Passion for Performing

Rancho Peñasquitos native Arianna Afsar was recently cast as Eliza Hamilton in the Chicago production of Hamilton: An American Musical. Arianna is no stranger to the spotlight; she has been acting since she was seven years old, appearing in many theatrical productions in both supporting and leading roles, such as Ngana in Starlight’s production of South Pacific, Cindy Lou Who in The Old Globe’s production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Annie in JCC’s production of Annie, and Gabriella in High School Musical at both JCC and Starlight. Arianna grew up in PQ, attending Canyon View Elementary School, Mesa Verde Middle School, and Westview High School before attending UCLA, where she graduated with a degree in ethnomusicology in 2013.

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Arianna has also been involved in beauty pageants, where she loved to sing for the talent portion of the competition. At 13 years old, she was crowned the youngest teen in the inaugural Miss America’s Outstanding Teen where she was first runner-up. She went on to be crowned Miss San Diego, Miss California, and was a Top 10 finalist in the Miss America Competition in 2011. She was also one of the youngest contestants on Season 8 of American Idol, where she placed in the top 36.

Arianna always was and still is passionate about acting, singing, writing, and performing. She released her single “Love You I Don’t” and music video in October, and is thrilled to be acting in Hamilton, the Broadway musical that received a record-setting 16 Tony nominations in 2016, winning 11, including Best Musical. Arianna is especially appreciative to work with the cast of the Chicago production of the play. “Being able to originate the Chicago cast with the most giving and generous cast is unbeatable,” she said.