Emily Ahrens is an actor, singer, and dancer based in the Midwest (Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin). Emily just finished her most recent project as Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Duluth Playhouse in Duluth, Minnesota. This comes after finishing a 2018 summer contract with St. Croix Festival Theatre as Luisa in THE FANTASTICKS and the Ballet Girl in ELEPHANT'S GRAVEYARD. Emily burst on to the New York scene when she was accepted into the highly selective Open Jar Institute, a pre-Broadway program that trains collegiate level performers. While in New York with the institute, Emily had the opportunity to train with Broadway's best (Jeff Whiting, James Gray, Kate Baldwin, Stacia Fernandez, Thayne Jasperson, Beth Nicely Johnson) in several workshops with 59 other students from around the globe. Emily holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay in Musical Theatre. While in school, Emily worked one-on-one with New York playwright Robin Rice in Rice's latest production of PLAY NICE!, which was selected as a participating production for the 2017 American College Theatre Festival last winter. Prior to that, Emily also worked with Tony and Pulitzer prize nominated playwright, Lee Blessing, during his latest production of THE HOURGLASS PROJECT. Early in her career, Emily worked with Broadway dancer and choreographer Michael Balderrama (HAMILTON, IN THE HEIGHTS) at Starlight Theatre in Rockford, Illinois. Emily's work has garnered attention at the American College Theatre Festival out of the Kennedy Center, earning her 5 prestigious Irene Ryan nominations. In the Ryan competition, Emily has placed 3 times in the semi-finals. She has also placed in the final round for the vocal and dance portions of the Musical Theatre Intensive competition run out of the festival. Emily's other credits include: LEGALLY BLONDE (Elle Woods), SILENT SKY (Annie Cannon), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Cecily Cardew), PLAY NICE! (Isabel Diamond), THE LITTLE MERMAID (Ariel), CHILDREN OF EDEN (Yonah), LILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE (Lilly), IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Mary Hatch), THE HOURGLASS PROJECT (Abby), MONTHS ON END (Heidi), and UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS (Susie Friend).