The majority of the student body, especially Troy's best friend, Chad Danforth, expects Troy to lead East High to victory.Troy is the only child of Jack and Lucille Bolton; Jack is also the coach of the East High basketball team and puts additional pressure on Troy to excel. In the first film, Troy meets Gabriella Montez at a ski lodge karaoke party on New Year's Eve.Coach Bolton and Chad are both insistent on Troy attending the university, but he decides to attend University of California, Berkeley in order to pursue both basketball and theater and to be closer to Gabriella, who enrolls at Stanford University.In the first three films, Troy is portrayed by Zac Efron, with Drew Seeley providing his singing voice in the first film.The main characters of the High School Musical film series.
Classmates and parents of these characters, as well as various other characters, are also featured.Gabriella begins attending East High mid-year in the first film.Hoping to escape the "freaky genius girl" reputation she had earned at her previous schools, she does not join any extracurricular activities.Her first friend at East High is Troy Bolton, whom she had met at a ski lodge karaoke party on New Year's Eve, however she quickly makes friends with Taylor Mc Kessie, who finds out about Gabriella's various academic accomplishments and urges her to join the school's nation decathlon team. Having unearthed a passion for performing at the karaoke party, Gabriella decides to audition for the school musical, but is too late. Darbus, overhears Gabriella singing with Troy that she gives them both a callback.Gabriella is uncertain about perusing the lead role, especially when Taylor and the other members of the decathlon team tell her that the musical will take her focus off the upcoming decathlon event.Troy, Gabriella, and their friends are hired at a local country club, Lava Springs, but are weary of their new-found employment when they learn the club is owned by Sharpay's parents.Sharpay uses her wealth, power, and influence over Troy, tempting him with college opportunities in exchange for him singing with her at the club's Midsummer Night Talent Show.The first three films focus on the six main characters.The first film chronicles events occurring over several weeks in their junior year of high school, with the second film taking place the following summer.Taylor and her friends stage an intervention, which portrays Troy as not caring about Gabriella or the musical.Heartbroken, Gabriella drops out of the running for the lead role.