Actress Julia Lester joins us on the podcast this week to chat about the latest season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+. Julia shares what she looks forward to audiences seeing in season three and some of the biggest changes from previous seasons (including the big production move from Utah to Los Angeles). She also talks about her recent Broadway debut in Into the Woods as Little Red, starring opposite Sara Bareilles, Patina Miller and Gavin Creel.
HSMTMTS and the preceding Disney Channel and theatrical films in the long-running HSM franchise were filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah. Season three, however, takes place at a musical theater summer camp, so the production moved from the wintery city to Los Angeles, a change welcomed by the cast and crew. "We shot in Utah during the winter, which is beautiful in its own right, but we had to stay inside and bunker up during the snow storms," Julia says. "So, to go to a summer season where 80% of our show is outside was really exciting!"
Julia also talks about her unexpected Broadway debut in Into the Woods. It was meant to be a two-week run as part of New York City Center's Encores! season which earned rave reviews and a sold-out run. "I don't think I could have ever imagined it having a Broadway run," she shares. "Everyone says we had a lighting-in-the-bottle cast and show and an underlying understanding that this was very different than anything we’ve ever experienced before." Coincidentally, Walt Disney Pictures was the studio behind the Oscar-nominated 2014 film of the same name.
When asked what advice she'd give to actors who want to be where she is as a performer, Julia replies, she said, "Keep performing! No matter what capacity it is. If you're out there performing, that's a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself."
Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is now streaming on Disney+.
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