’Night Night, Roger Roger’ is at UCSB’s Studio Theater March 3-12. | Credit: Jeff Liang

Fourth-year UC Santa Barbara student Roni Ragone heard whispers of their play, Night Night, Roger Roger, running at UCSB’s Studio Theater from March 3-4 and 7-12 floating around campus. As it turns out, Ragone’s roommate had submitted the play without their knowledge, and it was selected for production during UCSB’s regular season — a truly unique choice since the department rarely, if ever, mounts full productions written by undergraduates. 

The play is made up of a series of vignettes about the “after hours” of the world, with themes of loneliness and finding community. Much of the show’s content also focuses on the fostering of love and affection, whether that be a crush, reflection on an old love, or love for family. “It’s a very dreamy, whimsical play,” says Ragone. Adding that it’s “about finding connection when things appear dark.”

Originally the piece was commissioned by the Hillcrest Center for the Arts as a Zoom play to be performed during the pandemic. “I ended up writing a collage play,” says Ragone. “It’s made up of 12 scenes…each new scene is a new set of characters and a new circumstance and a new world. Everyone is connected, so as you watch the play, you’re hearing names and seeing one side of conversations that you’ll see the other side of later. I call it a puzzle play.”

Directed by Julie Fishell, Night Night, Roger Roger features undergraduate actors playing young kids, vampires, clumsy security guards, and others. Adding to the fun, there are two “pajama” nights, on March 3 and 12, and a “vampire/monster” night on March 7. All are encouraged to come dressed in the theme of the evening to be entered into a raffle. 

“It’s a family-friendly show, but it’s not a kid’s show,” says Ragone. “I think it’s for anyone; any age could enjoy it.”

See theaterdance.ucsb.edu.


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