PhotO courtesy of Isaac Hernandez

PhotO courtesy of Isaac Hernandez


December 6, 2016--Our best wishes for the holidays from the staff here at SBHS Theatre!  What a great start to a new year; not only did we have a highly successful beginning to our season with Young Frankenstein, but we also received news that we are the first high school in the nation to get the rights to Bullets Over Broadway after its recent close on Broadway and subsequent national tour. This continues our recent history of Broadway to high school openings which began with Spamalot and continued with our recent production of Big Fish.  The trickle down from Broadway closing to high school opening is generally between 7-10 years (which is why the chances of seeing a contemporary show is extremely unlikely); we are proud that our local reputation as the best musical theatre in Santa Barbara has translated into national recognition.

Bullets Over Broadway is already in production and dates have beeen announced--we will be opening the new ticket page for advance sales soon--so be on the look out for that.  It will prove, we think, to be an extremely hot ticket--with Music Director Jon Nathan, Vocal Director Sio Tepper, Choreographer supreme Christina McCarthy, Costumer Bonnie Thor, and a set designed by Otto Layman (Young Frankenstein, Hair, Pippin, and Into the Woods, among others), Bullets Over Broadway features a professional team of designers/directors to bring this madcap mobster on Broadway saga to life.

Next up immediately, however is a show we are extremely proud of: the 17th season of Music of the Night, Santa Barbara's entirely student-produced show which opens and plays the last week of January, 2017.  Featuring the directorial talents of this year's artistic leaders Ben Zevallos, Sarina Wasserman and Hazel Brady, with musical help and direction from Jon Nathan and Sio Tepper, Music of the Night is a high-energy, showstopping selection of all the  best that Broadway has to offer.  Tickets go on sale soon.  

So all the best from us, and again thanks for your patronage and support.  








Photos Courtesy of Isaac Hernandez

Young Frankenstein is based on the critically-acclaimed Mel Brooks film that was named “one of the funniest movies of all time” by the American Film Institute and features a Book by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winner Brooks (The Producers) and multi-Tony Award winner Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Annie, and Hairspray), with Music and Lyrics by Brooks. Young Frankenstein is the wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend. The story follows young Dr. Frankenstein as he attempts to complete his grandfather’s masterwork and bring a corpse to life. With his creepy servant, Igor, bombshell lab assistant, Inga, and madcap fiancée, Elizabeth, Dr. Frankenstein succeeds in creating a monster—but not without monstrous repercussions.

The team that brought you SPAMALOT, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Pippin are back together in Young Frankenstein.  Long-time collaborator Christina McCarthy, head of the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Dance Department, returned to choreograph, while Dr. Jon Nathan, UCSB Jazz Ensemble, was the Musical Director with Sio Tepper as Vocal Director.  Costume Design for Young Frankenstein was by Resident Costume Designer Bonnie Thor.  The set for Young Frankenstein, complete with a dungeon laboratory, secret passages, and a roll in the hay, was designed by Otto Layman (who also directs), with technical assistance and construction provided by Technical Director Jonathan Mitchell.  Light Design was by Mike Madden. The show was stage managed by SBHS student An Pham.

Young Frankenstein opened at Santa Barbara High School Theatre (700 East Anapamu Street) November 4 at 7pm, with additional performances November 5 at 2pm and 7pm, November 11 at 7pm, November 12 at 2pm and 7pm, and closed November 13 at 2pm. 


Photos Courtesy of Lerina Winter and Isaac Hernandez

     First produced as a touring version for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008, HAIR played to sold-out houses in its two performances at SBHS, and its four performances at the Charlotte Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it was named a Pick of the Festival by the Edinburgh Scotsman.  
     A new Broadway milestone was set in 1968 when HAIR, the first rock musical, opened to mass popularity.  Tackling controversial and explosive issues of the era in theatrically innovative fashion, the brash and exciting musical sustained a five year run at New York’s Biltmore Theatre. Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the ”Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his parents (and conservative America) to serve in Vietnam, compromising his pacifistic principles and risking his life.
    Director Otto Layman, then in his 20th year at the SBHS Theatre helm, had long wanted to explore this musical in a longer version with the accompaniment of a full band. Dr. Jon Nathan (Musical Director), a longtime faculty member at UCSB, brought that vision to life with an all-star orchestra of UCSB students and professional musicians. Working alongside them were Choreographer Jenna Tico, Vocal Director Sio Tepper, Costume Designer Bonnie Thor, Technical Director Jonathan Mitchell, and Stage Manager Beau Lettieri. 
    Hair opened at Santa Barbara High School Theatre, on April 29, 2016 at 7pm and continued with additional performances on April 30, May 6, and May 7 at 7pm, along with matinees on April 30, May 7, and a special closing matinee on Mother’s Day, May 8 at 2pm. 

Closed January 31

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 fifteen years and is recently returned for its sixteenth 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 (Dante Gonzalez, Sable Layman, Rio Salazar and Lizzie Saunders) under the supervision of Artistic Director Otto Layman. This year the cast of 24 students performed musical numbers from Broadway musicals — among them, The Producers, Hamilton, Hairspray, Aladdin, Wicked 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.

Music of the Night 2016 played January 28, 29, 30, at 7pm and January 31 at 2pm in the Santa Barbara High School Theatre.

Photos by Isaac Hernandez


Closed November 15


What does it mean to live an extraordinary life? This is the question that drives Pippin, our story’s hero, through the adventures of war, sex, politics and love – all the while guided by the mysterious hand of the Leading Player. While the Players strive to steer Pippin towards a perfect, theatrical and tragic end of his story, Pippin begins to discover what it truly means to be extraordinary. Filled with dance, passion, and Stephan Schwartz's iconic music (including "Corner of the Sky," "Magic to Do," and "Extraordinary"), Pippin is the ultimate theatrical experience that left audiences debating what boundaries are crossed for love.

In the title role of Pippin — a young man looking for fulfillment in life — was Bradley DeVine, who then returned for his seventh SBHS production. Camille Umoff commanded the stage as the Leading Player, the ringleader of the circus troupe of performers. Others included Quique Hernandez-Black as King Charlemagne, Pippins Father; Meredith LeMert as Charlemagne’s conniving wife, Fastrada; Fastrada’s simple minded warrior-son, Lewis, played by Cooper Umoff; and Sarina Wasserman as Pippin’s saucy grandmother, Berthe. Sable Layman portrayed Catherine, Pippin’s love interest, and finally the part of Catherine’s son, Theo was played by Lex Siegel, a fifth grader at Montecito Union. The diverse ensemble of circus performers, soldiers, farm animals and more included Barron Mainz, Dante Gonzalez, Isaac Cortes, Will Blondell, Tyler Dahneke, Nolan McCarthy, Cameron Meza, Drewes McFarling, Cai Norton, Lizzie Saunders, Hailey Turner, Mia Valdes, Hazel Brady, KiSea Katikka, Leah Martin, Julia McCarter, Grace Perry, Liliana Johnston, and Katarina Vodrazkova.

Photographs courtesy of Isaac Hernandez.


Drood Poster SBHS Art Bonnie Thor-Poster Beau Lettieri

Loosely based on an unfinished mystery by Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a musical by Rupert Holmes, is set in the Music Hall Royale in London, UK. Circa 1892.  Chairman William Cartwright (Quique Hernandez-Black) and his zany company of Victorian players have devised a musical rendition of the story that invites audience participation at every step. Since Dickens was so rude as to die before finishing his story, the company has rehearsed multiple endings for the audience to vote on during the second act.

Our title character disappears mysteriously one stormy Christmas Eve—but has Edwin Drood been murdered? And if so, then whodunnit? There are over one hundred possibilities for the outcome to this mystery in which the audience will select -- all the as this play-within-a-play comes to a hilariously madcap conclusion that is different every night!

“It’s a great acting piece for great improvisers,” says Artistic Director Otto Layman, now in his 19th year at Santa Barbara High School. "With over a 100 possible endings—no two performances are ever the same, and the audience becomes part of the show.”

Performances run April 24, 25 and April 30, May, 1 and 2 at 7pm at the Santa Barbara High School Theatre, 700 E. Anapamu Street with a Sunday matinee on the May 3 at 2pm. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students and seniors, available by Clicking Here at or at the door. 

Photographs courtesy of Isaac Hernandez. Poster Artwork by Bonnie Thor


Past Santa Barbara High School Productions