Arts & Culture

She went to school in SLO County. Now she’s starring in Broadway’s biggest hit musical

Joanna Jones appears in a PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theatre production of “Caroline, Or Change” in 2011. The Nipomo High School graduate is joining the cast of “Hamilton: An American Musical” on Broadway.
Joanna Jones appears in a PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theatre production of “Caroline, Or Change” in 2011. The Nipomo High School graduate is joining the cast of “Hamilton: An American Musical” on Broadway. Reflections Photography Studio

A Nipomo High School graduate is getting her shot at Broadway stardom.

Joanna Jones will play the dual role of Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in “Hamilton: An American Musical” on Broadway. She announced the news Sunday via her Instagram account, posting a photo of a “Hamilton” script with her name printed on it.

“Each day this gets a little more real. I am humbled and honored to to be joining the cast of Hamilton on Broadway as Peggy/Maria,” Jones wrote in the post. “Filled with gratitude for the love, support, and prayers that have brought me to this point.”

Local theater fans might recognize Jones, a former Pismo Beach resident who graduated from Nipomo High in 2008, from productions at San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre — formerly known as San Luis Obispo Little Theatre — and PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theatre in Santa Maria.

In addition, the UCLA grad competed with a capella group The Backbeats on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2010 and appeared in “Hairspray Live!” on NBC in 2016. Her other stage credits include Michael Jackson tribute show “Thriller Live” and the Baz Luhrmann-inspired musical revue “Baz.”

Jones is the second PCPA alumnus to join the cast of “Hamilton.” Lompoc native Roddy Kennedy played several smaller roles in 2016.

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Joanna Jones, center, performs with The Backbeats on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2010. The Nipomo High School graduate is joining the cast of “Hamilton: An American Musical” on Broadway. Harper Smith NBC

Created by Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton” follows the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. (Jones will play the younger sister of Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, as well as his mistress.) The show, which debuted on Broadway in 2015, won a whopping 11 Tony Awards last year.

Jones will make her “Hamilton” debut in early September at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City, according to Miguel Mendiola of Sam Rudy Media Relations.

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