In the event you’re hooked on ‘Excessive College Musical: The Musical: The Sequence’, you’ve undoubtedly fallen in love with Kate Reinders and her character, Miss Jenn. Properly, get in line!
In the event you’ve bought a Disney+ subscription — and I do know you do — you’ve seemingly already binged the primary three episodes of Excessive College Musical: The Musical: The Sequence. I’ll then assume that, like myself, you’ve immediately fell in love with the brand new class of East Excessive. What it lacks in Child Yoda appearances, it makes up for with unbelievable musical performances, contemporary younger stars, and storylines never-before-seen on the Disney community. Enter Kate Reinders, who performs Miss Jenn, the seemingly fearless chief of the drama membership and director of the college’s very meta manufacturing of Excessive College Musical. Kate, who made a reputation for herself on the Nice White Manner in exhibits like Depraved and Lovely, chatted with us concerning the wonderful new tackle the franchise and the way her character matches in with the lives of the brilliant, younger college students and forged.
“I swear, I used to be the youngest for thus lengthy, after which I wakened, and I don’t know when it occurred precisely, however now I’m the mother,” Kate teases. “I imply, I’m actually a mother, however I’m additionally the present mother, and I really find it irresistible. I love being the present mother. These youngsters are nice. I can’t consider their expertise each day. They maintain blowing me away. I believe I understand how a lot they’ll do, after which they do extra, and I’m simply attempting to maintain up with them!” She’s doing fairly a job of that thus far. Whereas Miss Jenn has but to grow to be the point of interest of the present in it’s first three episodes, small Easter Eggs about precisely who she is and why she’s so eager to direct this explicit present proceed to pop up. Kate admits that whereas there is likely to be plenty of thriller behind her character to the viewers, she understood Miss Jenn nearly instantly.
“Miss Jen and I mainly had the identical childhood,” Kate explains. “Small city, American center class — very late bloomers. We each discovered our place in theater, discovered a gaggle of buddies, discovered acceptance. We had been theater nerds with large goals, after which we each moved to New York to pursue these goals.” Together with understanding her background, Kate confesses she’s additionally very conversant in the journey that Miss Jenn will in the end undergo within the first season of the present; once more, since she went by one thing comparable herself. “You get to a sure age and also you’re like, ‘Wait, what am I doing? Why did I believe this was a good suggestion after I moved right here? What else might I do? What else is in me?’ That’s the crossroads that Miss Jenn is at the place the present begins, and this present is taking her on that journey of who’s she now and who might she presumably be.”
And who she actually is seems to be an even bigger query than anybody initially realizes. Within the newest episode, ‘The Wonderstudies,’ Miss Jenn finds herself with a goal on her again, as Mr. Mazzara, performed by Mark St. Cyr, begins to dig deeper into her previous. His jealously over the quantity of consideration — and funding — her theater group is getting over his Robotics workforce sends him on a mission to reveal her darkish secrets and techniques. Seems, Miss Jenn (if that’s even her actual title!) could have fudged fairly a couple of particulars on her resume, together with her credentials as a trainer. However in a strong second defending her college students from his scrutiny, she proudly faces off with Mr. Mazzara and says, “I’m right here as a result of I consider in these youngsters, not as a result of all of them are going to be Broadway stars, however as a result of they gained’t.”
“We simply have a lot enjoyable hitting the ball backwards and forwards,” Kate admits about working with Mark. “Because the present goes on, you’ll see that neither he nor I are precisely what we appear. Now we have layers, and our layers will meet layers.”
The identical might be stated of the present, usually, as Disney+ is giving it license to take the plot in unexpected instructions. For instance, within the first episode, a younger man named Seb auditions and in the end lands the function of Sharpay within the manufacturing. The function is performed by Joe Serafini, a proficient senior on the College of Michigan. The casting selection has but to be particularly addressed on the present, and lots of followers speculate that gender-bending the function could result in the present having a really open dialogue about teenagers and gender roles in 2019. Kate assures me, with out giving an excessive amount of away, that Seb may have his second to shine by the season’s finish. “That is the factor,” she says. “What’s so nice about our present is that we now have time. You don’t meet these youngsters for five seconds; you meet them, and then you definitely get to know them, and that’s true for our regulars and our recurrings.” She then added, ” I don’t need to spoil something, however I’ll let you know he sings in [Sharpay’s] key and he sings it higher than you’ve ever heard it ever, ever, ever. He might do it eight instances every week, the other way up, spinning round.”
As the primary season begins closing in on the half method level, the forged will quickly be again at it in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, as earlier than even a single episode aired, Disney+ renewed it for a second season. Whereas the scholars had been stunned by the announcement earlier this fall, Kate admits she noticed it coming. “We’re very excited. I, in fact, am not stunned as a result of the children are so proficient. There’s no method they might maintain that locked in a field for lengthy, and it wants multiple season.”
However the query stays — what would a second season seem like? If the primary season ends with the opening night time manufacturing of Excessive College Musical, what might the children presumably do subsequent? Why, placed on one other present, in fact! As to what that present is likely to be …
“[Creator] Tim Federle has it picked out,” Kate confesses. “I do know it’s going to be higher than what I might consider. I need to do all of them. I would like all of those youngsters to have large, big moments to shine. They do already, however they’ll have extra.”
Excessive College Musical: The Musical: The Sequence is streaming now on Disney+