Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition
We're all in this together in Disney Channel's smash hit musical featuring the students of East High. (One-Act Version)
Restrictions may apply.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

On the front steps of East High, it's the first day after winter break ("Wildcat Cheer"). The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations and look forward to the new year ("Start of Something New"). In Ms. Darbus' homeroom, basketball team captain, Troy, discovers that Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. When he calls her, the eccentric drama teacher quickly confiscates all cell phones and assigns detention. Between classes, Gabriella and Troy look at the audition sign-up for the school musical, but the drama diva, Sharpay, discourages them. At basketball practice, Troy tries to shake his desire to sing at the urging of his best friend, Chad ("Get'cha Head in the Game"). Taylor, the science club president, discovers Gabriella's intelligence and encourages her to join the upcoming science decathlon. While the students learn how to "act" at detention, Troy's dad, Coach Bolton, faces off with Ms. Darbus – his star players can't miss practice for Friday's championship game! The next day, hopeful Thespians strut their stuff for Ms. Darbus ("Auditions"), but they're no match for Sharpay and her twin brother, Ryan ("What I've Been Looking For"). Troy and Gabriella arrive too late to audition, but Kelsi, the show's composer, plays the song her way and encourages them to sing ("What I've Been Looking For – Reprise"). Ms. Darbus overhears and gives them a callback. Sharpay is furious, and some students try to break out of their cliques during lunch ("Stick to the Status Quo"). The Jocks and Brainiacs devise a plan to trick Troy and Gabriella into forgetting about the musical and committing to their respective competitions ("Counting on You"). Thinking each one has betrayed the other, Gabriella and Troy are crushed ("When There Was Me and You"). Against Ryan's advice, Sharpay convinces Ms. Darbus to move the callbacks to conflict with the science decathlon and championship game. Chad and Taylor put their heads together to make things right again ("We're All in This Together"). While the Jocks and Brainiacs compete, Sharpay and Ryan pull off a polished callback performance ("Bop to the Top"). When Taylor's laptop shuts down the electricity, Troy and Gabriella rush to the theatre, but are too late. However, when the East High students arrive to rally behind them, Ms. Darbus relents, and they sing their way into the lead roles ("Breaking Free"). Back at the gym, the Wildcats win the game, and the whole school comes together as winners ("We're All in This Together – Reprise").



Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Troy Bolton

The most popular kid at East High, he is the star of the basketball team who yearns to be more than what people want him to be. Troy discovers his love for music but refuses to admit it. Athletic, attractive, and a true leader. He becomes smitten with Gabriella.

Gender: male
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Chad Danforth

Troy's best friend. A star basketball player, part of the jocks, and second in command. Extremely focused on winning his school's basketball championship, but is slowly understanding that there might be more to this world, including his sparring crush on Taylor.

Gender: male
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Zeke Baylor

A basketball player on the Wildcats Team. Energetic and charismatic. He has two secrets: a crush on Sharpay and a love for baking, which he is happy and relieved to eventually reveal.

Gender: male
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Sharpay Evans

The egocentric diva star of the school musicals, she is Ryan's older twin and the alpha dog. She thinks being the musical star defines her and clutches the title like her life depends on it, no matter what the cost to others.

Gender: female
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ryan Evans

Sharpay's fraternal twin and a self-delusional 'star in the making.' He typically feels the brunt of Sharpay's attacks and lives under her shadow. Although he possesses a diva exterior, he yearns to change.

Gender: male
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Gabriella Montez

The new girl in school. She is trying to blend in and avoid 'labels' at her new school. Eventually becomes Troy's romantic counterpart. Pretty, shy, and smart.

Gender: female
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Taylor Mckessie

The competitive head Brainiac of the school and President of the Science Club. She convinces Gabriella to join the Science Decathlon team. Taylor has a hidden soft spot for Chad, which she hides.

Gender: female
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Jack Scott

The resident P.A. Announcer for the high school. He is shy and insecure in front of the rest of the kids, but smooth and confident at the mic. Known as the "Velvet Fog of East High."

Gender: male
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Kelsi Nielsen

The drama club's rehearsal pianist and student composer extraordinaire who is having her musical produced at school. Underneath her shy demeanor, Kelsi is an outspoken firecracker.

Gender: female
Age: 14 to 18
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ms. Darbus

The kooky, eccentric Drama Club teacher. She has her self-absored moments but is still devoted to her students and constantly encourages them. Passionate about the art of theatre.

Gender: female
Age: 35 to 55
Coach Bolton

The stern basketball coach and Troy's dad. He lost the big game years ago and wants his son to succeed where he failed. Blinded by his ambition for his son, he is still a good guy and proud father.

Gender: male
Age: 40 to 45
Other Wildcat Students

Cheerleaders, Jocks, Nerds, Thespians, Brainiacs, Performance Arts Kids, Skater Dudes


Jocks, Thespians, Skaters, Cheerleaders, Party Kids, Adults, Brainiacs, Spectators

Full Song List
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Wildcat Cheer
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Start of Something New
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Get'cha Head in the Game
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Get'cha (Playoff) into Lab
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Auditions (Bop to the Top/What I've Been Looking For)
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: What I've Been Looking For
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: What I've Been Looking For (Reprise)
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Stick to the Status Quo
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Counting on You
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: When There Was Me and You
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: We're All in This Together
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Bop to the Top
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Breaking Free
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: We're All in This Together (Reprise)
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: High School Musical Megamix
NEW Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition: Exit Music (Bop to the Top)

Show History


High School Musical is a stage adaptation of the hit Disney film of the same name by Peter Barroscchini with music by David Nessim Lawrence (among many others). One of the film's producers, Bill Borden, wanted to make a musical about life in high school, setting it in contemporary times, but pulling from classic teenage musicals like West Side Story and Grease. He brought Barroscchini and director, Kenny Ortega, into the picture. The film was shot in just 28 days.

The original film became a massive hit, and the Disney Theatrical Group capitalized on its popularity to adapt it into a stage musical. Bryan Louiselle adapted and arranged the music from various songwriting sources, while David Simpatico adapted the screenplay into a new book. Simpatico used much of Barroscchini's screenplay, but decided to add the character of Jack Scott and portrayed Ms. Darbus as more sympathetic, basing it off of his own high school drama teacher.


High School Musical, based on the Disney film of the same name, had its world premiere production at Stagedoor Manor summer theatre camp in 2006. On January 12, 2007, the Theater of the Stars in Atlanta, Georgia, then became the first professional company to stage the musical. Later that year, Disney Theatrical staged a national tour; it starred John Jeffrey Martin and Arielle Jacobs, running from August 1, 2007, to August 3, 2008.

The musical has enjoyed significant success in regional theaters around the world. North Shore Music Theater staged a notable production in 2007, featuring performances by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Rockwell. In California, Pacific Repertory Theatre's School of the Dramatic Arts mounted the West Coast premiere, and it was eventually revived in January 2008. On April 17, 2007, Brigend Youth Theatre became the first theatre to do the show in Wales. The musical eventually made its way to other parts of the UK, premiering in London at the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in January 2008. The first full-scale production in Australia opened in December 2008 in Sydney, eventually touring eight different cities. In April 2009, the National Theatre of Halifax, Nova Scotia, produced the Canadian premiere, breaking several box office records for the theatre. The musical has also enjoyed premieres in Hong Kong and Nigeria.

Critical Reaction

"It's nothing short of a phenomenon, and watching the highly energetic, all-American spectacle unfolding on the stage, it s not difficult to see why. This is like a cross between Grease and the Kids from Fame for the tweenies market. It is as bloodless, sexless and unthreatening as it is possible to get – yet also sweetly (and only occasionally cloyingly) conveying a moral message that tells its audience not to allow themselves be boxed in by other people s perceptions of them or put limits on what they want to do."
– The Stage

"The stage adaptation does make some minor but significant dramaturgical adjustments. Character motivations are subtly enriched; important contextual signifiers are added."
– The New York Times

"This fun and wholesome show hits all the right notes with its young core audience."
– Talkin' Broadway




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David N. Lawrence and Faye Greenberg; Jamie Houston
Music Adapted, Arranged and Produced by
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Based on a Disney Channel Original Movie Written by
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