Actor Uses Exoskeleton Onstage

March 15, 2016

Michael Patrick Thornton

Actor Michael Patrick Thornton is getting rave reviews for his performance as Shakespeare’s Richard III at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and for a robotic breakthrough that helped make it all happen. Thornton is the first actor with paraplegia to do a stage performance with an exoskeleton.

A 2003 spinal stroke changed Thornton’s acting career; after his injury he played a continuing role in the TV series “Private Practice” while in a wheelchair. However, the addition of the exoskeleton makes it possible for him to play a role while standing up.

“I remember laying in a hospital bed here not being able to talk; and so to go from there to being onstage with my theater group, the Gift at Steppenwolf,” Thornton said. “It’s been one hell of a trajectory.”

Click here to see Thornton’s Story from ABC 7 Eyewitness News

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