​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​JENNIFER YADAV

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

A little about me...

​It was the summer of 1969. A South Indian, hippie medical student in Mysore fell in love with a young Polish-American girl who had just arrived for her study abroad. One year later, my father left his home to be with my mother in America, and the rest is history. I grew up just south of Buffalo, NY, a blue-collar area with a dynamic culture. Grandma Josephine owned a bar across from Bethlehem Steel Plant and we all lived in a large house behind it. I still remember celebrating my birthdays, sitting on the pool table as a small child and opening presents from our regular customers. Those are happy, lively memories in a room full of people, where I began to perform and develop a love for the stage. At four, I won the Traveling Gong Show, singing a Bobby Vinton song in Polish and English, and I remember being so excited to use my prize money for dance lessons! I went on to perform as Winnie the Pooh in local schools, appear on Canadian television, and play an orphan in our equity production of Annie for an audience of hundreds.

I continued to perform in high school with full intentions of moving to New York City and taking it by storm. As a Barnard student, I fell in love with the city and knew this was where I wanted to be…but I was nowhere near ready. I needed to do some soul-searching. (Much to my father’s dismay, that translated into me backpacking across Europe with my boyfriend for 3 months!) I swallowed my pride, went back home to Buffalo, and built a life as a high school biology and chemistry teacher. I threw myself into this career, completing my Masters degree, becoming an active union rep, and even winning a Local Leadership award. But my love of the theatre couldn’t be silenced. I went to one audition and was hooked again, appearing in numerous regional theatre productions in the Buffalo area. I soon made the decision to move back to New York and I've been lucky enough to make a real home for myself here.

During the five years I taught high school science in NYC, I also learned to produce, direct, and teach drama. I directed, choreographed, and stage-managed our high school productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, and Fiddler on the Roof. These were rewarding experiences for sure, but I am happily leaving full-time teaching behind as I continue to pursue a career in the arts. I am now a writer, director, and choreographer at Brooklyn Children’s Theatre and an Adjunct Professor at Berkeley College, as well as a working actor and voiceover artist.

My friends describe me as a “doer,” and when I look back at my life in New York I am beyond grateful for everything I’ve been able to accomplish. As an actor in New York, I’ve appeared in film and TV, including a co-star role as Gulab, a Sikh mother on FBI. I performed Off-Broadway in The Jackie Mason Musical for several years, and won a Best Actress Award at the West Village Musical Theatre Festival, when I had the privilege of working on a new piece, For the Love of God, with Sheldon Harnick. I learned how to run a successful business teaching Shakespeare, and co-produced the Off-Off Broadway play Wine and Spirits, nominated for several NYIT awards. As a community member, I serve on the Board of Directors of The Players and I was a founding member of the Mott Haven Blocks Association, for whom I won a city grant to promote Participatory Budgeting in my neighborhood of the Bronx.

Through all of this, I have begun to discover my true purpose, that of a storyteller. This is what drives me forward, creating and collaborating to tell the stories that need to be told. I'd love to tell some stories with you!


​​Fun facts about me!

  • ​I love to go camping
  • I love spicy food (Frank’s Red Hot is my favorite)
  • I can drive a stick shift
  • I make a mean Indian curry (my dad’s secret recipe)
  • I type 47 words per minute, and...
  • I have 3 rescue cats and a dog!