NBC is rounding out the cast for its drama pilot Drama High, from Friday Night Lights executive producer/showrunner Jason Katims and Jeffrey Seller, producer of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton. Shirley Rumierk, Joe Tippett, Ted Sutherland, and Taylor Richardson are set as series regulars opposite Josh Radnor, Auli’i Cravalho, in the project.
Written by Katims, Drama High was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe (Radnor) 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.
Rumierk is Vanessa Suarez, a hard working, no nonsense complex single mother and waitress who wants the best for her daughter Lilette (Cravalho) even though at times her own behavior doesn’t live up to the standards she wishes she had for herself. Tippett will play Coach Doug Strickland, the high school’s football coach and Gwen’s father. Sutherland is Simon Saunders, the theatre’s leading man. Richardson will portray Kaitlin Mazzuchelli, Lou and Gail’s eldest daughter and a huge fan of theater and musicals. They join previously announced Shannon Purser, Rosie Perez, Damon J. Gillespie 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.
Rumierk most recently appeared in David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty for New Line opposite Michael Pena and will next be seen in the U.S. Marine drama, 11:55 opposite John Leguizamo and Elizabeth Rodriguez, set for release in June. She’s repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Authentic Talent & Literary Management.
Tippett currently stars off-Broadway opposite Abigail Breslin in Erica Schmidt’s All the Fine Boys for the New Group and has guest-starred in Chicago Justice, Bull, The Blacklist and Boardwalk Empire. He’s repped by Paradigm and Perennial Entertainment.
Sutherland will next be seen in a guest-starring role in HBO’s The Deuce and previously guest-starred in MTV’s Eye, NBC’S Law & Order: SVU. He’s repped by Paradigm.
Richardson will next be seen in Stephan Rick’s The Super opposite Patrick John Flueger and Val Kilmer, and can also be seen in Adam Keleman’s upcoming feature Easy Living. She’s repped by Paradigm.