Welcome to the 2013-2014 Santa Barbara High School Theatre Season

With the institution of a summer program (our inaugural show, Cabaret, played to sold out houses in August), we have truly moved to a year-round theatre season, a move necessitated by the extraordinary talent and drive of Santa Barbara High School artists and the dedicated staff we have put together---Lise Lange, costumer extraordinaire for most of my tenure here; Christina McCarthy, here since The Wizard of Oz ten years ago (and has brought a signature level of professional movement and dance to the program); and Michael Madden, deeply involved in the move of the Ensemble Theatre to a new, bigger space but nonetheless an important part of our program.  We have been able to add David Guy, a student here in my first years, as technical director and occasional designer, and I am excited to introduce the work of Ingrid Holden, another former student, as a set designer for our first show of the season, Chicago.   

This promises to be a vibrant, high energy season—although we graduated 22 seniors last year, we have a remarkable sophomore class and the leadership and experience of returning actors.  It is a young, dynamic group and I am excited to share the stage with them as they explore their art and bring their humor, grace, and creativity to the SBHS stage.  We are still in the process of defining our season, as we wait for the rights to certain shows, but we will do two musicals again, and we will do two smaller shows-- including The 39 Steps in the Spring semester--while Music of the Night returned for its 14th season.  So get your tickets now, and prepare for a wild ride!

-Otto Layman, Artistic Director

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May 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10 at 7pm

May 11 at 2pm

$10 Students/ $15 General/ $25 Reserved

The next offering in the SBHS Theatre Season, following the wildly successful and critically acclaimed productions of Chicago and Music of the Night will be How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

The show will be directed by Otto Layman (Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot, God of Carnage, Cabaret and Chicago) and choreographed by long-time collaborator Christina McCarthy (UCSB Professor of Dance, whose shows at SBHS include Spamalot, Cabaret, and Chicago), with Musical Direction by Jon Nathan (UCSB Professor of Music), Vocal Direction by Brent Wilson and Costume Design by Bonnie Thor. Set and Light Design will be by Mike Madden (Ensemble Theatre Company) with Technical Direction by David Guy, and the show will be Stage Managed by Beau Lettieri. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying has a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead’s satirical self-help book of the same name, and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser

Tickets for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying go on sale April 1 at Santa Barbara High School.

Following the advice of a book entitled “How to Succeed in Business” a young window-cleaner, J. Pierrepont Finch, begins a meteoric rise from the mail-room to Vice President of Advertising at the World-Wide Wicket Company. Finch’s unorthodox and morally-questionable business practices jeopardize not only his career but also his romance with secretary Rosemary Pilkington. With a beloved score by Frank Loesser, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is packed with hit standards such as “I Believe in You,” “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” “The Company Way,” “Been a Long Day,” “Rosemary,” and “Brotherhood of Man.”

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opened to critical acclaim at the 46th Street Theatre (Richard Rodgers) on Broadway in October 1961, running for 1,417 performances. The cast starred Robert Morse as Finch, Bonnie Scott as Rosemary, Charles Nelson Reilly as Bud Frump, and Rudy Vallee as the President of the World-Wide Wicket Company. The show won seven Tony Awards including best musical and best book, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical, a Grammy for best original cast show album, and is one of only eight musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 1967, a film based on the musical was released by United Artists, with Morse and Vallee recreating their Broadway roles and Michele Lee as Rosemary. The 1995 Broadway revival stared Matthew Broderick as Finch and Megan Mullally as Rosemary, while the 2012 Revival featured Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) as Finch in his Broadway musical debut.

J. Pierrepont Finch will be played by Aaron Linker, J.B. Biggley by Nick Blondell, Bud Frump by Grant Bower, Rosemary Pilkington by Ciara Tolliver, and Hedy LaRue by Camille Umoff. The rest of the cast features Drew Janssen, Andrew Gutierrez, Rio Salazar, Claudia Fanaro, Sable Layman, Brenna Gerlach, Irving Soto, David Zevallos, Blake Devine, Bradley Devine, Alessio Morello, Dolan Ingraham, Colton Ingraham, Hailey Turner, Grace Perry, Hailey Simmons, Quique Hernandez-Black, Fabrice Tay, Dante Gonzalez, Miranda Valdez, Serafina Crannell, William Blondell, Barron Mainz, and Irving Soto.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying plays May 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10 at 7pm, and Sunday November 11 at 2pm for a Special Mother’s Day Closing Ceremony Honoring Graduate Theatre Students and, of course, mothers at the Santa Barbara High School Theatre, 700 E. Anapamu St. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for students, with special $25.00 orchestra seating available.  Tickets will go on sale April 1. For tickets please call 805.966.9101 x220.



A Look Back at Chicago, Fall 2013



The year was 1924. The place: prohibition era Chicago.

Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner are on trial for murder, Annan for her lover and Gaertner, a cabaret singer, for Walter Law. Both women are acquitted for their crimes, and Chicago Tribune reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins not only got the story but a hit play as well.

Chicago was performed by the talented theatre arts students at Santa Barbara High School beginning November 1.

Chicago features songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the same team that were responsible for Cabaret!, which played to sold out houses and rave reviews at SBHS this summer.


Otto Layman, Performing Arts Chair at Santa Barbara High School directs, when beginning his 18th year at the school; Choreography was by UCSB Associate Professor of Dance Christina McCarthy (Spamalot, Cabaret!, The Drowsy Chaperone); Costume Design by Lise Lange (Spamalot, The Glass Menagerie, Cabaret!, God of Carnage and The Drowsy Chaperone in 2012-2013 alone); Musical Direction by John Douglas (Cabaret!, The Drowsy Chaperone); Vocal Direction by Sarah Eglin (Spamalot).  Ingrid Holden’s set design marks her first with SBHS, Mike Madden is the Light Designer and David Guy is the Technical Director along with Beau Lettieri as the Production Stage Manager.

Appearing as Roxie Hart is Sable Layman.  She last appeared on stage as Fraulein Kost in Cabaret. Camille Umoff, in her SBHS debut played the role of Velma Kelly; Mary Cusimano (Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, Frau Schneider in Cabaret!) is cast in the pivotal role of “Mama” Morton, while the lawyer Billy Flynn was played by Grant Bower (Cabaret!). The cast of talented singers and dancers included Ciara Tolliver, Mae Pendergast, Claudia Fanaro, Hailey Turner, Aaron Linker, Spencer Glesby, Andrew Guttierrez, Rio Salazar, Hailey Simmons, Shayne Casso-Cloonan, Libby Sestak, Nolan and Malcolm McCarthy, Bradley Devine, Nitza Garcia, and Dante Gonzalez.


Past Santa Barbara High School Productions