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 returns for its 14th season. So get your tickets now, and prepare for a wild ride!
-Otto Layman, Artistic Director
February 5, 6, and 7 at 7pm
Beginning with the 2012-2013, the advanced theatre students have acted in two additional productions, one in both the winter and spring semesters. Each show is a full scale production, given the same attention to detail as the “mainstage” shows we produce. The students are instrumental in the choice of material, and this program gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the program in productions that concern serious themes and require maturity of purpose to perform (or to produce sophisticated comedies with smaller casts which we would not normally be able to produce). For the winter show, we have chosen The Laramie Project. About the Laramie Project: In October 1998 a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped
severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His bloody, bruised and battered body was not discovered until the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard, and he was the victim of this assault because he was gay. Moises Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. Some people interviewed were directly connected to the case, and others were citizens of Laramie, and the breadth of their reactions to the crime is fascinating. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences. The Laramie Project is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.
About the Author: Moises Kaufman is a Tony and Emmy nominated director and playwright. His most recent play, 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda, was nominated for 5 Tony Awards (including one for Ms. Fonda). Previous to that, Mr. Kaufman directed the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play I Am My Own Wife, earning him an Obie Award for his direction as well as Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel nominations. His plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project have been among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. Mr. Kaufman also directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, which was the opening night selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and won the National Board of Review Award, the Humanitas Prize and a Special Mention for Best First Film at the Berlin Film Festival. The film also earned Mr. Kaufman two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is the Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting.
The Laramie Project plays February 5, 6, and 7 at 7pm in the Santa Barbara High School Theatre. It is directed by Otto Layman, with costumes designed by Lise Lange, and set and lights by resident technical director David Guy. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students, with all proceeds benefiting the Spring Production. For more information and to reserve 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.