Back to High School, in Character

Former classmates re-create their teenage musicals in “Encore!”

Poster for "Encore!" a documentary television seriesEncore!, a 12-episode documentary series created and executive-produced by Jason Cohen ’94 (who also directed multiple episodes), and executive-produced by Richard Schwartz ’97 and Kristen Bell, debuted on Disney+ last November in the United States. Each episode of the show, hosted by Bell, invites a different set of former high school castmates to perform together as they re-create musicals from their teenage days. But it’s not just about pulling off the performance; viewers also watch as former classmates reunite and revisit memories — good and bad.

“For me, this show is largely about looking at who we are, who we are now and who we were then,” Cohen told the Capital Times in November.

Jason Cohen

Cohen: “This show is about looking at who we are now and who we were then.” Stefan Cohen

Richard Schwartz

Schwartz: “The high school experience is one everyone can relate to.”

He and Schwartz were introduced to each other by mutual friend Allard Cantor ’94 several years ago, and the duo began brainstorming the show together after that. Cohen, an Academy Award–nominated producer and director based in Berkeley, California, won a Directors Guild of America Award for Encore! Schwartz, based in Valley Village, California, is head of television at Olive Bridge Entertainment. “The high school experience is one that everyone can relate to,” he told the Capital Times. “As much as it’s about musicals and the arts, it’s about growing up, taking inventory, and celebrating the relationships in your life.”

Published in the Summer 2020 issue

Tags: Alumni, Arts, television

Leave a comment