Nitya Vidyasagar has the lead role in the off-Broadway show Monetizing Emma, about a shy 15-year old who deals with bullies at school, a pushy mom and a fantasy life inspired by Jane Austen. When investment bank Thackeray Walsh starts arranging the first-ever securitization of smart teenagers, Emma's forced to trade her teenage reality for something scarier -- and far more adult. "I wanted to do the play because the character seemed like a challenge," says Nitya. "Emma is extremely shy and a little self deprecating. She's hopeful but has no reason to expect things to go well. She's smart but totally naïve -- lots of delicate contradictions that are hard to juggle. And I love a challenge."
Sounds like a great show! Did we mention that Nitya also stars on Sesame Street as Leela, the show's first major Indian-American character? She's super cool. So we had to ask her about what she hearts, and she answered all smartly:
Books: "I love Roald Dahl, Milan Kundera and Shakespeare. Plus I'm a huge Tolkien geek. Seriously, I read the histories..."
Fashion: "Jeans and kurtas, hightops or boots. I'm not really a skirt and heels kind of girl... right now I’m loving this black sweatshirt/jacket I got at Lululemon." [We had to look up kurtas too -- they're those traditional Indian loose shirts. Comfy!]
Favorite thing about Sesame Street: “We laugh a lot, improvise, basically just have a ball. I think my favorite part of the show is having scene partners that aren't human -- it's so different from what most actors are used to."
Check out Nitya’s Muppet Wiki! Nitya, can you hook me up with Grover?