EXCLUSIVE: Barb is back! Young actress Shannon Purser, a fan favorite for her role in the first season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, has joined the cast of NBC’s drama pilot Drama High, from Friday Night Lights executive producer/showrunner Jason Katims and Jeffrey Seller, producer of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton.
Written by Katims, Drama High was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe as chronicled in the book Drama High, written by one of Volpe’s students, Michael Sokolove. The hourlong project revolves around an extraordinary working-class high school drama department and the incredible students who come alive under a passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.
Purser will play Annabelle, one of the students in the town who works harder than anyone else to make the cast of Spring Awakening despite not fitting the exact mold of what everyone has in mind.
The role, which currently is recurring, was created for Purser by Katims after he met with her for another part.
Cast in the pilot so far are Rosie Perez, Moana star Auli’i Cravalho and Rarmian Newton. Katims and Michelle Lee executive produce via True Jack Productions. Seller and Flody Suarez also executive produce via Seller Suarez Productions. Universal TV is the studio.
Since making her acting debut on Stranger Things as one of the show’s most beloved characters, the tragic Barb, Purser has been working constantly. She just wrapped Sierra Burgess Is a Loser for Black Label Media and next will be seen in Life of the Party opposite Melissa McCarthy and Broad Green’s Wish Upon.
At NBC, Purser was the highlight of the Golden Globes’ opening number, reprising her Stranger Things role (watch it below). Purser is repped by UTA, Link Entertainment, People Store in ATL and Jackoway Tyerman.