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