In addition to the two main stage productions produced each year, the students of Santa Barbara High School take initiative each winter to produce a production of their own. 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 nearly two decades. The production, which is completely student produced, cast, directed, choreographed, and performed, consists of fourteen to sixteen different musical numbers from a wide variety of musicals ranging from classics like Chicago and West Side Story, to contemporary works like Hamilton and Wicked.
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, has become a full blown stage production yielding audiences just as large as the main stage productions with costume, set and light designs, and sophisticated videos.
Since 2008, the student directors have enlisted the help of a musical director who has helped them coach the actors on their vocals and assemble a live band usually consisting of a combination of students and professionals from the Santa Barbara area. Over the years Santa Barbara musicians such as John Douglas, Richard Weiss, Lito Hernandez, and Jon Nathan have played the roll of musical director helping bring live music to Music of the Night.
After the Fall production closes three to four student directors, who are chosen by Artistic Director Otto Layman and the previous directors, move right into auditions and casting. From there they move into rehearsals in the same format as a normal SBHS production.
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.