Hello, I must be Going…

It never is the end, is it?  In a space where theatre has been performed continuously for 90 years, it is another year in an enduring legacy of passionate, intelligent, and often spectacular theatre performed at the highest levels.  Next year will be twenty years for me at Santa Barbara High School, and to celebrate we will once again do two musicals (and our 8th and 9th consecutive musicals) for our season, beginning with Pippin in the Fall. In fact, this will be the first graduating group of seniors who have performed exclusively in musicals.  I love the form, and as long as we have such a talented group of actors I will continue to explore the form and possibilities of musical theatre.

So say goodbye (for now) to an amazing senior class, a class that was as tight a class as I have ever seen in my time here—they were leaders and mentors, and took their own particular legacy seriously.  We had a chance to have senior dinner together with the actors and their families, and to show film of their take on their time here at SBHS (you can see them on this website).  It was heartwarming to see their affection and love for each other, and their pride of ownership in the theatre here.  It is an actors theatre, dedicated to actors who believe that their job is to make others better, whose job it is to serve the production.  They embrace the joy that is inherent in art, and are bold, fearless, and boisterous performers.

Then again, we never really say goodbye—SBHS actors are everywhere, and in our travels we have the privilege of seeing them continue to create out in the world.  Geoff Hahn (2011), for instance, graduates from Columbia this Spring, and is already working actor.  Recently I, my wife and my daughter, were fortunate to see Dana Musgrove Costello (2002) on Broadway in Finding Neverland with Mathew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer,  and then a day later saw Emilio Madrid Kuser in a production of Catch Me If You Can at NYU Tisch.  This summer Siobhan Doherty returns to Santa Barbara to play Marian the Librarian at SBCC in The Music Man.  Students return to share what they have learned in the world: Jenna Tico (2008) taught for two weeks in my theatre classes here; Riley Berris (2005) is now the head of the theatre department at one of our friendly rivals, San Marcos High School.

Join us again next year, won’t you, when we start at the circus with Pippin, joined by our friends and colleagues Christina McCarthy and Jon Nathan, Rachel Short and Bonnie Thor.  I don’t know yet where we will be in the Spring (I like to wait as long as we can in case something new is released), but Music of the Night will return with its 16th iteration in late January, and we hope to be (this is our mantra) “Brisk, and Bold and Brilliant..”

Thanks for your continued support of SBHS theatre and the arts in our schools—you make it all possible.

- Otto