B I O G R A P H Y
Jenna Bainbridge is a New York city based actor, singer, and disability rights advocate that has been performing since she was 12 years old. She has been seen on Television, Broadway, and in Commercials, and has been heard in AudioBooks and Podcasts. In 2024 she was the first wheelchair user to originate a role in a new musical on Broadway. Some favorite roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Richard III in Bring Down the House, and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar.
When Jenna was 18 months old, she sustained a spinal cord injury and has been partially paralyzed from the waist down ever since. She now utilizes a wheelchair, cane, and crutches frequently, as well as walking unaided with a pronounced limp. Jenna hopes to normalize the experiences and existence of ambulatory wheelchair users through her acting. Jenna has become a passionate Disability Rights advocate and has spoken at numerous conferences, on podcasts, and at public performances about the importance of representation in the arts. While the disabled population in the US is just under 20%, they are represented in fewer than 1% of roles on the stage and screen. Because of this, Jenna has worked tirelessly to break down barriers and perform in theatres around the world. She says that, "We can only accept and embrace our differences if we can publicly see and talk about them, and what is more public than the arts?".
Jenna has been nominated for the True West Award three times and has won the People's Choice Award Twice. Additionally, she won the Best of Westward award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2010, and has been nominated for 5 Colorado Theatre Guild "Henry" Awards for her roles in Urinetown, Sideshow, Beauty and the Beast, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Academic and Personal Awards
Jenna graduated from The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, Magna Cum Laude and with Distinction in her degree; Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Musical Theatre. While there, she pledged the Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity, through which she won the Scholastic Achievement Award upon graduating. She has been a Provost Scholarship recipient, a McCloraine Scholarship recipient, and a SAI Musical Theatre Scholarship Recipient. In high school she was the Valedictorian, and was honored with scholarships from the Kiwanis Club and the Rotary Club. Additionally she won the 2010 "Woman of Spirit Award" from the Center for Spirituality at Work in Denver (now called Restoring Connections) for her work being an advocate and example for disabled actors everywhere.