Netflix's Stranger Things was a smash hit of summer 2016, and Shannon Purser managed to steal the show for many viewers as the bespectacled Barb. She only appeared in a handful of episodes, and she quickly became a fan favorite. We'll have to wait and see if there's any justice for Barb when Stranger Things Season 2 hits the airwaves in October, but Shannon Purser is doing pretty well for herself with other jobs. She just landed a role in the upcoming hour-long NBC pilot Drama High.
Shannon Purser will play a character named Annabelle, who is a high school student in a working-class town who wants to land a role in the drama department's presentation of the musical Spring Awakening. She doesn't quite have the look that everybody else is imagining for characters in the show, but she's willing to work as hard as necessary to prove that she has what it takes to become a killer part of the cast. The role is currently described as recurring, so if Drama High is ordered to series, viewers will be able to see plenty of Purser on the small screen.
Drama High is inspired by the story of a high school drama teacher named Lou Volpe, who gave everything he had to build an impressive theater program and guide the kids who chose to participate. The project is based on a book written by one of Volpe's former students and is being brought to the small screen by Friday Night Lights executive producer Jason Katims and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller.
Interestingly, Deadline reports that the character of Annabelle was created specifically for Shannon Purser after she auditioned for a different role. She evidently wasn't right for the existing part, but she made such an impression on Jason Katims that he designed a character just for her. Stranger Things was Purser's first project, so we don't know for sure just what kind of roles are in her wheelhouse. Given her character's Spring Awakening ambitions, however, we can bet that Purser is a talented singer. She joins the cast that is currently made up of Rosie Perez, Moana voice actress Auli'i Cravalho, and The Family's Rarmian Newton.
The Drama High role marks Shannon Purser's second significant small screen project since Stranger Things. She made her CW debut earlier this year as Ethel Muggs in the freshman series Riverdale, which was recently renewed for Season 2. Purser originally signed on for three episodes of Riverdale; we'll have to wait and see if she's brought back in the future. If Drama High takes off at NBC, she might not have the time to drop by The CW. Whatever happens, I hope that Ethel and Annabelle won't have quite as nasty storylines as poor Barb on Stranger Things.
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