Benward, Lewis and Hannelius have been cast in the pilot, which begins shooting in March, Disney announced Thursday. Alyson Reed reprises her High School Musical role as the kids' teacher, Ms. Darbus.
In the spin-off, a group of students at Madison High build a new theater program under the tutelage of Ms. Darbus. The new troupe must create an original musical production based on their lives.
Benward, 15, won the lead role of Devin Daniels, a motocross racer looking for a new hobby. Lewis, 14, will play Peyton Hall, a formerly home-schooled tennis champ. Hannelius, 12, plays Wednesday Malone, a precocious starlet in the making. The remaining roles of queen bee Cherry O'Keefe, stage manager Harvey Flynn and Colby Baker, artistic anime fan, have yet to be cast.