Is the next Zac Efron keeping a low profile somewhere near Disneyland?
Disney’s forthcoming threequel High School Musical 4 — a reboot of the gargantuan Disney Channel Original Movie franchise — will shift its nationwide casting search to southern California for the film’s first open call audition in May.
The film picks up the story of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s East High Wildcats and introduces their cross-town rivals, the West High Knights. (Dare we suggest love in the air between two star-crossed students?) The film is penned by Dan Berendsen and three-time HSM screenwriter Peter Barsocchini, and directed by Jeffrey Hornaday.
Potential tween triple-threats who fancy themselves the next Vanessa Hudgens — between the ages of 14 and 17 — will be screened and auditioned during the in-person open call at the Anaheim Convention Center on May 15. Meanwhile, kids who can’t get to Anaheim (a.k.a. most kids) are still encouraged to apply via video auditions through the Disney Applause App, where Kirby Buckets and Lab Rats stars are on hand to offer tips to channeling one’s inner Sharpay.
As for the script itself, wee wannabe Efrons and Hudgenses will audition with excerpts that betray a hint about the protagonist of HSM4: Peyton, a character of non-specific gender whom both boys and girls will read for at the audition. The part hits those classic adolescent beats of teen drowsiness with inspired optimism and a penchant for extracurriculars.
A small easter egg for fans are the not-so-slight nods to the original film — “Start of Something New,” “Get’cha Head in the Game,” and even the very idea that Peyton has a sports jersey for every mood. Does he/she have one for an inevitable discovery of the joys of musical theater!?
Check out the script here, and consider an audition — if you’re of age, talent, and appropriate stock to pull off a soccer jersey. (All others can watch the network’s Memorial Day marathon of Disney Channel Original Movies…all 99 of them.)