Ashley Park: Actress, Dancer, Singer
Ashley Park is best known for her roles on Netflix’s hit comedy series Emily in Paris as Mindy Chen and Tina Fey’s Broadway musical Mean Girls as Gretchen Wieners, but she also maintains an active activist career.
Park is the co-founder of Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop, a student-run organization that integrates performing arts education with social change. She has also been an active volunteer at Make-A-Wish Foundation and hosted their DoSomething Gala every year.
Ashley Park’s Biography
Ashley Park is a Grammy and Tony-nominated musical theatre actress, best known for her roles as Tuptim in the Tony-Award-winning Broadway revival of The King And I, Theresa in Sunday in the Park With George, Gretchen Wieners in Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl and Tales of the City as Ani Winters on Netflix.
Shelton attended the University of Michigan where she earned a BFA in Musical Theatre. During this time she participated in productions with both Music Theatre Wichita and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera as well as founding Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop, through which she has provided performing arts-related educational opportunities to high school students throughout southeastern Michigan.
In 2017, Park was nominated for two Drama Desk and Drama League Awards after her performance in KPOP at Ars Nova, then later, she earned one at Lucille Lortel Awards with Tina Fey’s musical based on the same movie Gretchen Wieners which earned her nominations from both societies.
At home, she enjoys binge-watching Friends or trying to resist cheesy snacks. Additionally, she dedicates much of her free time to supporting social change and giving back; participating in multiple events with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA), such as their annual Broadway Bares burlesque show fundraiser and covenant House’s Stage & Screen Sleep Out.
Park has an intense passion for animal rights, frequently supporting rescues and shelters via her social media accounts. Additionally, she has formed partnerships with Essie, Starbucks, and UNIQLO brands – among others – for product endorsement.
Ashley Park, born June 6 1991 in Glendale, California, and raised in Ann Arbor Michigan was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia during her early adolescent years and spent eight months in hospital as a cancer survivor. Since then she has become an advocate for mental health awareness as she openly discusses anxiety depression and suicidal thoughts she experiences as part of life’s journey.
Ashley Park’s Acting Career
Ashley Park is an actress best known for her portrayal of Gretchen Wieners on Mean Girls, but also for her work both on Broadway and off-Broadway. In 2015, Ashley received three major award nominations – Grammy, Drama League Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk nomination. Ashley has since gone on to appear in numerous musical productions such as Sunday in the Park with George, Mamma Mia! and Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella national tour as Tuptim in 2015 revival of The King and I revival 2015 as Tuptim.
She graduated from Pioneer High School and the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. Additionally, she is a proud member of Actors Equity and has participated in multiple Broadway benefit performances like Broadway Bares and Covenant House’s Stage & Screen Sleep Out with Mean Girls co-stars Kyle Selig and Curtis Holland.
Park’s writing talent extends well beyond her acting career; she has written for both film and television. Park is best known as an actress; however, she also dabbles in writing; writing the Netflix series Travelers (seasons 1-3) and SyFy’s Killjoys as well as working on a Ubisoft video game among her many credits; additionally she has contributed episodes to NBC’s The V Card, HBO’s Are You Joking?, Pop TV Nightcap and Saturday Night Live among many more.
Park has long been an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. She has spoken out against anti-LGBTQ discrimination as well as issues surrounding gender identity, and is also a strong supporter of women’s rights, contributing to organizations like Planned Parenthood and the International Rescue Committee, and regularly taking part in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising events.
Park currently resides in New York City and has several upcoming projects, including the comedy-drama Mr. Malcolm’s List (2022), the Netflix series Emily in Paris (2020) and Girls5eva (2021) from Peacock TV, plus the Hollywood film Joy Ride (2023). She reportedly makes thousands of dollars annually through acting work alone; plus additional income comes through social media appearances and endorsement deals with brands like Essie and Starbucks.
Park is not only known for her Broadway appearances but is an accomplished theatre artist in Michigan and New York City, having worked on various productions. In 2009 she made her first professional theatre appearance when cast as Yvonne in Music Theatre Wichita’s production of Miss Saigon; following which she spent two summers performing with Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s Benedum Center production of Miss Saigon where she earned her Equity card.
Park made her Broadway musical debut as Gretchen Wieners in Tina Fey’s Mean Girls musical adaptation in 2018, garnering several nominations including Tony Award, Drama League Award, and Drama Desk Award nominations. Additionally, she garnered rave reviews for her off-Broadway production KPOP at Ars Nova and won Lucille Lortel Award as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her performance.
Park completed her theatrical resume by appearing in the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, playing Celeste #1 and Theresa. Alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford, and Ruthie Ann Miles she made quite an impactful theater performance. Additionally, she earned All-ASUN Conference tournament team recognition, leading FGCU soccer’s back line in defensive play for 1886 minutes played and four assists in her college career! Park also graduated as a First Team All-ASUN Conference honoree – she earned First Team All ASUN Conference tournament honors upon graduation – giving her first team ASUN All-Conference All-Tournament Team distinction – graduating as well.
Park’s activism goes far beyond acting and musical work; she proudly supports causes like Make-A-Wish Foundation and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well as animal rights causes like the ASPCA. Whether advocating for human rights or publicizing her latest role, Park always finds time to express what she stands for.
Ashley Park’s Awards
Ashley Park is an accomplished Broadway actress who has received many accolades throughout her career. Park has twice been nominated for a Tony award and multiple acting nominations from various award shows. Furthermore, Park’s acting prowess extends beyond her acting work; she is also an accomplished singer-dancer having performed in Mamma Mia!, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and The King and I among many others.
Park began her professional acting career in Michigan. After appearing in multiple theatre plays, she made her Broadway debut as an ensemble member in Mamma Mia! in 2014. Subsequently, Park played Gabrielle in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella until October 2014. That year, Park scored her first leading role as Tuptim in The King and I revival at Vivian Beaumont Theater where she earned a Tony Award nomination as Best Actress in a Musical.
She continued her Broadway success with roles in Sunday in the Park with George and Jake Gyllenhaal, Girls5Eva with Tina Fey, and Mean Girls starring Gretchen Wieners – she also appeared on several other television programs such as Saturday Night Live and Tales of the City.
Recently, Park has found success through her role in Netflix’s Emily in Paris. As part of her audition process for the show, Erica Guzman Patricia Field’s assistant was impressed by Park’s stylish attire; Erica noticed her black Spanx leggings paired with a blush corduroy hat wearing yellow corduroy as part of her attire – something Erica was particularly fond of noting on the train journey between Chicago and Paris!
Park was recently honored with IMDbPro’s Breakout Star STARmeter Award, given to actors who demonstrate excellence on IMDbPro’s STARmeter rankings (which measure page views received). She won this prestigious recognition as part of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations – an impressive accomplishment indeed!