Netflix is blessing our time in quarantine — once again — with yet another killer original, The Prom. The comedy musical, which is based on a Broadway production, is being produced by American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy, and will feature Hollywood royalty, from James Corden to Meryl Streep. But the lead actress who will play the protagonist, Emma, is a lesser-known actress named Jo Ellen Pellman.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about the upcoming star of The Prom, Jo Ellen Pellman, and why she decided to take on the role of Emma.
Jo Ellen Pellman's acting experience mostly consists of stage productions, but this role is her biggest yet.
Jo is a self-described New York City-based actor and writer who hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, according to her personal website. After participating in her high school's theatre program, she went on to earn her BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. There, she appeared in a variety of shows, from Me and My Girl, to The Tempest, and The Drowsy Chaperone, and taught theatre workshops in Ann Arbor, Mich. and abroad, in India.
Jo has also appeared in a handful of on-screen productions, according to her IMDB page. She landed minor roles in both The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as The Deuce, and Arturotino with Arturo Castro. Her role as Emma in The Prom, however, is her highest profile role yet, and she seems seriously psyched. In an Instagram post from November 2019, she thanked Ryan Murphy, her New York team, and her mom, for helping her achieve her wildest dreams.
In the post, she said: "Swipe for a BIG surprise ☺️ To this team that has welcomed me with open arms, to Ryan for trusting this lil queer actor from Ohio with the role of a lifetime, to my team in New York cheering me on, and to my mom, for believing in me when I was just learning to believe in myself: thank you. Let’s GOOOOO!!!!"
Jo is playing the role of Emma, a queer teenager who simply wants to go to prom.
The Prom is a coming of age comedy which is based on a Broadway music, according to Deadline. It's a touching yet hilarious about four older Broadway stars who decide to revive their careers by arriving to a small Midwestern town to support a high school girl who was banned from taking her girlfriend to the prom.
Ryan Murphy posted a celebratory post to Instagram, hinting at a potential holiday release. He wrote, "Meet the incredible icon-packed cast of Netflix's THE PROM. A group of true troopers who buckled up and finished shooting during COVID so we could give everybody an inspirational aspirational story that we all need right now. Christmas is right around the corner..."
Jo is seriously going to slay as Emma in The Prom, and the holidays couldn't come sooner.