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Ogden High sets the stage for filming of East High’s rival school in ‘High School Musical’ series

By Emily Anderson standard-Examiner - | Feb 12, 2021
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Joshua Bassett, on left, Frankie A. Rodriguez, Mark St. Cyr, Sofie Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Matt Cornett, Tim Federle, Dara Renne, Kate Reinders, Olivia Rodrigo, and Julia Lester pose at the Disney+ launch event promoting "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" at the London West Hollywood hotel on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 in West Hollywood, Calif.

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Crew member Diego Garibay, 15, does mic checks before a dress rehearsal of Ogden High School's production of "Fiddler on the Roof" on Feb. 21, 2012. The TV show "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" filmed in the school's auditorium.

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Ogden High School is pictured on Aug. 17, 2017.

OGDEN — In the second season of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” East High School will face off against its fictional rival North High School — the filming location of which was at Ogden High School, 40 miles north of the real East High School in Salt Lake City.

The series set up shop at Ogden High in December, filming over the period of a week. While the first season of the show is currently streaming on Disney+, spokesperson for Disney’s television shows Michelle Marron told the Standard-Examiner the company has not yet confirmed the second season’s premiere date.

According to a press release, in season two, the East High Wildcats are preparing to perform “Beauty and the Beast” for their spring musical. They also compete against North High in a “prestigious and cutthroat student theater competition.”

The new season will also feature new, original music written by Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo, whose hit song “Drivers License” has remained at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks.

“Wigs are snatched, loyalties are tested, and ballads are belted,” the Disney+ press release said.

Marron declined to comment on why Ogden High was chosen as the film location for North High, saying it’s too early to provide additional information. Ogden High Principal Shauna Haney told the Standard-Examiner in December, “It’s nice for them to get in and see how beautiful our school is and how beautiful our auditorium is.”

The art deco-style building that houses Ogden High School was completed in 1937 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The ornate design of the structure makes it a landmark in the Junction City.

Multiple movies and TV series have been filmed at the iconic high school over the years, including “Three O’Clock High” and an episode of “Touched by an Angel.” Typically, students and staff have the opportunity to star as extras in the productions. In this series, due to COVID-19, that wasn’t possible, according to Haney.

“We have had absolutely no contact with anyone from the company,” she said.

Haney told the Standard-Examiner the series filmed in front of Ogden High School, in its auditorium and in the hallway outside the auditorium. During filming, the school had to block off the hall being used and reroute students who were moving between classes.

Some students were disappointed they didn’t get a chance to see the actors who will feature in the upcoming season.

“I think some people were hoping that it was going to be Zac Efron,” Haney said jokingly, referencing the actor who played one of the main characters in the “High School Musical” movies. “But it was not.”

In addition to recurring cast members, the new season of the TV show will include guest stars Derek Hough — a Utah native — Roman Banks and Olivia Rose Keegan.

The show has been rated 7.4/10 on IMDB and was given 75% of Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, making it “Certified Fresh.” It also recently won an award from GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which recognizes various forms of media for “fair, accurate and inclusive” representations of the LGBTQ community.

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