NBC's Rise, inspired by the book Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater, hails from creator Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller. The final episode of the season, "Opening Night," featuring the high school's production of Spring Awakening, airs May 15.
The drama stars Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Auli’i Cravalho, and Damon J. Gillespie.
Radnor plays Lou Mazzuchelli, an English teacher looking for more passion in his life who decides he has a vision for the Stanton High theatre program. After assuming the director position—over decades-long assistant director Tracey Wolfe (Perez)—novice Mr. Mazzu tosses out Grease in favor of the controversial Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical Spring Awakening. The leads to a backlash from the more conservative school district and an exploration of gender politics and personal awakenings of teenage theatre students.
The cast also features Marley Shelton, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Amy Forsyth, Casey W. Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett, and Shirley Rumierk.
Flip through photos of their production of Spring Awakening below: