High School Musical: The Musical: The Series - Virtual Quinceanero Q&A!
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez from
High School Musical! Thank you Disney Channel, Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez for your time, I’m eternally grateful.
We chatted about Episode 205 –"The Quinceañero."
Gina and Seb rally the group to throw Carlos the music and dance-filled Quinceañero he never had. Meanwhile, Ricky accidentally oversteps in more ways than one, and Miss Jenn gets a wild idea about how to get Nini back onstage at East High.
1. Why did you think Quinceañero episode is important?
"I think it's such a beautiful celebration of Latinx & LGBTQ+ Pride. The way the group comes together to celebrate Carlos & who he is in such a meaningful way is incredible and hopefully inspiring for young audiences to see." – Joe Serafini
"I think it’s important that we share these types of stories so that more people can feel seen and represented." – Frankie Rodriguez
2. What did you learn from your character? And what similarities do you share?
"Specifically in this episode, I learned how to take up space and celebrate who you are. Seb is really coming into his own at this moment, and I feel like I am figuring out the same type of thing in my own life as I continue to grow up." – Joe Serafini
"What I’ve learned most from playing Carlos is that it’s okay to be super passionate about something that means a lot to you but also to relax a little bit. And I think the biggest similarity is that I am also a huge theatre kid." – Frankie Rodriguez
3. What would you want your audience to learn from this particular episode?
"I would hope they see how much love and joy there is to find when we see people living as their most authentic selves." – Joe Serafini
"I love the power of friendship in this episode. How they all come together to show how much Carlos means to them. So if someone learns how to be a really good friend, I think that’s amazing." – Frankie Rodriguez
4. How does this series speak to you?
"This series primarily speaks to me as a theatre kid. I think there are so many hidden gems in the writing that refer to things that only musical theatre people would catch, and those are my favorite. But beyond the theatre kid stuff, I think the series speaks to teamwork, love, and acceptance amongst our peers". – Joe Serafini
"Definitely through the music. We have some incredible vocalists on the show who are really good at telling a story through song. So, I always find myself moved by the work they’re doing." – Frankie Rodriguez
5. How was it working with with other cast members, what have you learned from them?
"Working with this cast is truly the BEST. Everyone is so talented and supportive of each other, and it really feels like a big family. I learn so much just from watching them work. They all conduct themselves with such professionalism and poise, all while staying friendly and fun, so I strive to have that same energy on set!" – Joe Serafini
"I’m learning every day from this cast. Everything from professionalism to how to bring a character to life. I feel like I’m always in a masterclass with this cast." – Frankie Rodriguez
6. I could imagine working with this amazing cast, there must be a lot of laughter involved, did you ever improve a few of the scenes or tweak a few lines?
"There's definitely many laughs shared on set. Especially in big group scenes, we all end up improvising with each other and sometimes they even make the cut!" – Joe Serafini
"I personally try not to go off script. But there have been a couple of lines I’ve said to get into character that have made it on the show." – Frankie Rodriguez
7. What’s your favorite episode so far?
"I don't mean to sound biased, but I think the Quinceañero episode is pretty awesome." – Joe Serafini
"The Quinceañero episode has been one of my favorites. I love the storyline and how we got to see Seb and Gina shine in a way we haven’t before." – Frankie Rodriguez
8. Is there anything you’d like to share that you’d like your audience goers to know?
"Just thank you for all the love & support!" – Joe Serafini
"A LOT of fun surprises still to come this season!"– Frankie Rodriguez
9.Who’s on your dream wish list to work with?
"Ohh, I've always been such a huge Sara Bareilles fan. If I ever got to work with her, I'd probably pass away." – Joe Serafini
"Omg...ARIANA GRANDE!" – Frankie Rodriguez
In season two of "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," the East High Wildcats, who are preparing to perform “Beauty and the Beast” as their spring musical, face off against rival school North High to win a prestigious and cutthroat student theater competition. Wigs are snatched, loyalties are tested, and ballads are belted.
In addition to series regulars Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Joe Serafini, Mark St. Cyr and Kate Reinders, there are several exciting new characters this season.
Recurring guest stars include Derek Hough ("Dancing with the Stars") as "Zack," the new drama teacher at East High's rival high school, who returns to Salt Lake after a successful acting career in New York City; Roman Banks (Broadway's "Dear Evan Hansen") as "Howie," a high school junior who works after school as a delivery guy for Big Red's family's pizza shop, Salt Lake Slices; and Olivia Rose Keegan ("Days of Our Lives") as "Lily," an energetic East High student whose sweetness masks her highly competitive nature.
Additional guest stars include Andrew Barth Feldman (Broadway's "Dear Evan Hansen") as French exchange student "Antoine" and Asher Angel ("Andi Mack") as "Jack," a charming, smooth-talking student with wanderlust.
The series is executive produced by creator Tim Federle (Golden Globe and Academy Award- nominated “Ferdinand”). Season one of "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" is currently available on Disney+. It has been "Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes as measured by a consensus of reviews by top critics and audience members and was recently awarded a GLAAD Media Award.