Actor | Singer | Dancer

About Me

 Hey there! I'm Emily. I grew up in Peoria, IL, where I got my start doing living room productions for nobody in particular (standout selections being dramatic interpretation of the Nutcracker soundtrack and one woman Catholic Mass-- yes, you read that right). I loved to play pretend.

When I was 16, my parents took me to see the Next to Normal Tour in Chicago. A genuine theatre dork by then, it was MY show. Alice Ripley was out, but it didn't even matter (much). I wept because, duh, N2N, but also because it finally hit me that people "do" this! Like, for real. And that's the story of how one girl's ultimate quest to play Diana began.

In all seriousness, it's the luckiest thing in the world that I get to "do" this for real every day! When I'm not playing pretend, I'm probably scoping out the nearest hiking spot, DIYing, or trying to eliminate plastics from my life (this is my new hobby- let's save that planet, shall we?).


I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and, after several summers spent performing in the mountains, I finally decided to give the big city a try! Proud to report New York City and I are getting along fabulously.

Thanks for stopping by!



Headshot & Resume

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Click An image to download PDF



Scroll through to see what I'm up to!


February '20


So excited to head to Memphis again (went the first time in '18) for United Professional Theatre Auditions.




November '19 - ongoing

This November, I opened my first show in New York City at St. Luke's Theatre off-broadway! Every Wednesday, I get to play onstage with some of the most hilarious and generous folks in this city. 




What do you mean tonight is our last All

View production photos of regional and educational work.

View performance videos. More to be added soon!




Can't wait to hear from you!

You can reach me at...

Okay, this is from a year ago, but I loo

Or you can fill out this handy form:

Email: hardesty.emilyj@gmail.com

Phone: (309)634-8816

Thanks, I'll write back soon!