Kristen Bell makes it possible for adults to retake high school – at least a very important part of it.
For Encore! – an original docus series that will debut on November 12 on Disney + – former teenage drama geeks are asked to come together again on their alma mater to re-enact their old musical. Bell did a casting for people who performed in shows like Annie, Anything Goes or Oklahoma! in the 70s to 2000s to try again.
The series actually started as a special at ABC in 2017 before the streaming service picked him up as part of his line-up of non-scripted and scripted shows. It was not a hard sale, says Bell, who not only produces the executive with Jason Cohen and Will Gluck (Easy A) but also hosts and mentors Encore!
“Everyone knew there was something, as you can see in the previews,” says the Frozen 2 actress during a recent Disney + presentation in Hollywood. “There is so much in this country that divides us and everywhere, and the only thing that everyone has the same response to is when you mention high school. That pit in your stomach, whether it was great or traumatic or both. It really brings people together and there was so much to do in the show. “
Starting with the original special at ABC, “thousands” of people signed up to take part in the show that required a one-week commitment. It helped as the video consists of the original production; if the original director was not there, there are real Broadway filthy mucks who help during the series.
“Whatever job you had, everyone wanted to come back,” says Bell. “That speaks about how much you grow as a person from high school to adulthood. We have a 44-year reunion in this show with the cast of Anything Goes in Los Angeles High. They come back on stage and they get it! Everyone wanted to do it. There is something nice about re-introducing yourself to your friends and shed the labels you had, the box in which you were, before you knew how to communicate, before you knew what vulnerability meant. “
Watch the video above for more about Encore !, which will premiere on Tuesday with the debut of Disney +.