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.