Dream Bigger



Santa Barbara High School Theatre’s annual Broadway Revue, Music of the Night, has been a part of student culture at Santa Barbara High School for the past fourteen years and is now returning for its fifteen season. Music of the Night was created in 1999 by students Blake Berris, Ashley Rodgers, and Evan Hughes, as a way to celebrate student ownership of their theatre education. What started as a little show to fill the long break between the Fall show and the Spring show, often done only with a piano or canned music, has become a full blown stage production, with costume, set and light designs, sophisticated videos and a live band.  It is cast, directed, choreographed, designed and produced entirely by student directors (Aaron Linker, Sable Layman, Rio Salazar, and Dante Gonzalez) under the supervision of Artistic Director Otto Layman. This year the cast of 26 students will perform musical numbers from Broadway musicals — among them Bullets Over Broadway, Matilda, Jersey Boys, Pippin, The Little Shop of Horrors, and many more.  The show has grown tremendously over the years, and now has the same stature and attendance of our main stage shows--which is an enormous source of pride to the theatre staff.

Photos Courtesy of Emilio MK Visual Media


Closed November 16

Santa Barbara High School Theatre's Production of Big Fish: The Musical. 

Once again Santa Barbara High School and longtime director Otto Layman continues to push the SBHS Theatre program beyond the ordinary with the production of Big Fish, the new Broadway musical which just closed in December of 2013.  Big Fish is directed by Otto Layman, now in his 19th year at SBHS, and the longest tenured high school theatre director in the SB Unified School District.  He is joined by Dr. Jon Nathan as the music director, Bonnie Thor, costumer, Jessica Hambright, choreographer, with Technical Direction by longtime collaborator David Guy, and Production Stage Management by Beau Lettieri. Big Fish  features a talented cast of thirty actors, including Aaron Linker as Edward Bloom, Andrew Gutierrez as his son Will Bloom, Sable Layman as the elder Sandra Bloom and Lizzie Saunders as the young Sandra Templeton.

Big Fish features the music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and a new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). 

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fishcenters on the charismatic Edward Bloom, who tells his son, Will, impossible stories of his epic adventures. Edward takes Will through his lifetime of witches, circus performers, a mermaid, and even his friendship with a giant. As Will grows older, he begins to doubt the reality of his father’s stories, eventually coming to the conclusion he doesn’t truly know his father. As Edward’s final chapter approaches, a now newlywed Will embarks on his own journey to find out who his father really is, revealing the man behind the myth, the truth from the tall tales.  

Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, Big Fish is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that's richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.

Big Fish opens November 13th  at the Santa Barbara High School Performing Arts Center, 700 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA. at 7pm for a special one weekend run. Additional shows are November 14th  and 15th at 7pm, and matinees on November 15th  (1pm) and November 16th (2pm).  Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for students, with $25.00 orchestra seats available at all performances. For more information call (805.563.9409, or visit our website at

Photos courtesy of Isaac Hernandez 

From the Vault

We thought it might be fun to go back and take a look at Peter Pan, our Fall show from 2007 (the year that began our journey to Scotland and the Fringe Festival).  This was our first flying show, and one I’ll never forget!  Take a look at a very, very young Connor Patterson, Kristian Sorenson, Jenna Tico, Isabel Nelson, Olivia Knudsen, Geoff Hahn, Cole Patterson, Jake Himovitz, Zack Frank, Michael Landecker, and a multitude of others! —all of whom are now college graduates.  From time to time we’ll update this section with some blasts from the past.

- Otto Layman

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How To Succeed In Business was directed by Otto Layman and choreographed by long-time collaborator Christina McCarthy (UCSB Professor of Dance), 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 was by Mike Madden (Ensemble Theatre Company) with Technical Direction by David Guy, and the show was 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.

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. 

J. Pierrepont Finch was 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 featured Drew Janssen, Andrew Gutierrez, Rio Salazar, 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, Irving Soto, Alessio Morello, Hannah Robinson and Mae Pendergast.

Past Santa Barbara High School Productions