Actress Phillipa Soo vaulted from relative obscurity to overnight stardom in the wildly popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Hamilton.", she was the daughter of a first-generation Chinese father and Caucasian mother, who raised in the suburbs of Southern Illinois. Soo developed an interest in singing and performing from an early age, and appeared in musical theater productions while a student at Libertyville High School; after graduation in 2005, she studied acting at Julliard from 2008 to 2012. Two months after graduating, she was cast as a lead in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812," a musical adaptation of War and Peace performed cabaret-style at the Ars Nova theater in New York. The show eventually moved to Off-Broadway, where she was discovered by fellow Ars Nova alumni Lin-Manuel Miranda, who invited her to take part in a reading of his new musical Hamilton. She was subsequently cast as Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton (played by Miranda), in both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions. Soo received her first Tony nomination for the role, as well as Lucille Lortel, Clarence Derwent and Broadway.com Audience Awards for her critically acclaimed performance.
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