‘High School Musical’ Destined for Stage

Sing out Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay and Ryan. Even before “High School Musical” became the celluloid Holy Grail of entertainment for adolescent girls everywhere, the idea of a stage version was being contemplated by the folks at Disney.At first, though, the Mouse House didn’t realize the popularity of its TV movie could translate into a big-budget, Broadway-style touring show. It was thinking schools and amateur groups.

“I knew there was a lot of excitement about it at the Disney Channel,” says Steve Fickinger, a Disney Theatrical vice president in charge of creating properties for licensing to schools, amateur groups and professional theaters.? “We got the rights to do a stage adaptation before it aired on television — which made us look incredibly prescient,” he says with a laugh. “Its charms were obvious. … As the film went on to be a sensation and then a phenomenon, we realized we had a terrific opportunity on our hands.”? Source

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