Rise (originally titled Drama High during the pilot phase) was inspired by the story of ground-breaking High School drama teacher Lou Volpe as chronicled in the book Drama High, which was written by one of Volpe’s students, Michael Sokolove. The series sees dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli shed his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanises not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town.
I know that Rise seemed to be a slow burner, in terms of viewers, but the way that the series tackled religion, alcoholism, sexuality and the challenges facing the transgender community, it felt that there was potential for something special here in the series but unfortunately we won’t be going beyond ten episodes.
Jason Katims served as showrunner and executive produced with Jeffrey Seller, Flody Suarez and Michelle Lee. The series starred Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Marley Shelton, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Amy Forsyth, Casey W. Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk.