when, just that it happens at all.

Jan K. Ruskin is delighted to be part of this season’s Speaking of Stories. She is particularly grateful for moments of synchronicity – like when a friend sends a link, a creative path is inspired, and life moves her into special places like this one.

February 26 and 28

Cynthia Waring

Smoky is about a cat I had as a child that taught me a profound lesson. Through the years the message became less about abandonment, and more about the need to follow your own true nature.

Cynthia Waring is the author of the book, Bodies Unbound and two award winning one-woman shows; Bodies Unbound, and Songs To My Soul. When she isn’t performing, Cynthia teaches Memoir Writing classes and creating performances out of personal stories. She lives in Santa Barbara with an extended family and Riley, her dog. For more information about her classes, please call 805 798-2930. Please visit my website,

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box office photo

Box Office Information

The Center Stage Theater Box Office is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 5:00 P.M., and one hour before each performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at any time. See below for location and directions.


Purchase Tickets Online click here for a complete list of current programs

Purchase by Phone with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover: (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

All ticket prices include a Center Stage Facility Fee which helps maintain the theater.
All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges.

Online sales subject to a $1.50 surcharge per ticket.
There are no additional charges to purchase tickets over the phone.

Unless otherwise noted, all seating is general admission.

NOTE: If online sales are closed, tickets may still be available by phoning the box office at (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD).

PLEASE NOTE: Because of the intimacy of Center Stage Theater, latecomers may be seated at appropriate intervals only. Some performances may not allow late seating. Please arrive 20-30 minutes early if you must purchase a ticket at the door.


Center Stage Theater is located in Paseo Nuevo Center, upstairs at the intersection of Chapala and De la Guerra Streets, Santa Barbara, California. Click here for map.

Take Highway 101 to Carrillo Street, exit and turn toward the mountains (northbound turns right, southbound turns left). Proceed to Chapala Street (fourth light) and turn right. Proceed 1-1/2 blocks and turn left into either of two entrances to Paseo Nuevo. Park near the elevator, or proceed to roof-level parking.

This Project is funded in part by the Organizational Development Grant Program using Funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.