‘Ride the Cyclone’ is at Santa Barbara High June 4-5 | Credit: Courtesy

Santa Barbara High School seniors Hattie Ugoretz and Kyle Fitton are taking peers and audiences alike on a wild ride — one that starts with the last ride of a faulty roller coaster and ends with the final curtain call in their high school careers. This year’s student showcase, a production entirely driven and crafted by SBHS student dramatic artists (directed by Ugoretz and Fitton), is the underground musical favorite: Ride the Cyclone.

A group of teenagers die in a roller coaster accident and linger in a carnival-themed purgatory until Karnak, the mechanical fortune-teller, offers one of them a chance to return to life. “I initially fell in love with this show because of its quirky and hilarious sense of humor,” says Fitton. “It has a solid heart at its core and tells stories of teens who — despite being quite outlandish — are very relatable.”

Directing and producing a musical is a new challenge for Ugoretz and Fitton. Luckily, they are surrounded by a team of student artists thrilled to bring this show to life. “We have student technical directors, set designers, lighting designers, sound designers, costume designers, prop designers, and so much more,” says Ugoretz. “We also have a live band!” The musical styles in the show include rock, pop, Ukrainian folk music, auto-tune rap, and a cat-alien-space power ballad.

“There are so many aspects to putting together a show like this, and so many tiny little parts and pieces that you wouldn’t initially think about,” says Fitton. “My goal is for someone to walk in, watch the show, and never even realize that it could have been put together by students.” —Maggie Yates

Ride the Cyclone runs Sunday, June 4, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Monday, June 5, at 7 p.m. at the SBHS theater on campus (700 E. Anapamu St.).


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