Olivia Rodrigo has shifted almost entirely into pop star mode, but she’s keeping one foot in the door at her old Disney+ stomping grounds, at least for now. According to Entertainment Tonight, the actress-turned-chart topper will reprise her lead role as Nina Salazar-Roberts on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series as a recurring character for season three.
The presence of Rodrigo’s character was notably diminished in the early episodes of season two, which was filmed in Salt Lake City — pre-“Drivers License” — during the making of her debut album Sour. Salazar-Roberts appeared mostly in FaceTime scenes while attending a school separate from her friends before returning for the few remaining episodes.
“It was really interesting to go back and watch footage of when the songs are kind of beginning to form,” Rodrigo told Rolling Stone, referring to the content captured during the recording process for her upcoming Disney+ documentary-concert film Driving Home 2 U (A Sour Film). “I think there’s magic to that creative process, and they’re really fond memories in my life.”
Series regulars Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Julia Lester, Dara Renee, and Frankie Rodriguez will all return for season three. Joining Rodrigo on cutting back appearances are newcomer Olivia Rose Keegan, who was introduced in season two, and Kate Reinders, who played a prominent role as theater teacher Miss Jenn.
The season will be set at an away camp during summer break, rather than the usual school year. To ensure the shift in cast isn’t too jarring, the High School Musical series will introduce three new characters portrayed by Ben Stillwell, Aria Brooks, and Liamani Segur.
Where the series loses some of its star power in Rodrigo’s soft-launched exit, it gains some in previously announced cast additions, which include Corbin Bleu, who reprises his role from the original films as Chad Danforth; Hannah Montana‘s Jason Earles; and Meg Donnelly. They join new series regulars Adrian Lyles and Saylor Bell.